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It is about that time. The time where New York Mets fans are suddenly beginning to see the ever so far away light at the end of the tunnel. Through a patient plan scheme headed by an all-star cast including GM Sandy Alderson, assistant GM JP Ricciardi, and scouting-boss Rick DePodesta (the same guy who was played by Jonah Hill in the film Moneyball), Mets fans are finally feeling the optimism they have been so impatiently longing for.
While New York still sits in fourth place in the NL East with a 51-55 record, they’ve won 14 of their last 21 games, and pitching is the plant that is finally blossoming, according to MLB. Bartolo Colon, Jon Neise, Dillon Gee, Zack Wheeler and Jacob deGrom have been spectacular. DeGrom has been especially phenomenal, as he was named NL co-player of the week this past week.
This pleasant and unexpected surprise of deGrom means that the Mets have added yet another young pitching stud to an already loaded system, as let’s not forget about the injured Matt Harvey, and the boys in the minors (Noah Syndergaard and Rafael Montero).
As the July 31 trade deadline quickly approaches, there is a certain star SS in Colorado that is rumored to be begging out of town. Troy Tulowitzki has now made it known that he wants out of Colorado. The Mets and the Rockies are perfect trade partners. The Mets need a corner-stone bat in the worst way and the Rockies are a struggling franchise that wants young power arms.
Heck, Tulowitzki might have as well worn a “for-sale sign” on his chest when he went to Yankee Stadium as a fan last Sunday.
Putting aside the issue of whether Tulowitzki would accept a trade to the Mets, lets discuss if it makes sense for the Mets to acquire the super star.
There’s no doubt Tulowitzki is a stud. He is a glove and bat that can do it all at the SS position, and at only 29-years-old has plenty of time left. Most Mets fans are aching for a major move, and acquiring Tulowitzki would be just that. The Mets' payroll is hovering around the $80 million mark, and adding Tulowitzki would by no means strap them for cash.
In essence, it would perfectly balance out the roster where a few young arms would exit and that franchise everyday player would come in. The Mets have eight or nine legitimate pitchers in the system, while only five guys make up an MLB rotation. It is the most obvious move. Alderson will trade at least two of them at some point.
But is Tulowitzki the right guy?
Like I said, Tulowitzki is a stud. He has a career BA of .299 and has smashed 20 HR’s or more in six seasons, according to BaseballReference. Power is a very valuable asset at the SS position. However, he is only a stud when he is in the lineup. Injuries are a part of the game of baseball, and Tulowitzki has been labeled a very injury-prone baseball player.
Through his career, Tulowitzki has only reached the 127-game mark in three of his nine MLB seasons. That is, my friends, the definition of a guy who struggles with injuries. This includes last season, where he only played 126 games, and 2012, in which he played only played 47.
Because the Mets are not yet in any real pennant race, they have the advantage of time. Not becoming desperate and playing it cool is exactly what Alderson and the front office plans to do.
Signing a free agent means money spent, but it also means not killing the farm. It is such a simplistic way to look at building a team, but holds true every time. Why would the Mets trade valuable pieces for a guy that hardly ever sees the field because of injuries? It would be a very risky move. Instead, they can acquire a guy that won’t cost as much, play out the season, then sign a guy in the winter (that does not have injury concerns).
The other thing to consider is the Coors Field factor. Tulowtizki, along with every other Rockies hitter, loves the thin-air of Colorado. His splits considerably favor his home games. Moving from Coors Field to Citi Field could be a tough transition and one that might limit his power immensely.
It's way too risky to bring in Tulowitzki at the price that Colorado is asking for. If Tulowitzki had only an average injury history, then I’d be “all-in” for this move. That’s not the case though, as his injury history is deplorable.
I’ll ask you this Mets fans: Colorado will be asking for Zack Wheeler, Noah Syndergaard and possibly another piece for Tulowtizki. Are you willing to trade two of the most valuable trade chips in all of baseball for a guy that might only play 100 games a season? Or are you willing to play the patient game for another nine months and feel absolutely loaded come 2015? There will be other opportunities to acquire that every day franchise player, a guy who’s history will say he will stay healthy and is younger than 29.
The move is yours Sandy Alderson.