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Troy Tulowitzki trade rumors: 3 reasons to trade Tulo ... and 23 not to

A number of compelling reasons for the Colorado Rockies to trade Troy Tulowitzki have been circulating. Few of them view the situation from the Rockies' perspective.

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
    A number of compelling reasons for the Colorado Rockies to trade Troy Tulowitzki have been circulating widely. Few of them consider the Rockies' perspective. Here are 23 reasons the Rockies shouldn't trade Tulo right now:
  1. Tulowitzki is the best player in franchise history. Him being a life-long Rockie may not mean a damn thing to most of the people outside the 303 and 970 area codes, but this is about more than just a player; it is about our team's Mt. Rushmore. This is about the legacy of a franchise that doesn't have much of one yet. This is our baseball history, which is worth more than a good-fielding shortstop and a prospect pitcher.

  1. Tulowitzki is the best player in the National League. And -- to paraphrase Scott Van Pelt -- his good is as good as any others in all of baseball. Why wouldn't you want that guy on your team?

  1. Tulo's production at shortstop is literally impossible to replace. There are no other players at that position who have rated elite on both offense and defense over the last five years. In the decade, it's just Tulo and Derek Jeter.

  1. Tulo's production is worth about $8 million in savings over what the Rockies would get for that type of production on the free market.

  1. Tulo is signed through 2021, giving him more team control than most available MLB-level assets the Rockies could receive in return. Almost any trade risks moving the face of the franchise for players who may not be here in three years, if they so choose. For the best example of this problem read this piece about a potential trade to the Nationals from January.

  1. Tulo is the face of the franchise. Some fans will riot.

  1. Tulo will be only 36 years old in 2021; he is unlikely to have completely dropped off a cliff in terms of production by then.

  1. In 2021, his contract (a team option) actually drops by $4 million, providing the team with further flexibility while maintaining control.

  1. Despite how team- and age-friendly his contract is, other teams can still devalue him because of his injury history, somewhat artificially deflating the trade return. (Somewhat artificial because, as we've discussed, he is still underpaid even for the production he is actually providing even when playing through/around injury.)

  1. Tulo signed a contract. Regardless of what he or his agent wants, he is getting well compensated for his efforts.

  1. The Rockies should only trade Tulo if they think it makes them a better baseball team over the next five years, which is highly unlikely. The rest of it is narrative-driven nonsense, some of which is coming surprisingly from the same crowd that disparages the impact of "culture" and "clubhouse presence" when talking about players like Michael Cuddyer. If the Rockies should trade Tulo, give us baseball reasons.

  1. Baseball reasons: The Mets would have to trade Syndegaard, Plawecki, and Flores, and maybe even another piece. Somewhere, a Mets fan read that and contemplated leaving his career to become a world-leading scientist just so he could invent a device that would allow him to reach through his computer screen and punch me in the face.

  1. It's not just the Mets; what team would be willing to empty the farm for a 30-year-old player with an injury history?

  1. A fair trade of Tulo is almost impossible. One fanbase or the other is going to feel royally screwed.

  1. If Tulo does demand a trade and doesn't get one, he may become a curmudgeon, but he won't sandbag. It's not in his DNA to not try at baseball. Mad Tulo is not a good enough reason to trade him.

  1. Trading a player for his own benefit makes zero sense to any professional sports team ever.

  1. The same applies to trading a superstar talent so a GM can "put his own stamp" on a team. To a lot of people the Rockies are a joke, but they are a professional organization (perhaps more now than ever), and the degree to which the media pushing the Tulowitzki trade narrative have refused to look at the on-field-numbers-and-scouting-reports incentive for the Rockies to deal their best player is insulting.

  1. Trading Tulo opens up the floodgates. It would no longer make any sense to keep Carlos Gonzalez, Justin Morneau and Jorge De La Rosa, and may even mean looking at parting with players like Nolan Arenado and Corey Dickerson, especially if the return value is mostly prospects.

  1. Trading Tulo inevitably pushes back any window of contention, which those young guys aren't going to like, if they don't also get traded.

  1. Call it a gut feeling, but Arenado won't sign an extension if Tulo leaves unless the team immediately improves, which is unlikely.

  1. Trading a generational talent with six years of control remaining because the team is playing poorly right now and everyone feels like crap is about the most shortsighted thing the front office could do.

  1. Any team trading for Tulo is likely looking to contend right now, which makes them equally as likely to want to hold onto their impact pitching -- the only thing it makes sense to trade Tulo for.

  1. Read No. 22 again.

Reasons to trade Tulo:

  1. You believe there is a decent chance Tulo is going to figuratively fall off a cliff in terms of his production sometime in the next three or four years -- before he turns 35.

  2. You believe the Rockies can get a massive haul for Tulo that includes prospects and impact MLB talent that is either under team control or likely to re-sign here through 2020. And under those circumstances, anyone on any team is tradeable.

  3. You aren't thinking about this from a long-term perspective of the Rockies or their fans.