Report: Rockies trade Troy Tulowitzki to Blue Jays for Jose Reyes and prospects

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The Blue Jays have pulled off a stunner, as FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal reports that that they have acquired five-time All-Star Troy Tulowitzki from the Rockies. Jose Reyes and a package of minor leaguers are headed back to Colorado while LaTroy Hawkins is also being sent to Toronto. No word yet on the financial details involved.

While many expected the Blue Jays to make a big splash for a pitcher, they apparently decided to strengthen what was already the best offense in the majors. After coming back from hip surgery, Tulowitzki has managed to stay healthy this season while batting .300/.348/.471 with 12 home runs and 53 RBI over 87 games. It was reported over the weekend that the Mets inquired on Tulowitzki only to find that the Rockies weren’t motivated to move their face of the franchise, but the Blue Jays obviously changed their thinking on the matter.

Tulowitzki receives a $2 million assignment bonus for being traded and is owed $100 million through 2020. His contract also includes a $15 million club option for 2021. He was only permitted to be traded once during his contract, so he now has a full no-trade clause.

Reyes would appear to be a strange fit for the Rockies, who have prospect Trevor Story at Triple-A and should be focused on rebuilding as opposed to acquiring players on the wrong side of 30 years old. Unless getting out from Tulowitzki’s contract was a major motivation behind the deal. For what it’s worth, FOX Sports’ Jon Morosi hears that Reyes is likely to be flipped to another team. Either way, this is the second time Reyes has been traded since signing his six-year, $106 million deal with the Marlins in December of 2011. The 32-year-old still has two years at $22 million remaining on the deal and a $22 million club option or $4 million buyout for 2018.

UPDATE, 1:37 a.m. ET: Jon Heyman of CBS Sports reports that right-hander Miguel Castro is one of the prospects headed to Colorado, confirming buzz from FOX Sports’ Jon Morosi.

UPDATE: The Toronto Sun’s Bob Elliot reported that the Rockies are also getting right-hander Jeff Hoffman, the Jays’ first-round pick in 2014. So at least the Rockies are coming away with two of Toronto’s best young arms.

Scott Boras: Astros players don’t need to apologize

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Ken Rosenthal spoke to Scott Boras about the Astros’ sign-stealing scandal. Boras’ take: the Astros need not apologize for what they did. They were mere babes in the woods who were ignorant of everything. I wish I was making this up. Scotty Baby:

“I’m doing what my organization is telling me to do,” Boras said on Wednesday, describing the hypothetical mindset of a player. “You installed this. You put this in front of us. Coaches and managers encourage you to use the information. It is not coming from the player individually. It is coming from the team. In my stadium. Installed. With authority.”

The analogy Boras used was the speed limit.

A man driving 55 mph in a 35-mph zone only believes he is speeding if the limit is clearly posted. Likewise, Boras said Astros’ players who committed infractions only should apologize if they were properly informed of their boundaries.

It’s worth noting two things at this juncture: (1) Scott Boras represents José Altuve and Lance McCullers; and (2) He’s 100% full of crap here. Indeed, the contortions Astros players and their surrogates are putting themselves through to avoid accountability is embarrassing.

The players knew what they were doing.  Please do not insult me by saying they didn’t. Boras is doing what he thinks he needs to do to protect his guys. I get it, that’s his job. His client Altuve in particular stepped on it last weekend when he and other Astros players tried to play the “we’re going to overcome this adversity/no one believed in us” card which played terribly, and the super agent is trying to clean up the mess as best he can. Hat tip to him for his hustle, which he has never not shown. Guy’s a pro.

But he can only do so much because this all remains on the Astros’ players. Yes, the formal punishment is on the manager, the general manager and the club, and I agree that it had to be given all of the complications of the situation, but now that that’s over, it’s time for some honest accountability. And we’re getting zero of it.

Which is insane because the players were given immunity. They’re 100% in the clear. That they cheated has angered a lot of people, but it does not make them irredeemable. As I have noted here many times, lots of others did too. But their lack of accountability over the past couple of weeks speaks very, very poorly of them.

“We crossed a line. No question. We’re sorry. We don’t think it caused us to win anything we didn’t earn, but we see how we created that perception ourselves through our own actions. We shouldn’t have done that. Going forward we’re going to be better. Again, we’re sorry.”

That’s about all it’d take and it’d be done. It’d be pretty easy to say, if for no other reason than because that’s probably what’s gone through their minds anyway. They’re not bad people.

But they’re also observers of America in 2020 and, I suspect, everything they’ve seen, consciously or unconsciously, has counseled against them saying those very simple words or something like them.

Everything that’s going on in America right now — politics especially — tells people that the path to success is to cheat, steal and lie in order to benefit themselves and themselves only. It’s also telling them that, if they get caught, they should lie and deny too. It works. The media, for the most part, will not call anyone of status out on a lie, even if the lie is ridiculous. At most it will repeat the denial like a stenographer reading back from a transcript fearing that to do any more would be to — gasp! — reveal an opinion. “Shlabotnik says that he was cloned by Tralfamadorians and it was his clone, not him, who stole the signs.” Heaven forbid someone add the word “falsely” in there. They won’t because if they do they’re going to be accused of being “biased” or “political” or whatever.

If you see that — and we all see it — why wouldn’t you be predisposed to avoid apologizing for anything? Why wouldn’t you try to offer some canned, facially neutral talking points and hope that everyone is satisfied that you’ve spoken? Why wouldn’t you, having done that for a few weeks, begin to believe that, actually, you’re right not do say anything more. And  that, maybe, you were never in the wrong at all? That’s were we are as a country now, that’s for sure. And given that sports reflects society, it should not be at all surprising that that attitude has infected sports as well.

Astros owner Jim Crane tells Rosenthal that there could be an apology in spring training. “Quite frankly, we’ll apologize for what happened, ask forgiveness and move forward,” Crane said.

One thing I’ve learned in life is that when someone says “quite frankly,” what follows is going to be insincere most of the time. Another thing I’ve learned is that, in comments such as Crane’s, the emphasis is strongly on the “move forward” part of things. He wants an apology to put an end to a bad news cycle. When it comes, it will be P.R.-vetted and couched in the most sterile and corporate language imaginable. It will be anything but sincere.

In the meantime, the rest of the Astros don’t seem to want to offer an apology at all. Why should they? What’s making them?