Here is what Tulowitzki actually said when asked about the possibility of being the next New York Yankees’ shortstop (from NJ.com):
Then Tulowitzki was reminded that Jeter, 40, would be retiring at season’s end, thus opening the Yankees’ shortstop post.
“I think everybody knows that,” said Tulowitzki, who wears No. 2 because of Jeter, “everybody wants that perfect story. Whoever it may be, if he took over for Derek, no doubt it makes for a great story. But for right now it’s just talk until anything gets closer to happening in the offseason, I think I could comment on that further. But it’s one of those things right now, I’m just worried about the second half of the season.”
We have known that Tulowitzki idolized Jeter since he was a bright-eyed rookie wearing no. 2 on his back for the first time as a member of the Rockies. That he would be open to the notion of replacing Jeter and becoming a Yankees’ legend in his footsteps is not surprising. It is nothing for Rockies’ fans to take personally, especially considering the loyalty he has already shown to this bumbling franchise that we love for the last nine years.
There’s an important distinction to be made here: Tulo didn’t talk about replacing Jeter as his perfect story. That made it patently misleading, then, when Brendan Kuty framed his story with these opening lines (also on NJ.com):
Rockies’ all-world shortstop Troy Tulowitzki isn’t necessarily looking to be traded, he said.
But taking over for Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter, a player he idolizes, would be a “perfect story,” Tulowitzki said.
Well no, he didn’t say that. And unless Kuty or anybody else can conjure up about three big league ready pitching prospects to go along with a couple high upside guys for a barren Yankees’ farm system, that trade ain’t happening. The Rockies’ front office might be bad, but they aren’t so bad that they will trade Tulo to the Yankees for $0.30 on the dollar when he is under team control just because a few writers outside the Denver media are wishing it to be so.
As Jonathan Bernhardt of Sports on Earth notes, trading Tulowitzki isn’t like trading just any other good player. He is a singular talent, and it might be impossible to get enough in return for him, whether you are in rebuilding mode or not:
The real problem with trading Tulowitzki isn’t his health or that other teams won’t want to absorb his contract. The real problem is that it’s nearly impossible to get a package back for a player of Tulowitzki’s caliber that’s as valuable as having the player himself.
The fact remains that there is still nothing to see here, at least not yet. When somebody says “Tulo might want to get traded,” they are almost literally saying nothing at all. When reports surface that interested teams have called about a possible trade for Tulo, that is as obvious as saying that “advanced scouts for opposing teams think Mike Trout will be a tough match-up.”
Of course they are calling…that isn’t news and it is barely worth indulging.
That Tulowitzki came out and said he is open to a trade, eventually, if it suits the Rockies, is more newsworthy. But those comments could just as easily be seen as shots fired at the front office and/or ownership to get bold with their moves if they want to keep him.
A trade for Tulowitzki is worth worrying about. But not yet, and there are a few steps in the process that we need to let play out first. So unless he actually demands a trade (which he hasn’t come close to), there is still nothing to see here.
And unless the Yankees somehow make a real life “Create-a-player” machine for their farm system, there is no shot in hell that Tulowitzki ends up in navy blue pinstripes.