In an article published to CBSSports.com, MLB analyst Jon Heyman suggested the Washington Nationals as the top fit for Colorado Rockies’ superstar Troy Tulowitzki. Could the Nats be in on the 30-year old shortstop? Heyman thinks so, saying, “GM Mike Rizzo has at different times made it clear to Colorado that they’d want to be involved if Tulowitzki talk really got serious.”
With Ian Desmond‘s impending free agency looming, Washington spent all of last offseason swirling in trade rumors surrounding the Expos 3rd Round Pick in the 2004 MLB Draft. Despite these talks, however, Desmond suited up for Opening Day in a D.C. uniform.
Now, through 37 games, the Nationals’ shortstop has not been playing at the level that has come to be expected of him. Having committed a league-leading 11 errors while sporting a .231/.280/.340 slash line with only two home runs, it is expected that the front office may be feeling uneasy about his performance.
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Troy Tulowitzki on the other hand, has been one of the line bright spots on the Colorado roster, hitting .284/.292/.448 with 15 extra-base hits in 32 games. He does have a lengthy injury history, not playing in more than 126 games since 2011. He also left last night’s game with left quad tightness, but the injury is not considered serious and he is listed as day-to-day.
With how reluctant the Rockies ownership has been to deal Tulo, they will likely require top prospects, particularly pitching, in return. While Lucas Giolito is most likely untouchable, as Heyman points out, “they also have A.J. Cole, Reynaldo Lopez, Erick Fedde and Joe Ross. They are also known for pulling surprises.”
Not only would the Nationals benefit from gaining Tulowitzki’s bat in their lineup, as the division rival New York Mets have been rumored to be seeking Tulo as well. As shortstop is the biggest hole in their roster, Tulowitzki could be the missing piece that drives New York to a dominant season.
Tulowitzki’s contract is worth $188 million through 2020, with a team option for 2021. The Washington Nationals, while with deep pockets, have a lot of money committed to other players over that span. It would however, substantially improve their chances of bringing home a title in 2015 and beyond. Even with prospect Trea Turner joining their organization this summer after he completes his full year of service time in the minors and Wilmer Difo hitting .318 at double-A Harrisburg, it could be in Washington’s best interest to at least consider a trade for Tulo.