Tulo clears the air, denies asking for trade
Rockies shortstop says he was not behind agent's statement
LOS ANGELES -- Rockies shortstop Troy Tulowitzki insisted Thursday that he will not try to force a trade from the Rockies, and he was not behind his agent's recent statement that he may seek at trade.
A New York Post story Tuesday quoted agent Paul Cohen suggesting Tulowitzki may ask for a trade. Tulowitzki met with Cohen on Thursday morning and met with the media later in the afternoon at Dodger Stadium to say he is focused on helping the Rockies reverse their losing ways. They carried an 11-game losing streak into Thursday night against the Dodgers.
"Whatever happens on the Rockies' end happens, but for me to sit here and try to force my way out of here, that's not the case," Tulowitzki said while meeting with multiple media members for more than 10 minutes. "I don't think it's fair to my teammates and the relationships I've built here to take that route."
The situation reached the front burner when Cohen told the New York Post of the scheduled Thursday breakfast meeting with Tulowitzki. Of the possibility of demanding a trade, Cohen told the Post: "To say that is not a possibility would be silly."
Cohen went on to say that the specter of whether a trade will happen "is negative for the franchise, as is the idea of trading the face of the franchise."
But while he believes Cohen, his agent from when he was coming out of Long Beach State, was looking out for him, Tulowitzki said Thursday's breakfast allowed them to "get on the same page." Tulowitzki emphatically said he didn't ask the agent to plant a story to push a deal.
"Anybody that knows me or has covered me for a long time, I'm pretty honest and straightforward," Tulowitzki said. "If I have an issue I would take care of it myself. The last thing I would try to do is leak something and get it out there.
"The Rockies' ownership and myself have always been close, so there's no reason to try to leak something. I'd go straight to them."
Despite the firestorm the story created -- which immediately sparked speculation that Tulowitzki could be dealt to the Mets, followed by the Mets' statement that they aren't looking to trade for him -- nothing has changed.
• Tulowitzki is still owed $113.7 million through 2020, and would receive a $2 million relocation bonus if traded.
• The Rockies are struggling -- currently last in the National League West, with no winning seasons since 2010.
• While the Rockies have dramatically underperformed in terms of scoring runs, they have what's considered a strong lineup. But they lack front-end starting pitching, have had little success on the free-agent market and have hit sporadically with development and trades. The question hangs: Is dealing stars the best way to shore up the weaknesses?
Tulowitzki acknowledges that his big contract and length of time with the team make him a logical focal point when the team is losing. At 30, with a long history of injury, he admits he has wondered if he is running out of time to win. But with the opportunity to demand his way out, Tulowitzki instead made demands of the Rockies from a "we" perspective.
"Bottom line, play better baseball," he said. "That's kind of vague but it starts with myself. … Be the guy I know I can be and in here [the clubhouse] keep things loose and make these guys realize just because we're off to a bad start doesn't mean we can't rebound and win games."
With Tulowitzki having declared he will not demand the Rockies move him, the move belongs to the Rockies.
Jeff Bridich, in his first year as general manager, is scheduled to join the team in Los Angeles at some point, but on Thursday he was scheduled to scout players for the upcoming MLB First-Year Player Draft.
Bridich addressed his position on possible deals involving Tulowitzki and outfielder Carlos Gonzalez, who has a big contract but is slumping, in comments to MLB.com on Monday.
"No, it's early in May. If and when those situations come up, we'll deal with that then."