Tulo Heads to Toronto

When Troy Tulowitzki signed a 6 year extension worth roughly $120 million with the Colorado Rockies in November of 2010 he likely thought he would stay a Rockie until the deals expiration in 2020. However, with the Rockies sitting fifth in the NL West at 42-55, it looked to be time to sell off one of their best assets. The Rockies have finished with 66, 74, 64, 73, and 83 wins in each of the last 5 seasons. Those win totals won’t compete for championships and so rather than continue to pay who was the face of their franchise in Troy Tulowitzki, the Rockies dealt him to the Toronto Blue Jays.

Will Selva - troy tulowitzki

Tulowitzki is heading to Toronto

The Blue Jays receive one of the best shortstops in the game. Tulo is currently hitting .300 with 12 home runs and 53 runs batted in. While he has had his fair share of injuries, Tulo has one of the best bats in the game from the shortstop position. With the Blue Jays at 50-50, they look to be all-in in their hunt for a postseason berth. They’re 7 games back of the New York Yankees in the AL East and just 3 back in the Wildcard race. The addition of Tulowitzki to a lineup that already features power in Jose Bautista, Edwin Encarnacion, and Josh Donaldson should make for some tough nights for opposing pitchers.

Tulowitzki felt “blindsided” by the move. Here’s what he had to say, “I felt like I got blindsided a bit. I thought I was in the loop, in the conversation.” This comes after Troy had been told the Rockies would keep him or if a trade arose, they would inform him of the possibility of moving him.

The Rockies in return received shortstop Jose Reyes and pitching prospects Jeff Hoffman and Miguel Castro. Reyes like Tulowitzski is going through some strange times. In December of 2011, Reyes signed a free agency deal with the Miami Marlins for 6 years $106 million. Expecting to spend the duration of the contract in Miami, Reyes was shipped in a salary dump to Toronto in just the second year of his deal. Reyes felt betrayed by Marlins President Jeffrey Loria. He now is moving onto Colorado, another destination he probably thought he wouldn’t be playing out his current contract in. Jose should not get too comfortable though. It’s extremely likely that the Rockies as sellers at the deadline will look to move Reyes again.

Some of the Worst Contracts In Baseball

Every offseason, there’s a team that was on the fringe of making it all the way, or just missing the playoffs and they vow to make it up to their fans by making a splash in the offseason. How big of a splash? Does it matter? These teams have a lot of money and want to deliver. General Manager’s jobs are on the line if they don’t win. So they’ll spend top dollar on talent, even if the player is already in decline. Does it work out? Sometimes, but sometimes not. Let’s take a look at two of the worst contracts teams are wishing they didn’t pull the trigger on.

Albert Pujols – 1B Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
images-3Following the 2011 season in which Pujols hit .299 with 37 HRs and 99 RBIs, Albert was looking to cash in. At the time, he was one of the most feared hitters in baseball. A consistent .300+ hitter to go with a guaranteed 30+ HRs and 100+ RBIs, everyone lined up for the then 32 year old Pujols. The Angels opened the check book and gave him a guaranteed 10 year $240 million deal. What the Angels paid for and what they got are two different things. Pujols hit .285 with 30 HRs and 105 RBIs in his first season. He was hurt the following year and posted career lows across the board with .258 17 HRs and 64 RBIs. This past season, Pujols hit .272 28 HRs and 105 RBIs. Good numbers, but not exactly the most feared hitter in baseball. The Angels have plenty years left of Pujols deal and he’s only getting older.

CC Sabathia – P New York Yankees
images-2Sabathia was smart about his deal. After signing his initial $100 million dollar deal with the Yankees, he added an opt-out clause so he could opt out and re-up his $100 million deal and make it last well into his latter 30’s. The Yankees, who were in a tough spot at the time, had to bring back Sabathia, and with starting pitching always at a premium, they gave him 5 years $122 million which essentially added another year and $30 million to his old deal. With all this happening at the age of 31, you figured Sabathia would deliver early on and towards the end he would decline. Well the decline has set in earlier than expected. Following the 2012 season in which Sabathia posted a 15-6 record with a 3.38 ERA the wheels fell off for CC in the playoffs. CC was shelled by the Tigers in the ALCS and the Yankees were eliminated. The following season, CC posted a below mediocre 4.78 ERA to go with a 14-13 mark, not exactly top dollar numbers. The Yankees did not reach post season play. 2014 was not any better as Sabathia posted a 5.28 ERA in just 8 starts while going 3-4. The velocity wasn’t there and nor was his dominance. CC’s best days may be behind him but he’ll receive a rich paycheck from the Yankees for a few more years.

With these two examples, maybe it isn’t best to shell out all this money with no regard to age. Many teams are turning their focus to the farm system and want to develop players internally. While it is ok to grab a necessary free agent, teams are beginning to be more wary of potential blockbuster busts.

Machado Deserves MLB Wrath

Bat-tossing may become an obscure Olympic sport sometime, but it’s frowned upon in baseball, especially if there’s intent to do harm, which brings us to Orioles third baseman Manny Machado and what he did Sunday versus the A’s. One gander at the video and you can clearly see the bat didn’t just slip out of his hands. He flung the piece of lumber in the hopes that it landed on a player’s dome.


Immediately after the game, Machado, who was ejected said the “bat slipped out of my hands. I was trying to make contact.” Yeah, riiiight. I don’t think so and you can bet Major League Baseball will agree with me. He deserves a hefty fine and a long unpaid vacation for pulling that off. There’s no place in baseball for it. He’s 21 going on 12. It appears Machado took severe umbradge with getting pitched inside by Fernando Abad because, ya know, that never happens in the sport.

He also didn’t like the routine tag A’s third baseman Josh Donaldson placed on him Friday night. That’s right, FRIDAY NIGHT. With the latter point, Machado never really said why the tag was a problem: “Donaldson made the right play, but I just didn’t agree on the tag that he made on me, and I just had to get up and confront him.” Uh, so explain to me why you are angry again? Manager Buck Showalter wasn’t sure what set off Machado but added, “Until you’ve walked a mile in a man’s shoes, you really don’t know what goes on, but it’s a pretty easy call for me what side of the fence I’m going to sit on.” C’mon, really? It was dangerous. It was dumb. There must be something about the name Manny that brings out this kind of kooky, head-scratching behavior because I don’t know how else you can explain away what Machado did on Sunday.

Puig Conundrum

A tweet earlier this week stated that Dodgers outfielder Yasiel Puig was 5 minutes early for a workout. Baby steps, right? Ahhh, such is la vida loca in Puigland where every nuance, move and look is now scrutinized more than the CBS cutaways of crying kids during the NCAA Tournament.


The latest Puig news bulletin pertains to a team meeting, one that did not involve sitting around a campfire, but rather a frank “clear the air” skull session about the young Cuban that was supposedly productive and sorely needed. In reality, it was a lot closer to an intervention than anything else.

The Aussie experience clearly showed that his act was wearing thin with his teammates and manager on not just one continent, but two. Think about if they had started the season 0 and 2? Quite frankly, they had to nip this early. He’s already grated on opponents’ nerves with his bat-flipping on routine pop-ups. His other perceived showboating antics could inevitably make him an easy target for pitchers trying to make a point. He needs the clubhouse support. The first two boxscores of the season encapsulated the maddening dichotomy that exists within Puig’s very nature: Either budding star possessing unbridled potential or volatile headcase prone to head-scratching mistakes. He was 0 for 5 with 3 strikeouts in the opener, but then followed that up with a 3 for 5, 2 RBI performance. You never quite know what you’re going to get. We’ll see if the stern message delivered by his teammates is actually received or whether he’ll be nothing more than Raul Mondesi dressed in a 66 jersey. It’s all about baby steps.


Bracing For Bonds

One of the last times Barry Bonds caused any kind of noteworthy spring training fuss was back in 2005 when he arrived fresh off knee surgery with the vortex of baseball’s steroid scandal swirling around him. Flanked by his son, a dejected Bonds told the assembled media, “You finally brought me and my family down.”

Bonds was playing the role in a Shakespearean tragedy that was moving to the third and final act, but there WAS that other time he sparked a ruckus in the desert that I almost forgot. Almost. You remember. I mean, how could you forget? He dressed as American Idol judge Paula Abdul. Some people gleefully point out that we hadn’t seen much of him or Abdul for that matter since then.


Barry Bonds

Well, Bonds is back as a guest hitting instructor and with it will come a tsunami of suffocating round-the-clock processing. The organization is treating this experience as they would with any other former star that visits the spring training facility, whether its J.T. Snow, Will Clark or Jeff Kent. Now if it was Kent AND Bonds together, two people that like each other about as much as Obama likes Putin at the moment, then we would really have something to look forward to, but this is merely one week and one week only for both sides.

Love him or loathe him and there are plenty of people on both sides, Bonds had one of the keenest eyes ever at the plate. Seeing maybe four or five good pitches to hit a game. That requires superior hand-eye coordination and supreme discipline. How this acumen translates to fertile hitting minds remains to be seen, but he’ll have an eager audience hanging on his every word. During his playing days, Bonds typically wore a metaphorical suit of armor, clanking around in a surley mood, rarely letting others peak at what was underneath. In one way, he’s actually being transparent. Granted, it’s about his hitting secrets, but the transparency can’t just be within the confines of the batters box. The real issue is his long-term viability in the sport he lorded over for several years and if he wants to be a permanent fixture and not just a guest hitting instructor, he will need to come clean about absolutely everything.

A-Rod Still Delusional

The Alex Rodriguez situation reminds me a lot of the old Seinfeld episode where the strong whiff of body odor is embedded in Jerry’s car. He tries everything he can to eradicate it, only to find that the smell is still there. As much as everyone wants him to go away, A-Rod refuses to leave the public consciousness quietly.


A-Rod won’t give up on baseball.

He insists that he’ll play baseball in 2015 as a member of the Yankees. He’s now officially beyond delusional. The Yankees don’t want him. Somehow, he forgets that he sued the team doctor alleging malpractice for misdiagnosing his hip injury, not to mention other incidents that are too numerous to recount.

Yes, by all means A-Rod, they want the circus tent and jugglers that accompany you. He’s even said he would plan to go to spring training, even though he’s suspended for the entire season and postseason. He just doesn’t get it and he says it’s all in the pursuit of preserving what little is left of his dignity.

From a financial standpoint, A-Rod frees up money for the team to ink pitcher Masahiro Tanaka this offseason which could still happen and if the Yankees have the gumption to release him, they’ll eat the $61 million left on his deal. If the latter scenario plays out, does he really think another team will want him? All he has to do is look no further than Barry Bonds. He couldn’t find any takers and he was much more productive at his later stage. At least the Seinfeld episode had a funny ending. This is just a plain sad one. That’s of course, if there’s ever a finality.