Tuesday, July 28, 2015

The Trading Post #38: Wish They Still Came With Bubble Gum

Well, it finally happened.

2009 Upper Deck Signature Stars #97 Troy Tulowitzki
As you've surely heard by now, Troy Tulowitzki has been traded to the Toronto Blue Jays. He's headed up to Canada with LaTroy Hawkins, the oldest player in the Majors. In return, the Rockies will be getting shortstop Jose Reyes, along with a slew of young right-handed pitchers, adding to a promising list of minor-league pitching talent with high prospect ratings.

Tulo's been part of trade rumors for years, and with a new GM in the front office, if they were ever going to trade him, this was the year to do it. He's been healthy and productive, especially in the run-up to his All-Star selection, so as they say, sell high.

He's been the face of the Rockies for a long time, especially following Todd Helton's retirement, so I'm sure that many in Denver will sorely miss him, myself included. Jose Reyes, presumably the new shortstop (assuming they don't flip him, as has been speculated), isn't quite the player he once was, and is definitely a defensive downgrade, meaning the left side of the Rockies infield will have to rely even more on Nolan Arenado's magic.

It would have been nice to get a more immediately viable pitcher rather than three unproven prospects. One of them has already had Tommy John surgery, and the Rockies have don't a great track record developing pitching, but at least the front office recognizes that something had to be done. It'll be a long time before this trade can truly be evaluated, but hopefully at least one of the many pitching prospects in the Rockies system turns into a top-30 pitcher.

Anyway, I'm glad that Jeff from Wish They Still Came with Bubble Gum included a Tulowitzki card in a stuffed PWE I received a while ago, as he's certainly the headline of MLB news today.

2015 Bowman Chrome Prospects #BCP52 Jon Gray
With all this talk of pitching prospects in the Rockies pipeline, Jon Gray's name has come up quite a bit in the last 24 hours. He's the highest-rated pitcher in the Rockies farm system, though he has been slow to develop to a major-league-ready level.

On the card side, which I haven't really mentioned so far, this is my first look at 2015 Bowman. The backs haven't changed all that much, but at least they gave it a relatively distinctive design, for Bowman.

2015 Bowman #48 Justin Morneau
The non-chrome non-prospect version is pretty much the same, except for the team logo and name migrating over to the left, and a healthy amount of Rockies purple both front and back. Morneau is currently on the disabled list, freeing up first base for Ben Paulsen to have lots of playing time. Though Paulsen made a pretty serious blunder last week, he redeemed himself in that same game.

2014 Topps Target Red Border #20 Charlie Blackmon
I went to the game on Friday night, capturing a beautiful sunset that makes Coors Field such a joy to visit.

A photo posted by AdamK (@adamk0310) on

It happened to be Charlie Blackmon bobblehead day, though I didn't arrive early enough to get one. A coworker did, however, and it even comes with a fuzzy beard. Quite true to life, though you wouldn't know it from that Target parallel above.

1998 Pacific #291 Walt Weiss
I'm sure manager Walt Weiss didn't have such a great evening yesterday. How do you even break that news to your star player when it comes from above? Such a scenario makes turning an awesome double play like this look easy, even against his former team, likely taken during the first year of interleague play.

2003 Upper Deck #494 Charles Johnson
Charles Johnson was nearing the end of his career when he came over to the Rockies, having spent most of his career with the Marlins. He was a good power hitter for a catcher, hitting an even 20 home runs during his first season in Denver.

One thing I particularly like about this Upper Deck base card is the disembodied catcher's arm and mitt in the lower right, a bit of a nod to Johnson's defensive position.

1994 Fleer #457 Eric Young
Fleer gave us a very basic design in 1994, although the photo on this card is pretty blurry and obviously blown-up, something more typical of Fleer a decade or so prior. Still, Eric Young can be seen with that trademark smile while running the bases (or more likely a drill, given the lack of a batting helmet).

1994 Leaf #44 Eric Young
He's a bit more all-business on this Leaf card from the same year, and his pose here is reminiscent of his leadoff home run at the Rockies' inaugural home game in 1993, one of the happier Rockies moments in their relatively short history.

Though Tulowitzki may now be just another powerful right-handed bat in an already stacked Blue Jays lineup, he's still given the Rockies years of wonderful memories, which makes it that much harder to see him go. Maybe he'll follow in Young's footsteps and come back to coach once he's retired. I'm sure Denver would welcome him with open arms.

1 comment:

  1. Always sad to see a guy like Tulo go, I see they are talking about trading CarGo as well. Arenado not a bad franchise player though