Rockies Trade Troy Tulowizski to the Blue Jays for Jose Reyes
In a transaction mlbtraderumors.com describes as “stunning,” the Rockies today traded Troy Tulowitzki and LaTroy Hawkins to the Blue Jays for Jose Reyes, minor league pitchers Jeff Hoffman and Miguel Castro and a player to be named later.
On paper the deal makes sense for both teams, but has high risk for both teams. The Rockies are trading away the current face of the franchise for a guy who has underwhelmed the last couple of seasons and is two years older than Tulo. Jose Reyes could (seemingly) regain his youth playing in the thin air 0f Denver, or he could continue to underwhelm under the withering gaze of fans who aren’t happy to see their hero traded away.
I suspect that this is the moment we find out what Jose Reyes is truly made of, at least in terms of being a professional ball player. If Reyes handles the initial hostility and has enough left in the tank to take advantage of Coors Field as the offensive wonderland it is, the fans will forget Tulo soon enough, at least if the Rocks start winning a majority of their games.
Miguel Castro seems to be the most valuable piece of the deal for the Rocks. Jeff Hoffman is a former 9th overall draft pick who had Tommy John surgery and has pitched well at Class A+ and AA this season. However, his strikeouts per innings pitched rate hasn’t been as impressive as one would like, and I don’t think we’ll know until well into the 2016 whether he just needed some time to adjust to professional baseball or he hasn’t come back from elbow surgery with the same stuff he had before.
This is a bold move for the Blue Jays, and one has to wonder if it isn’t an overreach for a team currently at an even .500. Playing in the AL East, a team with the financial resources of the Jays needs to build a winning team out of young players obtained through the draft and through trades of veteran players during uncompetitive seasons. Trading away top pitching prospects when the team is still playing .500 ball seems like a stretch.
At the end of the day, the deal has a faint stink of desperation emanating from both franchises.