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Blue Jays pull off stunning trade for Troy Tulowitzki as Orioles talk about making moves

The Baltimore Sun
Did the Toronto Blue Jays just wrap up a playoff spot by trading for All-Star shortstop Troy Tulowitzki?

Your move, Dan Duquette.

The Orioles’ executive vice president of baseball operations said again Monday that his team is in the playoff chase and that he’s looking to improve the club.

Don’t wait too long because one of the teams you’re battling for a playoff spot, the Toronto Blue Jays, just got a whole lot better.

Already leading the majors in runs scored by a wide margin, the Blue Jays traded for Colorado Rockies All-Star shortstop Troy Tulowitzki early this morning, according to wire reports. The nonwaiver trading deadline is Friday at 4 p.m.

The Blue Jays will also receive 42-year-old reliever LaTroy Hawkins. Toronto is sending shortstop Jose Reyes along with reliever Miguel Castro and two minor league pitchers to the Rockies.

The Orioles won their third straight game Monday night, 2-1, on walk-off home run by catcher Matt Wieters.

The win kept the Orioles tied with the Blue Jays for second place in the American League East, seven games behind the New York Yankees and three games out in the wild-card race. But the Blue Jays, lacking starting pitching, must have decided they are just going to outscore everyone else as they fight for a playoff spot.

What’s interesting is that the Blue Jays already had a good shortstop in Reyes (batting .285 with four home runs, 16 stolen bases and a .708 OPS) who was leading off and setting the table for the Jays’ sluggers. Who bats leadoff now? Toronto’s best on-base percentage guy is Jose Bautista, who’s hitting just .234 but getting walked a lot. Do you move Bautista to leadoff and put Tulowitzki (batting .300 in 87 games this season, with 12 home runs and an .831 OPS) in the third spot?

Who cares? At least the Blue Jays are trying to do something.

All O’s manager Buck Showalter can do is move players up and down the lineup and hope someone off the bench catches fire. He’s starting Ryan Flaherty at first base for crying out loud.

At the very least the O’s can pull the plug on Travis Snider, David Lough and Chris Parmelee. Two of those three should go, and until Steve Pearce comes back, bring Christian Walker up to play first base. He’s hot right now. Maybe it will carry over from Triple-A Norfolk.

The Orioles better hope Ubaldo Jimenez rediscovers what was working in the first half. If he gets lit up again, the O’s are in deep trouble.

While it’s nice to have the best defense in baseball, you can’t field home runs. And the Blue Jays, 7-5 against the O’s this season, just pulled off a stunning trade to get the best player available and another power bat.

Your move, Dan Duquette.

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