The Toronto Blue Jays have acquired shortstop Troy Tulowitzki from the Colorado Rockies, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports first reported early Tuesday morning.
Shortstop Jose Reyes and top prospects Jeff Hoffman and Miguel Castro will head to the Rockies, reports Rosenthal, Jon Heyman of CBS Sports, and Thomas Harding of MLB.com. Heyman also reported that Jesus Tinoco is going to Colorado.
The Blue Jays also acquired reliever LaTroy Hawkins from the Rockies as part of the agreement, Rosenthal adds.
Tulowitzki will receive $2 million as an assignment bonus for being traded. With the deal, his contract now becomes a no-trade clause into the future.
This deal comes as a complete shocker to the baseball world, as it was considered extremely unlikely that the Rockies were going to trade Tulowitzki. He was a cornerstone of their team and has an extremely large guaranteed salary over the next five seasons.
Tulowitzki is owed $94 million from 2016 until his contract expires following the 2020 season. He has a team option for 2021 that is worth $15 million with a $4 million buyout. Basically, he is guaranteed $98 million over five years.
The Blue Jays, in acquiring Tulowitzki, make their already league-leading offense in many categories, including runs per game, that much better. Tulowitzki is an instant upgrade over Reyes, being worth 0.2 more wins above replacement, and having a wRC+ that is 17 points higher.
Tulowitzki, this season, is hitting .305/.353/.478 with 12 homers and 52 runs batted in over 346 plate appearances. The five-time All-Star has battled injuries over his career, but playing on the turf in Toronto might not help him stay healthy. That'll be interesting to watch for over the rest of the season and into next year.
The Jays also acquired the relief pitcher that they have been coveting in Hawkins. While not a flashy reliever, Hawkins' stats have been good, pitching to a 2-1 record with a 3.63 ERA in 22 1/3 innings pitched. His 2.94 xFIP suggests that Hawkins has been outperforming his performance and the 42-year-old could be even better down the stretch than he is now.
It took a lot to pry the Rockies away from a controlled Tulowitzki, including two of the upper echelon prospects in the Blue Jays' system. Hoffman ranked as the No. 3 prospect with Toronto, Castro ranked No. 5, and Tinoco ranked No. 29. The Rockies' farm system gets immediately better with the inclusion of the three right-handers.
It's hard to know if they do get the better of this specific deal, as only Castro has touched the Majors, but they definitely do get deeper in their farm system, which is all the Rockies can ask for as a rebuilding team.
The most interesting part of the deal was Reyes heading to Colorado. It is possible that the Rockies try and flip him, as it would be easier to get a deal done for him than it was for Tulowitzki. Reyes still has two years left on his deal, but probably won't be with Colorado by the next time they contend.
Many teams could be interested in Reyes, most notably the Mets, who have coveted infield help for most of this month. With just a few days left until the trade deadline, all this will have to come together fast.
In our first blockbuster of the season, the Blue Jays and Rockies did not disappoint, moving one of the game's brightest stars in Tulowitzki out to Canada to become Toronto's shortstop.