Questions have been swirling over the past two weeks regarding the Colorado Rockies’ apparent willingness to part with shortstop Troy Tulowitzki and/or outfielder Carlos Gonzalez. The New York Mets have been mentioned in connection to both players as we are slightly more than 24 hours away from the trade deadline.
Certainly the Mets have a need for both. Ruben Tejada still has not shown he is a franchise shortstop and left field is still pretty much an open battle between Chris Young and Eric Young Jr. with both hitting under .240.
Let’s breakdown what it would take for these deals to come to fruition. Tulowitzki has expressed his disappointment with the direction the Rockies are headed and therefore has been talked about more frequently in trade talk. The problem is that he would be very expensive. Tulo is owed $126 million through 2019, and while the Mets likely have the payroll to make that happen, there has been a hesitation among the organization to offer those kinds of huge contracts. Additionally the Mets will have to give up a good chunk of their young talent. Noah Syndergaard has been mentioned as the Rockies’ target though there will almost certainly need to be more names involved. Syndergaard is the Mets’ top prospect and I don’t see them being willing to give him up at the moment.
This trade will likely not happen before the July 31 deadline but could resurface this offseason. That said, if Tulowitzki is going to be moved, the consensus is that 2014 is the year that it’ll happen.
What about CarGo? Gonzalez will be cheaper than Tulowizki both financially, due only about $60 million, as well as in terms of prospects. I would expect the Mets to be able to hold on to Syndergaard in this deal, should it happen.
The big question with both All Star quality players is their health. Gonzalez and Tulowitzki both have seen their fair share of time on the disabled list. Gonzalez saw the DL twice already this year and Tulo is currently injured and unable to play. An additional question is how productive they will be away from Coors Field. Playing in Denver well above sea level means that the air is thinner and the ball travels further. As a result, batter’s statistics can sometimes be inflated by the ballpark. Citi Field is certainly not as hitter-friendly and would raise questions about whether or not these guys could still be as good as advertised.
In short, neither of these deals is not going to happen by the deadline. The Mets would be giving up way too much at this point to force a trade in little time and the Rockies have no reason to move quickly as both players are under long term contracts.
That said, don’t be surprised if the Mets reach out to the Rockies this offseason. I think Gonzalez is the more likely target because of how highly regarded Noah Syndergaard is to the organization. He would bring both power and speed to a team that will be relying heavily on their pitching staff in the near future. If the Mets really think that their time is near, an acquisition of a big name talent could help push them over the rest of the teams in the division.