Jul 28, 2015 12:35 PM

Rockies, Blue Jays swap star shortstops

The Associated Press

DENVER (AP) The Colorado Rockies and Toronto Blue Jays have swapped star shortstops.

The teams confirmed the blockbuster trade Tuesday that sends Jose Reyes and right-handed pitchers Miguel Castro, Jeff Hoffman and Jesus Tinoco to the Rockies for Troy Tulowitzki and right-handed reliever LaTroy Hawkins.

Both shortstops have remarkably similar career statistics but also a history of injuries.

Tulowitzki is a five-time All-Star and a career .299 hitter. He's hitting .300 this season. At 32, the speedy Reyes is two years older than Tulowitzki. He's a lifetime .291 hitter and is hitting .285 this season.

Reyes, a four-time All-Star, is signed through 2017 on a $106 million, six-year contract he received from Miami.

Before the 2011 season, Colorado made a big commitment to Tulowitzki by agreeing to a contract that guaranteed him $132 million over seven seasons from 2014-20. The deal included a $14 million team option for 2021 with a $4 million buyout.

Combined with his previous deal, it meant the Rockies agreed to pay Tulowitzki $157.75 million over 10 years. The plan was to build around him and outfielder Carlos Gonzalez, who signed an $80 million, seven-year contract about the same time.

But the plan never panned out. The two sluggers often weren't in the lineup together because of injuries. Now, with the Tulowitzki trade, Gonzalez might be next considering how hot he's been at the plate lately after an injury-riddled 2014 season.

The deal gives Toronto (50-50) another powerful, right-handed bat in a dangerous lineup that includes Jose Bautista, Josh Donaldson, Edwin Encarnacion and Russell Martin. The Blue Jays, by far the highest-scoring team in the majors, are three games behind Minnesota in the race for the second AL wild card.

They are tied for second place in the AL East, seven games behind the New York Yankees. Toronto has not reached the playoffs since winning the 1993 World Series the longest drought of any major league team.

The face of Colorado's franchise, Tulowitzki has spent his entire career with the Rockies (42-55) but has been the subject of trade talk for some time. Still, the Blue Jays seemed an unlikely destination.

"Tremendous player," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said in San Francisco. "Sometimes you're surprised when you have a guy like Tulo who's so iconic in Colorado."

There's no doubting the hitting prowess of the 6-foot-3 Tulowitzki. Staying healthy has been his biggest challenge. During his career, he's had stints on the disabled list for a quadriceps tendon tear, lacerated right hand, broken left wrist and a groin injury.

Last season, Tulowitzki played only 91 games before undergoing hip surgery. This year, he's been injury free, with manager Walt Weiss resting him on occasion to save wear and tear.


AP Baseball Writer Janie McCauley in San Francisco, and AP Sports Writer Jay Cohen and freelance writer Brian Sandalow in Chicago contributed to this report.


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