In the world of trades in sports, you win some, and you lose some. At the time, this was a trade the Toronto Blue Jays seemed like they couldn’t lose. While their record at the time was questionable for a playoff push, the acquisition of Troy Tulowitzki from the Colorado Rockies in July 2015 was a major boost for the Jays. Unloading a worn out Jose Reyes and three prospect pitchers, Miguel Castro being the most notable at the time, The Jays infield instantly became the best in the majors, with MVP-caliber Josh Donaldson at the hot corner and silver slugger Edwin Encarnacion at first base. While he gave the Jays an immediate boost into their first postseason appearance in 22 years, it’s simply not worked out since. Injuries, inconsistencies and straight up deterring skill have seen Tulowitzki go from an MVP caliber player to an average, if not below average shortstop in today’s league.
At 33 years of age, it seems like Tulo’s best playing days are over. Last season, the five-time all star hit .249 with 7 home runs and 26 RBI over an injury-riddled 66 games played. Every time he stepped up to the plate, you could almost guarantee it was either a strikeout or a ground ball to short. It’s too bad, because if he was half as productive as he was in Colorado, chances are the Blue Jays could have another World Series title to their name. Instead, the Jays lost to the Royals in the 2015 ALCS, David Price left for the Red Sox, and after another ALCS visit in 2016, the Jays are back to where they have been for the majority of the last 20 years.
If you’re Ross Atkins, you have to look at the organizational depth at shortstop and realize there’s better options out there. With Aledmys Diaz and Yangervis Solarte both within the organization, they can both outplay Tulo, at least at the plate. With Tulowitzki not projected to be ready on opening day, the Jays should plan as if he’s not even coming back. While he’s still set to make $20 million per season through the 2020 season, he’s played nothing close to the money he’s currently getting. It’s time to turn the shortstop position into a three-way battle, giving all three players a chance at the every day starter role rather than giving Tulowitzki the reigns and just having Diaz and Solarte for when he goes down.
It’s going to be an interesting season of Blue Jays baseball, with so many questions regarding Josh Donaldson, Troy Tulowitzki and the pitching depth, odds are things will probably go the same way they did last season, but if the stars align, we could be in store for much more.