The Cardinals’ quest to land a shortstop could heat up this week.
The Cardinals and Rockies are expected to discuss the parameters of a potential trade involving Troy Tulowitzki at this week’s MLB GM meetings, according to Yahoo! Sports’ Jeff Passan. The two sides reportedly have already had informal talks regarding such a deal.
Tulowitzki apparently isn’t the only shortstop on St. Louis’ radar, as the Cardinals reportedly have inquired about the availability of a shortstop from the Rangers, who have both Elvis Andrus and Jurickson Profar. Tulowitzki reportedly is the Cardinals’ preference, though, as he’s widely considered the best shortstop in baseball.
The Rockies have said publicly that they have no intention of trading Tulowitzki, who has seven years and $134 million remaining on the 10-year, $157.75 million contract he signed prior to the 2011 season. It’s also unclear whether Tulowitzki, who has a full no-trade clause, would accept a deal — either to the Cardinals or another team. There’s a chance, however, that Colorado could ultimately decide that the financial relief of a trade is worthwhile, and St. Louis could be an enticing landing spot for the 29-year-old given the Cardinals’ recent success.
As Passan notes, the Cardinals have the pieces to construct a deal for a superstar like Tulowitzki. Matt Adams‘ name reportedly was tossed around in previous talks, as the Rockies need a replacement for long-time first baseman Todd Helton. The Cardinals would likely have to part ways with a young pitcher as well, and Passan writes that Shelby Miller could fit that requirement, with either lefty reliever Kevin Siegrist or hard-throwing closer Trevor Rosenthal serving as another piece. St. Louis reportedly is unwilling to entertain any trade involving 22-year-old Michael Wacha, who dazzled down the stretch and into the postseason this year.
Tulowitzki hit .312 with 25 home runs, 82 RBIs and a .391 on-base percentage in 2013. He earned his third All-Star selection in what was a solid bounce-back season following a 2012 campaign that ended prematurely due to a groin injury. Tulowitzki finished in the top 10 in NL MVP voting each season from 2009 through 2011, eclipsing the 25-homer and 90-RBI mark each year.
Tulowitzki has an injury history, so acquiring him wouldn’t be without risk. He is one of the most productive players in the league when healthy, though, so landing him would represent a huge upgrade over the Cardinals’ current shortstop, Pete Kozma.