Tulo focusing on rehab, not trade rumors

Shortstop aims to be ready for Opening Day after hip surgery

Tulo focusing on rehab, not trade rumors

DENVER -- Keeping up with Hot Stove activity is secondary to getting healthy for Rockies shortstop Troy Tulowitzki -- even though he is the subject of prominent rumors.

"I'm keeping up but I'm not worrying about it," Tulowitzki said from his Las Vegas home Sunday night. "I'm just doing my rehab and want to get back on the field. That's my main focus."

Reports that the Mets will trade for Tulowitzki, 30, have circulated since before the July non-waiver Trade Deadline, even though Tulowitzki's bid for National League Most Valuable Player ended in July with a left hip injury. Tulowitzki underwent surgery to repair a torn labrum in the hip in August.

Reports about the possible Mets deal intensified just before last month's MLB General Managers' meetings, and this month before the Winter Meetings and late last week. The Rockies said they would listen to any offer, but have made it clear they're not shopping him. The Mets are the only club that has been linked to Tulowitzki publicly. And while the reports come and go, there has been no indication anything is close.

Tulowitzki said Sunday night he has had three to four conversations with club officials, who promised to keep him informed if there is any movement. The communication has made it easier for Tulowitzki to focus on getting better.

"Basically, I've just been rehabbing and taking it easy," said Tulowitzki, who said much of his non-rehab energy is focused on the first Christmas for his son, Taz, who will celebrate his first birthday Jan. 9. "I want to be ready for Opening Day. I don't have any dates when I can move on to baseball activities -- possibly sometime in January."

Tulowitzki had such a strong season offensively (.340 avg., .432 OBP, 21 HR, 52 RBIs) that he finished seventh in the National League in offensive wins above replacement player (WAR), according to Baseball-Reference.com -- even though he played in just 91 games.

If trade talks don't intensify, he'll come back to a team that has made major front-office changes -- with Jeff Bridich as the new general manager -- and promises to upgrade its pitching between now and Opening Day. But Tulowitzki is too busy trying to mend himself to involve himself in what management is doing.

"You see what's going on, but I think it's smart to focus on my main issue -- working on my rehab and getting back on the field," Tulowitzki said. "I just want to play and help win games."

Thomas Harding is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Hardball in the Rockies, follow him on Twitter @harding_at_mlb, and like his Facebook page, Thomas Harding and Friends at www.Rockies.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.