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Why did the Rockies trade Troy Tulowitzki for Jose Reyes?

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It's easy to figure out why the Blue Jays traded Jose Reyes (and a few minor-league players) for Troy Tulowitzki. Tulo is a great defensive shortstop who, even with a slow May this year, is batting .300/.348/.471, and has hit .333/.400/.533 since his slump ended on May 29. Sure, he's owed at least $98 million from 2016 through 2020, but the Jays are owned by Rogers Communications, and Toronto is an enormous market that the organization hasn't fully tapped into financially yet. They can spend if they choose to, and grabbing Tulo suggests they might have just chosen to in order to try to snap their 21-season playoff drought.

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The Rockies and Reyes, though? Reyes isn't owed anywhere near as much total money, but he's also older and significantly worse now that he's no longer a good defender at short. He's still owed a minimum of $48 million between 2016 and 2017. Maybe Reyes will be flipped to another team before the deadline, but even then, this is a strange acquisition. That's because the Rockies didn't get a whole lot else for their greatest trade asset, one teams have wanted to pry from them for years. Basically, we're left waiting to see what they get by flipping Reyes -- if anything -- and what they do with the money they cleared by dealing Tulo's future away.

Jeff Hoffman is a great prospect, but he's also just one guy. Miguel Castro is a 20-year-old arm with major-league bullpen experience and some promise, but he's not a major building block. They're lovely to have, but at the cost of bringing back Reyes while losing Tulowitzki? This deal makes you appreciate what the Phillies have been doing with Cole Hamels so far: they've demanded a huge return for a piece that they could still rebuild around if they chose to, not feeling forced to move him just to clear payroll. The Rockies certainly acted as if they absolutely had to trade Tulo, because seriously: Jose Reyes. In 2015!

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