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Wednesday Rockpile: Troy Tulowitzki should stay, no on Carlos Ruiz

Troy Tulowitzki is an elite player on a rate basis that should not be dealt under most circumstances - and St. Louis is unlikely to provide those circumstances. Let's move on, shall we?

Denis Poroy

Since it's apparently Troy Tulowitzki week here at Purple Row (his 2013 player review will appear today as well), I figured it would be germane for me to provide my opinion on the matter. After all, a Tulowitzki trade could have the effect of severely altering this franchise's trajectory - and I'm not even sure which way it would be altered. Since others have already expressed many of the points I was going to make, I'll be brief.

I don't think it's going to happen and in this scenario I actually believe Dick Monfort when he says so. It would require, as Grant Brisbee put it, an offer that made me giggle and roll around on the floor. The Cardinals as a trade partner have the pieces to make me do so if they were willing to part with them - but they shouldn't and won't given that any acquisition of Tulo would need to be a gross overpay.

As I've said multiple times, I'm not a sentimental guy. I ultimately root for the jerseys and not the players - if a trade for Tulowitzki makes baseball sense, I would absolutely be behind it...eventually. I'm also cognizant that despite my attempted objectivity, I am first and foremost a fan and that I value Tulo more highly than most fans around baseball. I'm a firm believer that a GM's goal should be to acquire the right talent and keep that talent if possible - and Tulo is a GM's dream, an elite player at a premium position that provides production orders of magnitude beyond league average for that position. It's easy to take that for granted after a little while...but I don't think the Rockies do.

Tulo's a top 10 player in MLB on a rate basis...when healthy. And of course, that's the problem isn't it? Even when Tulo's playing at an elite level, as a fan you're always cringing a little bit whenever he goes into the hole for a groundball, when he slides into second base. He's been hurt enough times that it's easy to assume it will happen often going forward. Call me crazy but I don't think that Tulo's going to have another truly injury-plagued season like 2012 in the near future - and if he's out there for at least 120 games he's the best all-around shortstop in the game.

Would the Cardinals be willing to part with the pieces (I'm guessing the Rockies are asking for top prospect Oscar Taveras + a MLB starting pitcher in any potential Tulo deal) necessary to acquire this asset? I'm thinking no.

So to eloquently conclude - he's our Tulo and you can't have him St. Louis.

Carlos Ruiz

According to Troy Renck, the Rockies have made a two year, $15 million offer with a potential buyout year to 34 year-old catcher Carlos Ruiz, but his camp is reporting that there's a two year, $20 million offer on the table from another team (likely the Phillies or Red Sox) and that the Rockies are unlikely to match it due to his age. I don't see Colorado getting Ruiz at this point and I'm okay with it - I'd rather the Rockies spread out that $7.5 million annually over a few players than on a starting catcher that creates some extra defensive headaches.

With respect to the Rockies catcher situation, it makes more sense to me to pursue a glove-first back-up catcher than it does to get Ruiz. I'd be looking at guys like Kurt Suzuki in free agency or Ryan Hanigan in a trade.

More Hot Stove Rumors

Jon Heyman indicates that the Rockies have talked with multiple teams about Dexter Fowler. I think Fowler is the most likely player for the Rockies to trade this off-season because of his ability to bring a return of a mid-rotation type starter and the ability of Carlos Gonzalez to slide back into center field.

MLB Daily Dish has more on Colorado's interest in reliever Brian Wilson. The Rockies have also been linked to Grant Balfour, Joe Smith, LaTroy Hawkins, and Jose Veras. I'm generally opposed to spending a lot of money on the bullpen given the fact that, due to their low innings load, relievers don't have the impact on a team that their salary would imply.

With that said, you could certainly make the argument that Colorado's bullpen is more likely to provide a lot of production simply because our pitchers are more likely to get the hook early than others. A multi-inning reliever (like Adam Ottavino was last year) has much more value at Coors than he might elsewhere given a higher demand for his services in the 5th-7th innings. I would prefer it if Colorado only added to their bullpen around the fringes and focused their attention on improving their offense.

In case you want to read more of my thoughts on the direction the Rockies should go this off-season, I wrote 2,000+ words of players I'd target in free agency/on the trade market that  as a part of my write-up of my experiences as Colorado's GM in the 2013 SB Nation Mock GM Winter Meetings Simulation. Look for that this afternoon.

Los Links!

2010 first round pick Kyle Parker is working hard to become a potential option at first base for the Rockies. Parker has long been the assumed internal candidate to take over the first base duties from Todd Helton, but he probably won't be the Opening Day solution for the team - especially if the Rockies do manage to get that big bat they keep talking about.

Here's a neat story about two Rockies prospects, PuRP 24 catcher Ryan Casteel and OF Tyler Massey, working on their game in Melbourne, Australia this winter.


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