Say hey, baseball: Troy Tulowitzki is the new Matt Kemp
Your Christmas Eve baseball includes a passing of the torch to Troy Tulowitzki, insight into the Matt Kemp trade, and your 2014 World Series champion Royals.
Listen, we know it’s tough to catch up on everything happening in the baseball world each morning. There are all kinds of stories, rumors, game coverage and Vines of dudes getting hit in the beans every day, and trying to find all of it while on your way to work or sitting at your desk isn’t easy. It’s OK, though, we’re going to do the heavy lifting for you each morning, and find the things you need to see from within the SB Nation baseball network as well as from elsewhere. Please hold your applause until the end.
Baseball always needs a player who is on the verge of being traded at basically any time. Giancarlo Stanton was never that player, if only because it was usually fans of non-Marlins teams lusting after him more than any actual team, but Matt Kemp was definitely that player. When he signed his eight-year, $160 million deal with the Dodgers after the 2011 season, the idea was to show that the two sides had a strong relationship, one stronger than the trade rumors that were already surrounding him at all turns. The “end” to Kemp trade rumors was three years ago, but they kept on, nearly unabated, until he was traded to the Padres earlier this month.
Someone needed to fill Kemp’s role, but we didn’t have to wait long at all. The Kemp trade became official last Thursday evening, and on Friday, the Troy Tulowitzki trade rumors were back in full force. The emphasis there should be on the rumors part of that statement: negotiations between the Mets and Rockies have been ongoing for much of the offseason, but Jon Heyman reports that the two sides still need to figure out details such as who the Mets would be sending to the Rockies for Tulo, how the $118 million still guaranteed to Tulowitzki would be handled in the trade, and whether or not Rockies’ owner Dick Monfort even wants to trade his franchise player. You know, just some little stuff to seal the deal.
The Rockies supposedly need to see a return for Tulowitzki that is so great that they would be dumb to say no. The Mets are notorious for being clingy with the prospects they think will be any good as big-league players. The Rockies probably won’t want to pay for much of Tulo’s deal. if any, because all things considered — and yes, that includes his lengthy injury history — he’s a bargain in the present-day financial environment of the game. The Wilpons are hapless jokes who can’t put together a $100 million roster in the largest baseball market in the world, so they probably aren’t going to see eye-to-eye with the Rockies on the whole money thing. No wonder Rockies’ general manager Jeff Bridich dismissed these rumors.
Heyman mentions that the Yankees recently called to ask about Tulowitzki, but who knows if they have the prospects to acquire him, or if they were just calling (and leaking that information) in order to pour some salt on a gaping, Mets-shaped wound for the fun of it. All we do know is that Tulo is the new Kemp. He’s the superstar with a lucrative deal attached to his question marks, the one who is going to show up in rumors constantly until he’s finally traded. Whether that will be in time for 2015 or we have to endure a few more years of will they or won’t they first is the real question.
- The Matt Kemp physical put a scare in fans, but weighing the results is just part of the trade process.
- Would you like to pretend the Royals were the 2014 World Series champions? Take a trip to this Missouri store, and you can pretend with the best.
- These three forgotten free agents would be rich — okay, richer — had their careers gone just a little bit differently.
- The Red Sox have depth almost everywhere, and don’t necessarily need to trade it: depth can be the key to success over the course of a long season.
- The Dodgers are reportedly paying $18 million of Matt Kemp’s 2015 salary, meaning the Padres have $18 million more to play with than anyone thought they did.
- The Mariners haven’t been able to fill their outfield holes, so let’s play Brad Miller: Hypothetical Outfielder.
- Many of the American League’s teams have improved in time for 2015, but someone has to lose games.
- The Marlins once wanted to sign C.J. Wilson. Dan Haren wants to be traded to the Angels. Is there a deal to be made there? Or maybe he’ll end up on the Padres, in exchange for one of their 37 extraneous outfielders.
- Barry Bonds hitting zany dingers on a Japanese variety show. This needs no further introduction and you shouldn’t need further encouragement.
- Wil Myers had an attitude problem while with the Royals, apparently. Of course, if Myers were still on the Royals, he would be “fiery” and “an inspiration” and no one would care about the Royals because they wouldn’t have had James Shields pitching them to the postseason.