Tag:Troy Tulowitzki
Posted on: December 11, 2010 12:57 pm
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Longoria open to career Rays deal

Evan Longoria
Maybe I'm a skeptic (OK, I'm definitely a skeptic), but Evan Longoria's comments in this St. Petersburg Times story seem ... let's call it "conveniently timed."

"Tampa Bay is the place I want to be for the rest of my career if I can," the Rays third baseman said. "If there's an opportunity to do something like that, I would think long and hard about it."

The story came out the day the Red Sox announced their monster signing of Carl Crawford, the most iconic player in the Rays' short history. The mantle of Rays cornerstone now passes to Longoria, the 25-year-old who has been an All-Star in each of his three seasons.

Is Longoria looking at the sense of loss being felt in Rays-ville and seeing an opportunity to improve on a contract he probably regrets signing?

Just six days after making his major-league debut in 2008, Longoria signed a contract with options that allow Tampa Bay to keep him through 2016, three years past what would have been his first year of free agency. That contract is a huge bargain for the team -- the maximum they would have to pay him is $44 million, for nine years. He made just $950,000 this year and would have been a Super Two this winter, making him arbitration-eligible. He'll earn $2.5 million next season, much less than he would have earned in arbitration, and he'll be a big bargain in his other would-be arbitration-eligible years as well.

That contract cost Longoria untold millions. So does he look at the monster $119 million extension recently signed by Troy Tulowitzki (described as Longoria's friend in the Times piece) and think a "lifetime" deal looks pretty good? No doubt. And if the Rays are in the mood to placate the fan base right about now, hey, nothing wrong with floating the idea.

-- David Andriesen

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
Posted on: November 30, 2010 5:52 pm
Edited on: November 30, 2010 5:59 pm
 

Rockies talking extensions with Jimenez, Gonzalez

Ubaldo Jimenez Even though Tuesday's news conference in Denver was all about Troy Tulowitzki, Rockies general manager Dan O'Dowd didn't want to make his other stars feel left out.

O'Dowd said he's reached out to Ubaldo Jimenez and Carlos Gonzalez to let them know the team wants to give them long-term deals, too, Jim Armstrong of the Denver Post writes .

Like Tulowitzki, both Jimenez and Gonzalez are under team control for several years. Gonzalez won't be arbitration-eligible until 2012 and Jimenez is under contract through 2012 with team options for 2013 and 2014.

O'Dowd said he talked to Gonzalez's agent, Scott Boras, but Boras prefers to get players into free agency as soon as possible, and the Rockies would be looking to sign him through his initial free-agency period.

Jimenez signed a four-year deal worth $10 million before the 2009 season. He'll make just $2.8 million next season, and even with his options, they'll max out at $6.75 million for 2013 and $9 million for 2014.

"We're open to anything," O'Dowd said when asked what the team could do with Jimenez.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

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Posted on: November 30, 2010 3:32 pm
Edited on: November 30, 2010 3:33 pm
 

Breaking down Tulowitzki's payday

Troy Tulowitzki
Not included in the original report of the monster extension signed by Rockies shortstop Troy Tulowitzki was the fact that it includes an option year -- in 2021. After games in 2021, I assume Tulowitzki will go home in his flying car and have a nice meal of soylent green.

The option is for $14 million, which the Rockies are banking won't be very much money then. Here are the specific details of the contract, as reported by Buster Olney of ESPN.com:

*2011: $5.5 million
*2012: $8.25 million
*2013: $10 million
2014: $16 million
2015: $20 million
2016: $20 million
2017: $20 million
2018: $20 million
2019: $20 million
2020: $14 million, plus $6 million in incentives
2021: $14 million option with $6 million in incentives, or $4 million buyout
* covered under previous contract

That's $163 million guaranteed between now and the end of the deal, with a total max value of $179.75 million. According to Wikipedia, that would be the sixth-largest sports contract in history (technically it doesn't count, though, because three of the years were part of his old deal).

It also will set precedent for future long-term deals. The Reds would love to lock up Joey Votto, but John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer talked to someone with the Reds who said a $20 million per year deal is impossible under their payroll structure.

-- David Andriesen

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Posted on: November 30, 2010 12:47 am
Edited on: November 30, 2010 8:07 am
 

Rockies making huge splash

Troy Tulowitzki
The Rockies have seldom been major players in the free-agent market, but they definitely have a track record for taking care of their own. And Monday night, word broke that they are on the brink of making a couple of major commitments.

The big one is essentially a lifetime deal for shortstop Troy Tulowitzki. He's already wrapped up through 2014, but the Denver Post reports that the Rockies are set to give him a seven-year extension worth $134 million that would take him through the 2020 season, when he'll be 36. It's an extraordinary move to commit guaranteed money to a player 10 years in advance, but the Rockies are gambling he'll be a perennial All-Star and in the end the deal will prove to be a bargain.

Tulowitzki was nothing short of phenomenal in 2010, leading all MLB shortstops in average (.315), on-base percentage (.381), slugging percentage (.568) and home runs (27). He missed more than a month after his wrist was broken by a pitch, or he might have put up some record-breaking numbers. He hit an insane 15 September home runs with 40 RBI. And by the way, he's also considered by many the best defensive shortstop in the game.

Hall of Famer Tracy Ringolsby of insidetherockies.com says that in addition to the existing contract, Tulo's new deal activates his 2014 club option at $14 million and adds $119 million for six additional years.

It will go down as a footnote now, but the Rockies also are poised to re-sign left-hander Jorge De La Rosa, which just a week ago seemed extremely unlikely. Troy Renck of the Post says it's unclear whether it will be a two- or three-year deal (things were thought to have broken down with De La Rosa's insistence on a four-year deal, but apparently the market was softer than he thought), which in the latter case would be worth about $30 million.

Big, big night for the Rockies.

-- David Andriesen

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Posted on: November 22, 2010 2:06 pm
Edited on: November 22, 2010 2:15 pm
 

One MVP vote, deconstructed


Joey Votto It seems we have better ways of measuring value than we have of defining it when it comes to baseball nowadays.

There are, of course, WAR (wins above replacement) and RAR (runs above replacement) and WPA (win probability added) and a ton of others that are out there or even in development now. Of course, even if you pick one you like, such as WAR, there are different formulas; the two great statistical websites of the day, FanGraphs.com and Baseball-Reference.com, differ on how they calculate WAR.

And in the end, what does it mean? What defines value? Does a player have to not only help his team win, but do you put more emphasis on those players whose teams ultimately win more? And how much of that is due to that player or his teammates?

Is the MVP vote for the best player or the most outstanding or the most valuable?

I'd always wondered these things, and now I actually had to come up with an answers, as I voted for the MVP for the first time this year. I'd voted previously for the Cy Young, but not the MVP.

The actual ballot -- which was e-mailed to me -- has these rules, the same that were written on the first ballot in 1931:

1. Actual value of a player to his team, that is, strength of offense and defense.
2. Number of games played.
3. General character, disposition, loyalty and effort.
4. Former winners are eligible.
5. Members of the committee may vote for more than one member of a team.

That doesn't help all that much, it leaves it open to interpretation and debate, which makes it quite fun.

It's also noted on my ballot that all players are eligible for MVP, including pitchers and designated hitters. Voting for the National League, I don't have to worry about the DH, but not that offense and defense are noted on the ballot rules.

The only statistic mentioned on the MVP ballot is games played, and that hurts a starting pitcher.  

There are those who see the Cy Young as a pitcher's award and the MVP as a position player's award. I'm not one of those. But I do find it difficult to put a starter in the same category. As you'll see in my ballot, I do have two starting pitchers in my Top 10. Both had outstanding seasons and were among the most valuable players in the league, though I'm not sure they had the same value as an everyday player.

In the end, I'm not sure there's a right answer. That's why 31 other people vote and we try to come up with a consensus, not just on an MVP but also on what the MVP means.

Albert Pujols In researching my vote, I made a spreadsheet with more than 30 players, and categories including WAR (both FanGraphs and Baseball-Reference), OPS, OPS+, HR, UZR, games played, ERA, WHIP, xFIP and others. There were more I could use and in the end, I'm not sure any of these made the difference, I just liked seeing them all in front of me. I also did further research on a final list of 20, before whittling it down to about 12 and ranking them. I also talked to players, managers, coaches, scouts and other writers.

You might not agree with my ballot, but I hope you do realize I take this very seriously and put a lot of thought and work into it. With that said, here are the 10 players I turned into the BBWAA on my ballot and a little reasoning.  

1. Joey Votto, Cincinnati -- Votto had an outstanding season offensively and has continued to improve defensively. He also helped lead his team to the playoffs for the first time in 15 years, no small feat.

2. Albert Pujols, St. Louis -- Consistently the best player in the game. It says something that in what is somewhat of an "off" season for him, Pujols is still as good as anyone and a worthy candidate for winning the MVP. Votto edged Pujols in just about every stat besides home runs and RBI.

3. Adrian Gonzalez, San Diego -- Another first baseman with a great season. Gonzalez had much less around him than either Votto or Pujols, yet still put up great numbers and nearly led his team to the playoffs.

4. Troy Tulowitzki, Colorado -- Tulowitzki gets dinged a bit for games played, but when he did play, he was incredible. He's a great defensive player, and maybe one of the best all-around in the game.

5. Carlos Gonzalez, Colorado -- Gonzalez pushed at the triple crown, but his home/road splits were drastic -- just like his team, which was 52-29 at home and 31-50 on the road.

6. Roy Halladay, Philadelphia -- the unanimous selection for the Cy Young Award speaks for itself.

7. Matt Holliday, St. Louis -- Cardinals fans seemed to have something against the guy (well, maybe his huge contract), but he ended up with a spectacular season.

8. Adam Wainwright, St. Louis -- had a lower ERA than Halladay and his WHIP was just a tick higher.

9. Ryan Zimmerman, Washington -- like Tulowitzki, one of the best all-around players in the game. His defense gives him a boost in WAR, because he's that good.

10. Aubrey Huff, San Francisco -- Huff had a quiet great season -- until the playoffs. Remember, these votes were due before the playoffs, but he was very good even before the postseason began.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.

Posted on: November 12, 2010 11:32 am
Edited on: April 18, 2011 11:51 am
 

MLB Facts & Rumors National League MVP

The major baseball awards will be announced next week, and the staff at MLB Facts and Rumors is making our choices this week. Today, David, Evan and Trent name their National League Most Valuable Player selections. As with the BBWAA awards, a first-place vote is worth 14 points, second place nine, third place eight and so forth, with 10th place getting one point.

Albert Pujols has won three MVPs, including the last two. Pujols led the league in home runs (42) and RBI (118) and picked up both he Silver Slugger and Gold Glove at first base, but he certainly has a challenger at the same position in his very own division in Cincinnati's Joey Votto, who led the league in on-base percentage (.424) and slugging (.600) (and therefore, OPS as well). He also led his team to the playoffs for the first time in 15 years.

There's also Carlos Gonzalez, who like Pujols and Votto, flirted with the Triple Crown, and ended up winning the batting title with a .336 average.

So, how did the Facts & Rumors team see the NL MVP race? Well, here you go.

NATIONAL LEAGUE MOST VALUABLE PLAYER

Joey Votto David Andriesen
1. Joey Votto, Reds
2. Albert Pujols, Cardinals
3. Troy Tulowitzki, Rockies
4. Matt Holliday, Cardinals
5. Adrian Gonzalez, Padres
6. Carlos Gonzalez, Rockies
7. Ryan Zimmerman, Nationals
8. Aubrey Huff, Giants
9. Ryan Braun, Brewers
10. Dan Uggla, Marlins

How crazy is it that Albert Pujols can lead the league in home runs and RBI, put up an OPS of 1.011, and be seen as having an “off” year? That’s how high the bar is for that guy. I’ll have no problem with it if he wins his third consecutive MVP, I just think Votto was a hair better. The guy led the league in on-base percentage AND slugging percentage. And you can’t say his number are a product of the hitter-friendly ballpark in Cincinnati, because he hit 52 points better on the road than at home.

Evan Brunell
1. Joey Votto, Reds
2. Albert Pujols, Cardinals
3. Adrian Gonzalez, Padres
4. Carlos Gonzalez, Rockies
5. Brian McCann, Braves
6. Troy Tulowitzki, Rockies
7. Matt Holliday, Cardinals
8. Dan Uggla, Marlins
9. Ryan Zimmerman, Nationals
10. Andres Torres, Giants

Votto was transcendent, cracking the .400 OBP and .600 slugging percentage barrier and somehow outperforming Albert Pujols in virtually every category. The aborted chase for the Triple Crown was also fun while it lasted.

C. Trent Rosecrans
I voted for the NL MVP and the BBWAA asks voters not to release their ballots before the voting is announced, so I won't reveal my ballot yet. I will, however, post it and some of my thinking on Nov. 22 after the award is announced.

MLB Facts and Rumors National League Most Valuable Player
And Joey Votto wins his first MVP, while Pujols is second, followed by another first baseman, San Diego's Adrian Gonzalez. In this poll (of two), Carlos Gonzalez finishes fifth, after teammate Troy Tulowitzki. The real results come out Nov. 22, but expect Votto to top Pujols again.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
Posted on: October 22, 2010 6:50 pm
 

Players choice finalists announced

Carlos Gonzalez In September, major-league players voted for the Players Choice Awards, coordinated by the union. Friday, the MLBPA released the three finalists for each of the awards, which will be announced over the course of next week.

Player of the year (both leagues): Carlos Gonzalez (Rockies, pictured), Josh Hamilton (Rangers), Joey Votto (Reds).

Man of the year (for off-field efforts): Torii Hunter (Angels), Brandon Inge (Tigers), Troy Tulowitzki (Rockies).

NL outstanding player: Gonzalez, Albert Pujols (Cardinals), Votto.

NL outstanding pitcher: Roy Halladay (Phillies), Ubaldo Jimenez (Rockies), Adam Wainwright (Cardinals).

NL outstanding rookie: Jaime Garcia (Cardinals), Jason Heyward (Braves), Buster Posey (Giants).

NL comeback player: R.A. Dickey (Mets), Tim Hudson (Braves), Aubrey Huff (Giants).

AL outstanding player: Jose Bautista (Blue Jays), Miguel Cabrera (Tigers), Hamilton.

AL outstanding pitcher: Felix Hernandez (Mariners), David Price (Rays), CC Sabathia (Yankees).

AL outstanding rookie: Wade Davis (Rays), Neftali Feliz (Rangers), Austin Jackson (Tigers).

AL comeback player: Freddy Garcia (White Sox), Vladimir Guerrero (Rangers), Francisco Liriano (Twins).

-- David Andriesen

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Posted on: October 16, 2010 12:52 am
 

R.I.P. Rockies: Talented trio not enough

As the sports world waits for the crowning of a champion, 22 other teams are busy preparing for spring training. What went wrong for these teams, and what does 2011 hold? MLB Facts and Rumors here at CBS Sports will be answering those questions through all of October. Today: The Colorado Rockies.

For a while there, it looked like the Rockies were going to do it again.

A 15-12 August, followed by a 10-game winning streak in early September, got the Rockies in position to pull off another of their late-season runs toward the playoffs. They were just a game back in the National League West on September 18, and Troy Tulowitzki was playing like Superman.

But alas, it was not to be. In fact, they finished in exactly the opposite fans hoped, dropping an amazing 13 of 14 to finish the season in third place, nine games out.

WHAT WENT WRONG

The Rockies got some amazing performances from their star players, but didn’t get enough help beyond those guys.

Second base was a disaster, as Clint Barmes batted .235. Todd Helton struggled with a bum back and saw his average drop 69 points. Outfielder Brad Hawpe, an All-Star a year earlier, was so bad the team released him in August. The guy who finished 2009 as the closer, Franklin Morales, got demoted. Chris Iannetta signed a three-year contract and completely forgot how to hit. Beyond the stellar Ubaldo Jimenez, none of the starters managed to finish more than a game over .500.

Troy Tulowitzki And then there were the injuries, of which the Rockies had more than their share. Aaron Cook had his leg broken by a line drive. Huston Street started the season hurt and his replacement, Manny Corpas, ended up with Tommy John surgery.  Tulowitzki broke his wrist. Four of the five starting pitchers went on the disabled list.

The other major factor was Colorado’s miserable performance on the road. A year after notching a winning road record, they went just 31-50.

WHAT WENT RIGHT

Three things went very right: Tulowitzki, Jimenez and Carlos Gonzalez.

Jimenez provided the highlight of the year April 17 when he pitched the franchise’s first no-hitter (after 18 years) in Atlanta. Jimenez was untouchable in the first half of the season, going into the All-Star break 15-1 with a 2.20 ERA. Reality caught up to him in the second half, when he went 4-7, but he still finished as a 19-game winner.

Tulowitzki had one of the most spectacular months anyone has ever put together, with 15 homers and 40 RBI in the season’s final 30 games. The Rockies only had six other players with as many as 40 RBI FOR THE SEASON, let alone in a month. Tulowitzki overcame the wrist injury to finish with a .315 average and a .919 OPS.

Gonzalez arrived in a big way in his first full season, putting together an MVP-worthy campaign. He won the batting title, had 117 RBI and finished with a .974 OPS, leading the league in total bases. On July 31, he hit a walkoff homer to complete a cycle. He was just fun to watch all season.
 
HELP ON THE WAY

Chris Nelson’s time may have arrived after the problems the Rockies had at second base. Nelson batted .280 in 17 major-league games and .313 the rest of the season at Triple-A.
 
EXPECTATIONS FOR 2011

The Rockies have a nice core to work with, and the NL West showed itself to be up for grabs this season. A little better luck with injuries, another bat and better play on the road, and there’s no reason they shouldn’t contend next year.

Todd Helton SUGGESTIONS FOR 2011

The Rockies need to get deeper. They have some weapons, but this year showed they need a better supporting cast.

Word is they’re looking for another impact bat and interested in Victor Martinez. If Martinez is open to converting eventually to be a full-time first baseman, it would be a great fit. They could let Miguel Olivo go, hope Martinez can mentor Iannetta, and prepare for life after Helton.

Seth Smith is probably no longer in the plans as an everyday outfielder, and there are some options out there.

The Rockies also have to figure out the rotation, as they’re probably going to lose Jorge De La Rosa and have an option on Jeff Francis that’s probably too rich for the Rockies’ blood.

2011 PREDICTION

The Rockies could actually be headed for a step back, simply because Tulowitzki, Gonzalez and Jimenez are statistically unlikely to repeat what they did this season. If the supporting players don’t step up, it could be another third-place finish.

Check out the rest of the R.I.P. reports here.

-- David Andriesen

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed .

 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com