Colorado Rockies superstar Troy Tulowitzki has been in the middle of trade rumors for quite some time now, but a recent quote from his agent, Paul Cohen, to the New York Post saying he might ask to be dealt has speculation ramping up.
Tulowitzki cleared the air with reporters soon after he spoke with Cohen and says he would never demand a trade. We'll take Tulo at his word, but that will not stop the rumors as Colorado once again wavers in last place this season.
Jon Heyman of CBS Sports wrote a story on Friday looking at the best fits and possible landing spots for Tulowitzki. On the top of that list? The Washington Nationals.
Now, Heyman doesn't suggest he is listing the teams - 11 in total - in any sort of order, that the Nationals would either be the most logical or most likely destination for Tulowitzki. Regardless, the connection has Nats fans quite fired up.
Heyman points out how Mike Rizzo "has at different times made it clear to Colorado that they'd want to be involved if Tulowitzki talk really got serious." He also notes how Ian Desmond, their current shortstop, is a free agent after this season. Throw in the fact the Nats have pitching and the Rockies do not, and dots can be connected.
On the face of it, a deal between the Rockies and Nationals would seem unlikely. The asking price has to be astronomical and the Nationals already have one of the best shortstops in the business on their roster.
A deal this big would also seem more likely to happen in the offseason. Rizzo has shown a penchant for making big surprises, but not midseason. That, at least up until this point, has not been his style.
But prices to pay and not having a need hasn't stopped Rizzo in the past. Many said the same things this offseason when rumors broke out about the Nationals and Max Scherzer. Then they signed him.
And much like Scherzer, it's hard to argue a guy like Tulowitzki wouldn't make the Nationals better. Scherzer instantly became the Nats' best pitcher when he signed. Tulowitzki would immediately become their best player.
Tulowitzki's contract is also, depending on his health, not that bad considering his talent level as a player. The four-time All-Star is due $129 million through 2021 - a span of seven seasons - and the final year is a team option.
Tulowitzki is owed $20 million this year and in each of the next four seasons. That's less than Jayson Werth will make annually through 2017. Werth is a very good player, but Tulowitzki is a great one.
To get Tulowitzki, the Nationals would likely have to part with a collection of their top pitching prospects and maybe even some big league talent. It would be a blockbuster deal, no question about it.
The likelihood of that happening, especially midseason, would seem very slim. But it wouldn't be the first time the Nationals pulled off a shocking move.