The NL Rookie of the Year voters faced a difficultÂ decision at the end of last season. Both Ryan Braun and Troy Tulowitzki made strong cases to receive the award and it was difficult to choose between them. Ultimately, Braun ended up with the honour and in retrospect that seems a fair result.
Apart from his ROY trophy, the Milwaukee youngster came out of 2007 relatively empty-handed. Firstly, his efforts were not enough to save the Brew Crew from a demoralising collapse that enabled the Cubs to take the NL Central crown from their grasp. More recently, he has had to suffer the indignity of being moved from his preferred fielding position, following his much-highlighted struggles at the hot corner (committing twenty-six errors will tend to get you noticed).
Tulowitzki on the other hand may well have been disappointed at not adding the ROY award to his resume, but he can hardly complain at how his first year panned out. An NLCS ring accompanied by a World Series appearance is not bad going in your rookie season. According to reports, he will be adding to that World Series bonus as well.
MLB.com states that, pending a physical, Tulo will sign a six-year contract with the Rockies that will guarantee him $30 million. Any lingering thoughts that he might not have made the right career move can be well and truly put to rest!
This deal makes complete sense for the Colorado Rockies. While Tulo still had at least one year before he became arbitration eligible (he probably would have become a ‘Super Two’ player at the end of the coming season), agreeing to this deal will almost certainly save them some money over the next five years. Add in the fact that they’ve bought his first potential year of free agency and it begins to look like a real bargain. The Rockies can plan ahead without worrying about the potential disruption (both financial and emotional) that arbitration can bring. Ryan Howard, for example, looked to have his contract on his mind at the beginning of last season and he and the Phillies are a not insignificant $3 million apart in their valuation this year (all this after failing to agree a similar multi-year deal).
It’s been a fairly quiet off-season in Denver, but put this deal together with the extensions agreed with Matt Holliday, Jeff Francis and Aaron Cook, and it’s clear that the Rockies are building a strong core of players to build around for several seasons to come. Although their team’s showing in the Fall Classic may have been a disappointment, fans in Colorado have good reason to hope that they won’t have to wait too long for another shot at winning their first World Series title.