Monday, November 29, 2010

Colorado Rockies sign All-Star shortstop Troy Tulowitzki through 2020

The silence of the offseason has abruptly ended. The Colorado Rockies have reportedly agreed on a contract extension with All-Star shortstop Troy Tulowitzki that will keep the 26-year old in purple pinstripes through 2020.

The usual fans were starting to gain momentum in their theory that the Monfort brothers, who own the Rockies, could care less about winning, but instead are simply focused on signing second-rate players who would keep the payroll down.

However, the front office of the Rockies quickly put that notion to rest with this signing. The shortstop is coming off of a season in which he hit .315 with 27 home runs and 97 RBIs, all while missing 33 games with a broken wrist.

Since 2003 the Colorado Rockies have shifted their focus from going out and signing big name free agents and spending money as if they play in New York or Boston to focusing on the draft and player development. The results have undeniably good for the club. After two playoff appearances in the last four seasons, including one trip the the World Series, it is hard to deny that the build-from-within model was working.

The model for the team, however, was beginning to reach its next critical stage. After developing all of that talent, does the team simply become a farm team for the rest of the league, allowing stars to walk away when they reached free agency? Or would the team pony up money and sign the players that they wanted to stick around?

The Rockies are answering that question with the signing of Tulowitzki. They are not going to be playing the same type of Moneyball that the Oakland Athletics play, they will not be like the Pittsburgh Pirates, trading away their talent before they had to shell out any sort of money to keep them. These Rockies are developing from within and the talent that is willing to stay, will be rewarded with large contracts to keep them around.

This move is great for fans of the Rockies. The heart and soul of the club will be around long-term. The club has shown their commitment to not making the team a revolving door with talent that would only play for championships with other teams.

It will be interesting to see what all of those who can't help but rip on the Rockies will have to say about this move. The real Rockies fans, however, will spend their cold November night celebrating a great move by the Rockies, and reassurance from the front office that they are committed to winning, not just making money.

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  1. here's my take on the signing. hope it works out better than it has for the Cubs!

  2. John Mark,
    Thanks for sharing. There is no doubt about it. There is risk involved with signing these guys to long term deals. However, I think Rockies fans have to be happy that their team is actually trying to make calculated moves instead of being the typical mid to small market team that just ships their guys off around the third year of arbitration.

    The risk is great, but the upside is also great. Like you mentioned in your article, in eight years, $20 million for the best shortstop in baseball might be a huge bargain.

    As far as Jorge De La Rosa, throw out his career numbers. The guy was a mental mess when he came to the Rockies. After figuring it out midway through 2009, he went 16-3 with a 2 something ERA. If he wouldn't have had a fluke injury in 2010 I think he would have won 14 or 15 again. The Rockies mental skills coach has been phenomenal with him and others. Colorado is a good fit for him.

    You are absolutely right, moves like this are risky, but without taking chances like this, the Rockies are going to be a perennial wild card hopeful at best with young players. If the moves work, the Rockies are perennial World Series hopefuls. That sounds a whole lot better to me.

  3. This is such an excellent move. By doing this the rockies G.M. makes his job so much easier over the next 10 years. Pay no attention to the trade deadline or waiver wire ever again. We are now cash strapped to pick up any players or make any significant move for the next 10 years. Clearly the Rockies are thinking about playing with 8 players next year and having Tulo play the entire left side. let's just forgo a third baseman completely. With that kind of money he should be able to cover the entire side by himself. God forbid he gets hurt as well. Most players after signing a multi year deal that sets them up for life play extremely well and there stats always go up complacency never sets in. I look forward to sitting next to the Rockies G.M. at all Sky Soxs games this summer. His only job now is to watch the farm system and decide when he brings a new player up and another down to ensure that we fans hold on to a team that plays 500 ball and is still mathematically alive in august by being just 6 games out of wild card race. I can't wait!

  4. Are we being compared to the Pirates? I agree with the above statement 100% but I will take it to a new level. This contract on further review is so back end loaded that being a farm system to the Red Sox, Yankees, Mets etc. is exactly what we are doing. This thing is done with complete smoke and mirrors. By the time the Jeeter deal gets done which will be for 3 years max. The Rockies will trade him to the Yankees citing competitive balance for the organization all the while fooling us fans by thinking we tried to keep him here and never really going after the complete puzzle and raising payroll with some intelligent moves to work us up to the elite teams