Dick Monfort, owner of the Colorado Rockies, has made it clear that the team will not consider trading star players Carlos Gonzalez and Troy Tulowitzki. But we all know that’s just code for “we’d like to trade them, but we’re going to make teams pay through the nose to get them.”
In the case of Tulowitzki, the New York Mets need a shortstop among other things, and they also need to a big star to pair up with David Wright. Tulowitzki fits the bill for both, but should the Mets be willing to overpay to get him in a trade with the Rockies?
Mets’ insiders have theorized that a package of catcher Travis d’Arnaud and pitchers Dillon Gee and Rafael Montero could be a fair exchange for Tulowitzki. With d’Arnaud, the Rockies would get a young player at a key position with All-Star potential. They would get an established big league pitcher with Gee, and they would get a pitcher who is all but ready for the big leagues with Montero.
It seems about fair, especially considering the large contract the Mets would take on with Tulowitzki.
However, outside of d’Arnaud, the players in the trade lack a high ceiling, and the Rockies may be unwilling to give up their All-Star for a trio of average or slightly above-average players, especially if they’re going to drive a hard bargain.
In order to complete the trade, the Mets may have to part with a high-ceiling pitching prospect who’s close to reaching the majors, and the only player that fits that description is top prospect Noah Syndergaard. If they were to include either Syndergaard or Zack Wheeler, the Mets would likely be able to put together a package that would make the Rockies part with Tulowitzki. But would it be worth it?
The answer is a flat-out no. The Mets need a shortstop badly, and in a place like New York, they can never have enough stars on their team. But considering Tulowitzki’s age, hefty contract and injury history, he’s not worth a potentially elite young pitcher. The young arms the Mets have aren’t sure things, but neither is consistent production out of Tulowitzki for the remainder of his contract, and the Mets are better off trying to win with their young pitchers than an aging hitter.
Moreover, the Mets, or any other team for that matter, shouldn’t cave to Colorado’s high demands for their stars. The Rockies should be a little more willing to part with those huge contracts and settle for a more modest collection of prospects in return for Tulowitzki. The Mets should talk with the Rockies about their star shortstop, but they should not overpay in a trade to get him.