Tulowitzki guaranteed $157.75M by Rockies

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DENVER (AP) - Troy Tulowitzki and the Colorado Rockies are looking ahead with 2020 vision.

The sides agreed Tuesday to a new contract that pays Tulowitzki an additional $132 million over seven seasons through 2020, a deal that means Colorado has guaranteed the All-Star shortstop $157.75 million in the next decade.

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

Tulowitzki wanted to be like his idol, Baltimore’s 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 10-year contract is the eighth-highest in baseball history, trailing two of Alex Rodriguez’s deals ($275 million and $252 million) and agreements for Derek Jeter ($189 million), Joe Mauer ($184 million), Mark Teixeira ($180 million), CC Sabathia ($161 million) and Manny Ramirez ($160 million).

The genesis of the extension was a heart-to-heart talk with general manager Dan O'Dowd in his office at season’s end.

“They were just discussions about life,” O'Dowd said. “The maturity of understanding the continuity and stability of things and what he’s trying to become as a man led me to say to our owner, ‘I think maybe we should explore this right now.’”

A second chat in O'Dowd’s office, this time with team owner Dick Monfort sitting in, got the negotiations started.

“I said it definitely is a possibility I want to be here my whole career, but there’s a lot of things that have to work out, such as money, such as a commitment to winning,” Tulowitzki said. “And all the answers I received from the beginning stayed on a straight line. They never veered off. And they sold me.”

And the Rockies paid him.

Tulowitzki, 26, already had been guaranteed $25.75 million through 2013 under the $31 million, six-year contract he agreed to in January 2008.

Asked about the characterization that the Rockies ownership hasn’t been committed to winning, O'Dowd said: “I will say this, that we’re not committed to winning at all costs.”

“Maybe there’s a perception we’re not committed to winning because we don’t go out and do the Mike Hampton and Denny Neagle thing anymore, but if you didn’t notice that didn’t work out too well,” O'Dowd said of Colorado’s colossal contracts that blew up in the franchise’s face in the early 2000s. “And so we are committed to try to hold onto our own internal players before we hold onto anything external.”

Both sides are taking risks: Tulowitzki will be 35 by the time the contract expires and he could have some monster years during that time.

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