Blue Jays staff: “Sir we need pitching badly. Our two best pitchers are 40 and 36 respectively. We need another starting pitcher.”
General Manager: “I understand.”
Staff: “Sir I just found out you traded for Troy Tulowitzki?”
GM: “Yes. We needed offense right?”
Staff: *Sighs* “No… wait we got Tulo???”
All joking aside, I really don’t understand this trade. Sure Tulowitzki is the best hitting shortstop in the majors but Toronto already leads MLB in run differential. What they needed was another starting pitcher. With the market having a surplus of pitchers, there was no reason that Toronto couldn’t go out and get a pitcher like Kazmir, Cueto, or even David Price. They also gave up a lot for Tulo. Toronto traded their shortstop Jose Reyes, Miguel Castro, and two other pitching prospects and in return they got Tulowitzki and a 42 year old reliever LaTroy Hawkins.
Not everything is bad though. Toronto did just receive arguably the best hitting shortstop, when he is healthy that is. As mentioned above, they have the best-run differential in baseball and the addition of Tulo is just going to make that number swell even more. Joining a lineup that already includes Jose Bautista, Edwin Encarnacion, and Josh Donaldson, it raises another question: Where is Tulo going to hit? Most suspect that he’s going to be in the 5 spot behind those three sluggers mentioned above.
All kudos to the Toronto GM for getting Tulo, but it still makes absolutely zero sense. I mean look at the White Sox. They have a horrible run differential and yet they are only three games under .500. That’s because they have amazing starting and relief pitching. So even if you have a terrible offense, pitching always beats hitting. In my own personal opinion Toronto failed at this midseason trade. If they wanted to catch the New York Yankees then they needed to get pitching. With the surplus of pitching out there, they could have sent some of their prospects.
Toronto’s GM doesn’t believe in “rental” pitchers. Then go out and get Hamels. Hamels still has three years left on his contract. That’s setting the tone that you’re ready to build a playoff contender! Your plan to reach the playoffs has failed because your starting pitching is terrible. If Toronto really wanted to catch the Yankees, then they would have made a trade for an ace, not a middle of the lineup presence. Good luck to Tulowitzki in Toronto.