SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- During his first at-bat on Monday against the Royals, Troy Tulowitzki reminded Rockies fans why they should be glad ownership didn't take a trade offer from the Cardinals during the winter.
Tulowitzki pulled a Jeremy Guthrie pitch over the left-field fence for his third home run this spring. Tulowitzki has hit 154 homers since his rookie year of 2007 -- most of any shortstop in the Majors -- and is one of six shortstops in history with at least four seasons of 25 or more homers. Despite missing 25 games with a broken rib last year, he hit 25.
Talks with the Cardinals were rumored all winter, so it was no surprise during the weekend when FOX Sports reported that the Rockies turned down an offer of right-handed pitcher Shelby Miller, first baseman Matt Adams and shortstop Pete Kozma for Tulowitzki. The Rockies have not commented on the report.
During the winter, Tulowitzki followed it all.
"I wasn't aware of any offer that was talked about, but I know there was some interest from the Cardinals, but things didn't work out, obviously," Tulowitzki said. "I'm a baseball fan, so I do read the paper and I know what's going on in the world. But I don't put too much thought into, 'What if this thing goes down?' If it happens, it happens, and if not then I'm in this locker room trying to win games for the Rockies right now. That trade talk doesn't do much. It's just rumors."
Tulowitzki is owed $134 million through 2020, but realizes he could be on the move if the Rockies don't start winning. Tulowitzki also wants to win. So there's one way to stop the rumors.
"Since Day One, the most important thing for me has been winning," Tulowitzki said. "I got a taste of it early in my career [a World Series trip in 2007, playoffs in 2009] and it was a lot of fun. I've been a part of some losing seasons now, and no matter how you come out of it individually, it's worth nothing because I've had so much more fun in those years we've won."
Tulowitzki has always been honest, and at times outspoken, about what he feels the club needs and its direction, even if it's uncomfortable at times for the club. He explained that it's not because he believes his paycheck makes him something more than a player. It's just burning desire for a result.
"Money is not what drives me -- it's winning, and guys get paid because they want to keep guys on those winning teams," Tulowitzki said. "I'm a very opinionated person, there's no doubt about that.
"That's just the way I am. But I'd rather go out trying to help things and not be that silent guy in the corner of the room not saying anything. Hopefully people listen."