I'm stunned. I'm confused. I don't get it.
The Rockies traded Troy Tulowitzki away to the Blue Jays in a package that included LaTroy Hawkins, and did nothing else before the deadline. The second most recent trade the Rockies have made was all the way back in January when they traded minor leaguers Jose Briceno and Chris O'Dowd to the Atlanta Braves for David Hale and Gus Schlosser.
If you would have given me a 1,000 guesses at what the Rockies were going to do a month ago, I wouldn't have gotten here. I don't get it.
It's not just that the Rockies only traded Tulo though. It's that it appears as though they didn't really try to move anyone, including Tulo. It seems as if circumstance just sort of led the Rockies to this point instead of having a distinct plan to arrive here. Jeff Bridich likes to say that their "eyes and ears are open," and in this case, they were only opened by Anthopoulos.
This is where the timeline of the Tulo trade becomes important, and everyone involved seems to agree it came together faster than any of us thought possible.
Ken Rosenthal reported both before and after the Tulowitzki deal that the Mets got the impression as late as Saturday that the Rockies didn't want to trade him.
I believe this report.
Tulo said he felt blindsided by the move. I believe him.
Dick Monfort said he intended to keep Tulo in the loop about possible upcoming trades. I believe him.
Alex Anthopoulos and Jeff Bridich both said after the trade that things came together extremely quick. I believe both of them again.
In other words, the Rockies went from not feeling they were going to move Tulo before the deadline Monday afternoon, to being overwhelmed by a series of conversations they had with the Blue Jays on Monday evening and decided to turn the franchise on its head faster than John Axford could blow another save.
It's the most logical conclusion here. Otherwise, some combination of most of the following has to be true:
- The Mets are totally clueless (Okay, that one is possible)
- Bridich and Anthopoulos both fabricated the same story of how fast the deal came together. (Unlikely)
- Dick Monfort is a deceitful backstabber who only told Tulo he would keep him informed to shut him up. (Dick Monfort is not a bad guy. He shouldn't be acting as team president, but he loved Tulo, and he wouldn't do this to him.)
- Tulo has to be lying about being "blindsided" by the trade. (Impossible for me to believe seeing Tulo's face here. This is a man trying to hold back tears after just finding out his time with the only franchise he's ever known is probably over.)
So when the dust settles, it seems extremely likely that trading Tulo went from zero to sixty in the blink of an eye. All of that communication breakdown between the owner and the player happened because this just came together too fast for him to stay ahead of it. This is also supported by the complete lack of rumors surrounding this deal before it happened, and (as I'll get into in a moment) the Rockies completely uneventful rest of the deadline.
This means we can reasonably conclude that if Alex Anthopoulos didn't put the pedal to the metal and (apparently) go where no other GM was willing to go, the Rockies do absolutely nothing at the deadline. They weren't trying to sell off players as part of a larger plan. They got an offer they thought they simply couldn't refuse. (I have some very strong feelings on this regarding if that was a reasonable position to take and if this trade return is justifiable that I'll get into early next week, but that's a separate [even though somewhat related] article.)
So many players we thought might be moved are still here. Look at these names:
- Jorge De La Rosa (Has a no trade, but something you need to explore if you move Tulo.)
- John Axford (Couldn't get anything at the end, but at the All-Star break I'd be surprised if there was zero available.)
- Nick Hundley (Has value, not part of the next Rockies competitive team if you move Tulo.)
- DJ LeMahieu (Could be having his career year. Has value. Less likely to be part of next contention window if you move Tulo.)
- Charlie Blackmon (Again, could be having his career year. Has value. Less likely to be part of next contention window if you move Tulo.)
- Wilin Rosario (Don't know if any AL club had interest, but if they did, he should have been moved.)
- Drew Stubbs (Probably didn't have enough value, but had a monster July. Not part of the next contention window.)
- Carlos Gonzalez (Solid value. Red hot right now. Fully healthy for the first time in a while. Probably only had one year of possible team contention left if Tulo was kept, and probably has none now.)
The Rockies plan this July? Keep their eyes and ears open and trade the face of the franchise in isolation.
Again, I just don't get it.
When you make the most earth-shattering trade in franchise history, it needs to be done so it jives with the overall direction of the club, and so far, it doesn't.
If Alex Anthopoulos didn't talk to Jeff Bridich on Monday, the Rockies look exactly the way they did at the beginning of the month (maybe Hawkins goes somewhere else). Instead, they made a franchise altering move, not because they felt dealing Troy Tulowitzki was in their best interest a week ago, but because Alex Anthopoulos got aggressive.
Their inaction at the rest of the deadline all but cements this.