Christian Petersen/Getty ImagesNovember 30, 2010
The silence of the offseason has abruptly ended. The Colorado Rockies have reportedly agreed on a contract extension with All-Star shortstop Troy Tulowitzki that will keep the 26-year-old in purple pinstripes through 2020.
The usual fans were starting to gain momentum in their theory that the Monfort brothers, who own the Rockies, could care less about winning but instead are simply focused on signing second-rate players who would keep the payroll down.
However, the front office of the Rockies quickly put that notion to rest with this signing. The shortstop is coming off of a season in which he hit .315 with 27 home runs and 97 RBIs, all while missing 33 games with a broken wrist.
Since 2003 the Colorado Rockies have shifted their focus from going out and signing big name free agents and spending money as if they play in New York or Boston to focusing on the draft and player development. The results have been undeniably good for the club. After two playoff appearances in the last four seasons, including one trip to the World Series, it is hard to deny that the build-from-within model was working.
The model for the team, however, was beginning to reach its next critical stage. After developing all that talent, does the team simply become a farm team for the rest of the league, allowing stars to walk away when they reached free agency? Or would the team pony up money and sign the players that they wanted to stick around?
The Rockies are answering that question with the signing of Tulowitzki. They are not going to be playing the same type of Moneyball that the Oakland Athletics play, they will not be like the Pittsburgh Pirates, trading away their talent before they had to shell out any sort of money to keep them. These Rockies are developing from within and the talent that is willing to stay, will be rewarded with large contracts to keep them around.
This move is great for fans of the Rockies. The heart and soul of the club will be around long-term. The club has shown their commitment to not making the team a revolving door with talent that would only play for championships with other teams.
It will be interesting to see what all of those who can't help but rip on the Rockies will have to say about this move. The real Rockies fans, however, will spend their cold November night celebrating a great move by the Rockies and reassurance from the front office that they are committed to winning, not just making money.