Tulowitzki signs 10-year contract

Published 3:48 am Wednesday, December 1, 2010

The Associated Press

NEW YORK — While the Yankees wait to hear from Derek Jeter, another All-Star shortstop finalized a huge contract.

Troy Tulowitzki tore up his current agreement with the Colorado Rockies and agreed Tuesday to a 10-year deal worth $157.75 million — the eighth-highest contract in baseball history.

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“I’m really lucky,” Tulowitzki said. “I can’t wait to be here my entire career.”

His current contract had three years and $25.75 million in guaranteed money remaining, meaning the new deal added $132 million and seven seasons. Baseball’s collective bargaining agreement prohibits extensions, forcing the sides to sign a new agreement.

Tulowitzki wanted to emulate his idol, Cal Ripken Jr., who played in just one city, and not his mentor, St. Louis slugger Matt Holliday, whose departure from Denver a couple of years ago after 11 years in the Rockies organization deeply affected him.

“I didn’t want that to happen to me,” Tulowitzki said. “I wanted to stay here for my career and not deal with all the other stuff. I’m sure he’s in a great place now and I know he’s happy but at the same time, this is where I want to be.”

Tulowitzki’s contract trails two of Alex Rodriguez’s deals ($275 million and $252 million) and agreements for Jeter ($189 million), Joe Mauer ($184 million), Mark Teixeira ($180 million), CC Sabathia ($161 million) and Manny Ramirez ($160 million).

Jeter and his agent, Casey Close, met Tuesday as the New York Yankees awaited a counteroffer from their captain. The meeting, first reported by Newsday, was disclosed by a baseball official who spoke on condition of anonymity because the team didn’t make any announcements.

New York has offered Jeter a $45 million, three-year contract, and the All-Star shortstop has not made a formal proposal.

Close has suggested a contract averaging about $23 million for four or five seasons, the baseball official said, but the numbers were suggested loosely by Close and should not be interpreted as a precise request.

As the midnight deadline approached for free agents to accept salary arbitration offers from their former teams, there were several other moves.

After finalizing a $21 million, three-year contract with infielder Juan Uribe, the Los Angeles Dodgers traded infielder Ryan Theriot to the St. Louis Cardinals for reliever Blake Hawksworth. The Cardinals also agreed to a $750,000, one-year contract with pitcher Brian Tallet — Theriot’s teammate on the 2000 LSU team that won the College World Series.

Theriot hit .270 with 29 RBIs last season with the Chicago Cubs and Dodgers. He has played both middle infield spots, but prefers shortstop.

“We felt this was a really good fit for us,” Cardinals general manager John Mozeliak said. “This is not necessarily the last move we’re going to make between now and opening day, but if we did have to start today he would likely be our shortstop.”

Tallet, a 33-year-old left-hander, was 2-6 with a 6.40 ERA in five starts and 29 relief appearances for Toronto last season.

Houston agreed to a $1 million, one-year contract with catcher Humberto Quintero, and Texas gave Japanese right-hander Yoshinori Tateyama a one-year contract that includes club options for 2012 and 2013.