Troy Tulowitzki does not have a no-trade clause.
If the Colorado Rockies inexplicably get an offer they cannot refuse from the Miami Marlins, they can ship Tulo down to report to Jeffrey Loria without so much as a note saying thanks for your time.
In the event that the Rockies explore the option of trading their franchise player, they won’t do that to him. They won’t do that in part because they like Tulowitzki and in part because it could potentially impact the tone of trade negotiations.
For those reasons, Tulo will have a say in where he is traded. He does not have nearly as much power as has been portrayed, however, and the Rockies do not need his permission to trade him anywhere.
Thomas Harding of MLB.com is the man we can all thank for offering the following in terms of clarification on that point:
Contrary to what has been repeated in many reports, Rockies shortstop Troy Tulowitzki does not have a no-trade clause — at least not at this point — in his contract.
Going strictly by the contract language (and consulting with sources with direct knowledge of the contract), if traded, Tulowitzki would receive a $2 million bonus from the club he would land with, and only then would a no-trade provision go into effect. That is in addition to the five years and $104 million, plus incentives and escalators, left on his deal.
If Tulowitzki wants to go all Carmelo Anthony on us and say he will only play for the New York Yankees, it will only get him so far. It might make a difference, but until the Yankees get a whole lot more to offer in a trade or get a third team involved, the Rockies will always get more for their money by keeping Tulo, even in his more expensive years.
The reason that this is important to clarify is simply this: Troy Tulowitzki does not have as much control over how this plays out as many seem to think he does. He cannot force a trade to New York or Boston or anywhere else without resorting to some pretty drastic measures (i.e. refusing to play). Those factors would not exactly persuade his new team to want him if they ever became a thing anyway.
These are all hypothetical situations. Ultimately both sides have plenty of incentive to play nice if/when the Rockies start to explore trades for Tulowitzki this winter. But the nuance that emerges with the knowledge that Tulo does not have a no-trade clause is an important one: the power still ultimately lies with the Rockies. Tulo has plenty of say, but ultimately the team has to decide to act before anything happens.
If we are going to deal with these rumors, we might as well have our facts straight, eh? There is no no-trade clause, strictly speaking.