Jays GM de­fends Tu­low­itzki deal


Toronto Blue Jays gen­eral man­ager Alex An­thopou­los couldn’t miss the chance to get one of the top short­stops in base­ball, even at the cost of more prospects.

An­thopou­los ac­quired short­stop Troy Tu­low­itzki and re­liever LaTroy Hawkins in a trade with the Colorado Rock­ies on Tues­day in ex­change for short­stop Jose Reyes, re­liever Miguel Cas­tro and mi­nor-league pitch­ers Jeff Hoff­man and Je­sus Tinoco.

Cas­tro and Hoff­man are con­sid­ered two of the Blue Jays’ top young play­ers but An­thopou­los could not pass up the chance to get Tu­low­itzki.

“We’re get­ting the best short- stop in base­ball in our minds, and those op­por­tu­ni­ties just don’t present them­selves,” said An­thopou­los.

Talks be­tween the Blue Jays and Rock­ies be­gan last off­sea­son, with Toronto pur­su­ing Tu­low­itzki. Ac­cord­ing to An­thopou­los, Colorado’s counter of­fers al­ways in­cluded Hoff­man and the deal got done when the Blue Jays agreed to his in­clu­sion late Mon­day night.

“You al­ways like to keep your prospects if you can but, again, if you have op­por­tu­ni­ties to get guys that you think are great fits we’re ob­vi­ously will­ing to do that,” said An­thopou­los. “Ideally you hang on to them but you also re­al­ize you’re not go­ing to get guys for free.

“We don’t have a cut and dry pol­icy, we’d like to keep as many as we can but that’s the cost of ac­quir­ing play­ers.”

Hoff­man and Cas­tro join a long list of prospects that An­thopou­los has traded for proven vet­er­ans. Noah Syn­der­gaard, Travis d’Ar­naud and Adeiny Hechavar­ria have also been shipped to other teams for more ex­pe­ri­enced play­ers.

The tal­ented but oft-in­jured Tu­low­itzki is a five-time all-star who is hit­ting .300 with 12 homers and 53 RBIs in 87 games this sea­son. He has spent his en­tire 10-year MLB ca­reer with Colorado.

The 30-year-old Tu­low­itzki gives Toronto (50-50) another pow­er­ful, right-handed bat in a dan­ger­ous lineup that al­ready in­cludes Jose Bautista, Josh Don­ald­son, Ed­win En­car­na­cion and Rus­sell Martin. Toronto’s com­mit­ment to Tu­low­itzki is sig­nif­i­cant, and not just in the as­sets lost. He is in the sec­ond year of a seven-year deal worth a guar­an­teed US$132 mil­lion.

“We’re al­ways fo­cused on the short and the long-term and we felt that an ac­qui­si­tion like this would ad­dress both,” An­thopou­los said. He also pointed out that although Hawkins plans to re­tire at the end of the 2015 sea­son, he’ll help the Blue Jays’ be­lea­guered bullpen as the team makes a push for the post-sea­son.


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