Rockies send Tulo to Toronto for Reyes, prospects
Hawkins also part of deal with Blue Jays, who send three pitchers to Colorado
CHICAGO -- The Rockies agreed to trade five-time All-Star shortstop Troy Tulowitzki to the Blue Jays on Monday night. Colorado received four-time All-Star shortstop Jose Reyes and a package of three Minor League right-handers: Jeff Hoffman, Miguel Castro and Jesus Tinoco. The deal was announced Tuesday morning.
After the Rockies' 9-8 loss to the Cubs, Tulowitzki went into manager Walt Weiss' office and hadn't emerged by the time reporters were asked to leave the clubhouse. Tulowitzki was whisked out of the clubhouse, and he was later spotted emerging from a cab at the Hotel Palomar in downtown Chicago.
General manager Jeff Bridich addressed the subject of trading Tulowitzki -- who had great impact on Colorado's franchise since being the No. 1 pick in the 2005 MLB Draft out of Long Beach State and helping spark the Rockies' run to the 2007 World Series -- when he was asked if it was "a sad day" during a news conference held at Coors Field on Tuesday.
"It's bittersweet. I think it's both," Bridich said. "It's not easy. These types of decisions are difficult decisions for everyone involved. There's a million reasons to do them and just as many reasons not to do them. So, yes, there's sadness, and it's not lost on us the type of impact and the type of effect Troy has had on this organization over the last eight years, especially at the Major League level. So it's sad we have to say goodbye to a quality baseball player and we have to say goodbye to a quality person, not just with Troy but ... with LaTroy as well. He's a heck of a human being and a very good pitcher who's pitching the final months of his career."
Hoffman is Toronto's No. 3 prospect according to MiLB.com, and Castro is ranked as the club's No. 5 prospect.
Hoffman, 22, was selected ninth overall in 2014 despite undergoing Tommy John surgery at East Carolina University. Toronto selected him one pick after Colorado took University of Evansville left-hander Kyle Freeland.
Hoffman returned this year and is a combined 3-3 with a 2.93 ERA in 13 starts, two at Class A Dunedin and 11 at Double-A New Hampshire. When healthy, Hoffman displayed a fastball that reached 98 mph and sat in the mid 90s. He will remain in the Eastern League, moving to New Britain.
"He's somebody we scouted heavily and were very, very high on coming out of college, and [we] couldn't be more excited," Bridich said.
Castro, 20, who possesses a 98-mph fastball and is 1-3 with a 4.58 ERA in 13 games, including five starts, at Triple-A Buffalo. Castro also saw 13 Major League relief appearances with the Jays, and he went 0-2 with a 4.38 ERA, with 12 strikeouts and six walks in 12 1/3 innings. He'll shift to Albuquerque.
The New York Post reported that the Rockies will not be sending money to the Blue Jays, which means they will save $50 million in 2016 and '17.
Tulowitzki is owed $98 million in 2016-20. That includes a $4 million buyout on a $15 million option for 2021. Additionally, Tulowitzki's contract calls for a $2 million "relocation bonus," and gives him a no-trade clause that kicks in after Colorado dealt him.
Reyes, meanwhile, is owed a total of $48 million -- $22 million each of the next two seasons, and a $4 million buyout on a $22 million club option for 2018.
"We feel very confident that we are receiving a bona fide veteran Major League shortstop, certainly, who's been in this game at the highest level for a long time," Bridich said. "We know he's a very positive and well-received teammate basically everywhere he's gone."
Tulowitzki has been consistently among the best two-way shortstops in the Majors, but also has a lengthy injury history. However, he has been healthy this year. A slow start, attributed to the fact Tulowitzki missed most of the second half of last season because of a left hip flexor injury that required surgery, gave way to a torrid enough streak to get him added to the National League squad for this year's All-Star Game presented by T-Mobile as an injury replacement.
Recently, Tulowitzki had a 41-game on-base streak. But immediately afterward, he slipped into an 0-for-20 skid all the way up until news of the trade agreement broke. Tulowitzki is batting .300 with 12 home runs and 53 RBIs in 87 games.
Monday night turned strange toward the end of the game. Tulowitzki drove in a run on a groundout in the top of the ninth, when the Rockies scored four runs to take an 8-7 lead. But Daniel Descalso, who homered as a pinch-hitter in the top of the ninth, took the shortstop position for the bottom of the ninth.
In 1,048 games with Colorado, Tulowitzki batted .299 with 188 home runs and 657 RBIs.
Hawkins, the Majors' oldest player at 42, is 2-1 with a 3.63 ERA and two saves this season. He began the year as the Rockies' closer, but struggled the first week. Hawkins missed eight weeks with right biceps tendinitis, but since returning, he has been scored upon just once in 16 games.