The other day I wrote a fun article (at least I thought so) about the Blue Jays .500 struggle being as hard as a Cannibal Corpse album, well, sort of something like that, any who … Moving on …
But in it, I (sarcastically) touched on a couple of Blue Jays topics that I could write about since they were the mainstream noise surrounding the good Birds at that time.
And since then, Andrew Stoeten has given his, as always, insightful and straight up (like a Hemingway Scotch and Soda, well, I guess that’s not straight up, but you can read where I’m going with this) raw truth about two of the topics I touched on, one, of course, being about Kevin Pillar and the other about Troy Tulowitzki (and if you haven’t read them, I think you should go do that once you’re finished reading this).
And he again, as always, hit a damn home run to the 500 level of the ol’ Dome of thoughts in both. But in his Tulowitzki piece, he touches on a harsh reality that all Jays fans are going to have to come to grips with (well, at least, that’s how I interpreted it) and that’s the inevitable back end of his contract.
Troy Tulowitzki is in the fourth-last season of a contract that will see him paid $20 million this year, $20 million in each of 2018 and 2019, and $14 million in 2020, with a $4 million buyout on a 2021 option. His wRC+ for the 2017 season so far is 65.
Stoeten later breaks down the dirty FanGraphs math involved, and then in his comical ways examines the stages of the 'Tulo fans grieving' process: anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance.
And it was at this point where I realized, I am sadly in the stage of acceptance, as I still quietly hold onto a hope that the Tulo of yesterday is going to show up for tomorrow.
And don’t get me wrong here, I am not writing some bleak ‘Tulo sucks’ piece, but there is no denying that having that kind of money locked up in a player whose numbers are declining and ends up on the DL more times than I have drunk ordered pizza is kind of a bit of a ‘depression stage’ kind of an issue, so maybe I'm in the depression stage, I dunno.
And, I know, the 2015 run gave us the bat-flip, the roars, and the big Canadian hoser, EH! But Jose Bautista may have been right when (at the time) he criticized the ‘blue collar’ hero Alex Anthopoulos for acquiring Tulo from the Rockies. Now, I’m not going to get into all of those yadi-yadi-yas, but I do remember thinking when the deal was made, AWESOME, but Jeff Hoffman? JEFF HOFFMAN?! HOFFMAN! Because at that time, he was arguably the best pitching prospect the Birds had in the farm, so there’s that.
And don’t sit there silently cussing me, while you think that this Jays Droppings guy is trying to act like the Tulo trade was bad because I’m not suggesting that at all. When that trade happened, I was bat flipping (pre bat-flip days, of course) to the damn baseball moon in little boy excitement when the news broke.
I actually remember reading one of Stoeten’s articles, which I think was titled, ‘Holy Shit Troy Tulowitzki Is A Blue Jay’, or something along those baseball lines and thinking this is the coolest thing EVER because TROY TULOWITZKI IS A BLUE JAY! TROY TULOWITZKI!
Anyway, I digress – or am I moving forward? Damn it …
… Oh yeah, so now Jeff Hoffman is rockin’ the dirt hill Casbah to a worth of 1.2 wins as Stoeten notes, and the days keep pushing on into the future, as we have been seeing with Tulowitzki, which brings me to the point of this piece.
Do I think Tulo can bounce back? I sure hope so, BUT I lost my great grandmother’s crystal ball, so I just don’t know. The one thing that is certain though is that this contract is going to get expensively dirty fast.
And there is this kid (if the Toronto FO decide not to trade him) named, Bo Bichette, who is a shortstop, and, well, one of the Blue Jays top holy-are-you-kidding-me-he-is-that-good-prospects that will be ready one day to take the ol’ Dome field.
In his last 10-games, Bichette, who is nineteen, is hitting .447 down in Lansing (as I type this), and making a ton of Lugnut noise, which continues to be heard all across the MLB twitter world.
So where does that leave Tulo? Is he the one guy on this team that the Blue Jays FO should focus on trading to free up money that can be spent on resigning Josh Donaldson? Who knows?
Is his contract untradable?
I don’t think any contract is untradable ever since Anthopoulos traded Vernon Wells, and, if this is the case, should the Blue Jays explore trading Tulo before it’s too late?
Again, I don’t know, these are just thoughts bouncing around in the old baseball noggin.
At the end of the day, my heart absolutely wants to see Tulo slash a productive line and be the baseball machine he once was, but it might be time to accept something that I pretend is not there.
I hope I’m wrong, maybe I'm still in the depression stage.