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Despite missing 33 games with a broken wrist last season, Tulowitzki won his first Gold Glove and NL Silver Slugger awards after hitting .315 with 27 homers and 95 RBIs.

“They felt like they had a guy they wanted to be the face of the franchise and they came after him,” Tulowitzki said. “And on my side, I love the game and that’s more than enough money than I’ll ever need in my entire lifetime.”

Tulowitzki said he believes the Rockies are on the cusp of something big and that ownership promised him he won’t have to carry the load by himself.

The Rockies are hoping to have these kinds of big contract announcements regarding ace Ubaldo Jimenez and star slugger Carlos Gonzalez in winters to come, although it could prove an insurmountable challenge to keep both of them in purple pinstripes beyond 2014, when they would become free agents.

The Rockies are close to securing prized left-hander Jorge De La Rosa for a couple of years, keeping one of the most sought-after arms on the open market from leaving Denver. O'Dowd said there was still some issues to be ironed out, such as getting De La Rosa from his native Mexico to Denver for a physical.

“De La Rosa was a huge acquisition for us,” Tulowitzki said. “You’re talking about a guy that we had that has top-notch stuff. A lot of teams were after him but at the end of the day he kind of realized like I did that you don’t get what you get here in every place.

“He loves playing here, I know that. He wanted to be a part of this for the next two or three years. I’m sure he turned down some money to stay here and that’s what it’s all about. If you want to make a commitment, do it. If you don’t, go and get the top dollar, but you might not be the happiest.”

Tulowitzki receives $5.5 million next year, $8.25 million in 2012 and $10 million in 2013 as part of his previous contract, which contained a $15 million team option for 2014 with a $2 million buyout.

Under the new deal, he receives $16 million in 2014, $20 million in each of the following five seasons and $14 million in 2020. Colorado gets a $14 million option for 2021 with a $4 million buyout.

In both 2020 and 2021, if it’s exercised, Tulowitzki’s salary could escalate by up to $6 million annually depending on his finish in MVP voting, whether he is an All-Star or earns Gold Glove or Silver Slugger awards and other criteria.

Tulowitzki has finished fifth in MVP voting the last two seasons.

“I want to be the best player in this game,” Tulowitzki said.

But more than that, he wants to win a World Series, and now he’s got 10 more chances to do it in Colorado.

“It’s an important day for our franchise,” O'Dowd said, “but hopefully we have a lot more important days in front of us.”


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