Another season, another round of Troy Tulowitzki trade rumors. As the Rockies continue to crumble season over season, their homegrown shortstop might have finally had enough. In the midst of a 10-game losing streak, Tulo had been reportedly weighing the idea of demanding the Rockies to trade him to a contender. Maybe this was more a stunt mainly carried out by his representatives, but it's gotten people talking again, so here we are. He may have publicly announced his intention to stay with the club, but that doesn't mean the organization won't take a hint and try to move him at some point this season. If that happens, the Yankees need to stay far away.
He's been widely considered to be the best shortstop in the majors on both sides of the ball. Two Gold Gloves, two Silver Sluggers, and four All-Star appearances and it's no wonder the Rockies decided to sign him to a long-term extension through the 2020 season. Over the last few years, Colorado has struggled and the franchise has fallen into stagnation. The thought of a rebuild has led to talk of trading the team's franchise player in order to add pieces for the future and with Derek Jeter fading over the last few seasons, Tulo in New York started to make a lot of sense. He's been vocal about his interest to replace Jeter in the Bronx and even went to see a Yankee game while on the disabled list–which is all well and good, but the Yankees should still say no.
As much as he might improve the team at the moment–Didi Gregorius and Stephen Drew aren't exactly holding their own at the position–he's just not worth all the risk that comes along with him. We often consider what kind of package of players it would take to land him, but whatever it ends up being, either the Yankees don't have the pieces or it's too much if they do. Any trade for Tulowitzki is going to include any number of New York's top prospect–Aaron Judge, Luis Severino, Greg Bird, Rob Refsnyder, Gary Sanchez–and a move like that would wreck the Yankees farm system. On top of that, he's signed through the next five seasons at a guaranteed $98 million, if you include the $4 million buyout on his 2021 option in his age-36 season. The thing about Tulo is that he's not young anymore. He's 30 now, he's dealt with injuries over the last few years, and he's played more than 100 games once in the last three seasons. And yet his reputation, contract, and, yes, pure talent, will make him a blockbuster trade piece.
Even in seasons where he's lost significant time to injury, his overall stats have still looked phenomenal, but if the Yankees were to acquire him, there would be no guarantee that he'd remain an improvement over a full season. Trade all those prospects, eat all that money, and there's at least a decent possibility that Didi Gregorius will still get significant playing time at short because at some point Tulo will need to be placed on the disabled list. That's not the type of piece you want to add that will boost your team in-season, and it's not the flagship player you want to dump all your assets into if he can't stay on the field and provide the value that you paid for.
It's no doubt that Troy Tulowitzki would be an improvement over Didi Gregorius and Stephen Drew, but when weighing the risks and the cost, things end up balancing out a little more. Tulo might be the type of player that needs to go to an American League team that can give him significant time at DH, but the Yankees have Alex Rodriguez right now, so they wouldn't be able to accommodate him. He might only be 30, but his injury history–numerous lower body injuries and now hip surgery–isn't going to reverse itself, so if he needs time off now, just imagine what he might need in three years.
It's highly unlikely that anything even happens with him this season, since the Rockies seem to be either delusional or incredibly stubborn, but there will be talks at the trade deadline, and in the offseason, and next season, and so on. Tulowitzki had this latest trade rumor play out in the public eye for a reason and sooner or later someone is going to come along, bite the bullet, and dump all their assets into getting their franchise shortstop. Let that team be the Mets, and the Yankees can either hold onto their prospects or move them for a more guaranteed return and use that contract money elsewhere. The starting rotation is probably more in need of improvement this year anyway.