Tulo wants to stay, and win, in Colorado
DENVER -- The trade rumors have become a part of the daily routine for Rockies shortstop Troy Tulowitzki. And with the July 31 non-waiver Trade Deadline 10 days away, the rumor mill will be grinding faster than ever.
It is enough to make Tulowitzki roll his eyes and shrug his shoulders. He's not interested in the rumors, nor is he interested in being traded, regardless of what is churned out by the rumor mill.
"I didn't sign my contract because I wanted to be somewhere else," Tulowitzki said of the 10-year, $157.75 million deal that includes an option for 2021 that would add another $11 million to the total value. "I signed my contract because I want to be with the Rockies."
That hasn't changed. Things have been more challenging since Tulowitzki signed that deal in 2010.
Tulowitzki arrived in the big leagues in 2007, the year the Rockies made their late-season miracle run to the postseason, winning 14 of their final 15 regular-season games to claim the National League Wild Card. Colorado then swept Philadelphia in NL Division Series and Arizona in the NL Championship Series before sitting for nine days and waiting for a World Series in which it was swept by Boston.
The Rockies were back in the postseason in 2009, although this time they were a first-round victim of the Phillies. They were competitive in 2010, going 83-79.
They have not had a winning season since.
Colorado finished in last place in the NL West two of the past three seasons, and the club is in last place right now as well. It's enough to make a superstar moan and groan about wanting to play for a contender, setting the stage for a trade.
"I've never said one thing about [a trade]," said Tulowitzki. "There's been a lot of speculation and people talking for me. It's just been a lot of rumors."
Oh, Tulowitzki wants to win. He wants to do it with the Rockies, though.
"My favorite player is Derek Jeter," Tulowitzki said. "It always has been. One of the things about him was how he stayed with one team his whole career."
And despite the media speculation, Colorado really isn't looking to move Tulowitzki.
That's fine with Tulowitzki. It is, however, rumor time, again.
Yes, Tulowitzki has battled injuries in recent times. He was limited to 264 games the past three seasons, and played in as many as 130 games only twice in the six seasons prior to the current one, with many of the ailments the residual effect of a torn left quadriceps tendon suffered at AT&T Park on April 29, 2008.
Tulowitzki, however, has continued to adapt his workout routine to look at ways to strengthen the leg and increase his flexibility. And this year, in particular, the Rockies have monitored his workload, careful not to let his legs get weary.
So far, so good. Tulowitzki went into Tuesday night's game against the Texas Rangers at Coors Field hitting .320, and having reached base safely in 41 consecutive games, matching Andres Galarraga and Todd Helton for the second-longest streak in franchise history to the 46-gamer of Michael Cuddyer. The streak ended with an 0-for-4 in Colorado's 9-0 loss.
Tulowitzki entered Tuesday hitting .376 (56-for-149) since May 29, tops in the Majors, and already had as many RBIs this season (52) as he did in an abbreviated 91-game 2014 season.
All of that could perk up the interest of teams looking to add a run-producing bat to the middle of their infield.
It, however, also creates anticipation for the Rockies that Tulowitzki could be the player who is the core of a resurgence in the next year or two.
Tulowitzki certainly feels that way.
"We've got some good, young talent here and on the way," said Tulowitzki. "We have the makings of a team that can win. To win here would be very satisfying."
Tulowitzki could enjoy what Helton enjoyed in 2007.
Prior to the 2007 season, Helton approved a potential trade to the Red Sox, who backed out at the last minute. The Rockies were a surprise that season, making the only World Series appearance in franchise history, and it was Helton who was the catalyst to the team's late-season rampage that saw it win 21 of 22 games, including beating the Padres in a Game 163 for the NL Wild Card, and the NLDS and NLCS sweeps.
No, Helton did not get a World Series ring that the Red Sox players received, but he had a great feeling of satisfaction about being a part of what remains the biggest season in Rockies history.
"You could tell how special it was to him," said Tulowitzki. "He was part of something from the start."
That is something that would be special for Tulowitzki, too.