Troy Tulowitzki is a Toronto Blue Jay

Troy Tulowitzki is having a down year.

The shortstop is hitting .300/.348/.471 with 12 home runs and 53 RBI through 87 games. By wRC+, a park-adjusted catch-all measure of a player’s offensive ability, Tulowitzki is the fourth best offensive shortstop in baseball this season.

Troy Tulowitzki is so good at baseball that numbers such as those above lead people to say he is having a down year.

Troy Tulowitzki is now a Toronto Blue Jay.

With Friday’s trade deadline approaching, Toronto general manager Alex Anthopoulos pulled off a truly shocking trade in the wee hours of Tuesday morning. With the entire baseball world expect him to shore up his pitching staff — something he did, adding reliever LaTroy Hawkins along with Tulowitzki and, in all likelihood, is still trying to do — Anthopoulos made a major upgrade at shortstop.

Jose Reyes, despite some high-profile defensive lapses this season, is a premiere major league talent and he is paid accordingly. Reyes is owed $22 million in each of the next three seasons, though the third season can be bought out for $4 million. Nobody expected him to be traded. And yet Reyes is now with the Colorado Rockies.

To pry Tulowitzki and Hawkins from the Rockies, Toronto sent Reyes and minor-league pitching prospects Miguel Castro, Jeff Hoffman and Jesus Tinoco to the Mile High City. Reyes was much loved by teammates and fans, but a good shortstop and three prospects is a small price to pay for a potential Hall of Fame shortstop and a solid reliever.

The blockbuster trade further strengthens a lineup that is already the most dangerous in baseball by a large margin. While pitching remains a concern, it is less of a concern when the offence is even more dangerous.

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