Look No Further Than Troy Tulowitzki
The Winter Meetings have come and gone with a minimal amount of news to report from Yankees camp. J.A Happ is returning to the Bronx on a 2-year/$34 million contract with a vesting option for the 2021 season. In other news, Lance Lynn was signed by the Texas Rangers in free agency and Sonny Gray is still a Yankee. And while most of the discussion throughout the week centered on Brian Cashman’s apparent lack of interest in pursuing Harper, the Yankees still remain without a legitimate shortstop to hold down the fort in the absence of Didi Gregorius. The name Manny Machado has been tossed around non-stop, but at this point we have no real leads on where Machado might end up. A Miguel Andujar trade would create an opening for Machado to return to third base, but all of this is highly speculative.
What we do know is that, on Tuesday, the Toronto Blue jays threw the baseball world a curveball when it was announced that the team was releasing Troy Tulowitzki. The once highly-touted shortstop missed the entirety of the 2018 season with heel injuries that required surgery on both feet. He has not appeared in a big-league game since July 2017, but hit 24 home runs in 131 games in 2016. In his prime, “Tulo” was one of the best all-around players in the game. From 2009 – 2014, the Rockies’ shortstop orchestrated a .309 batting average with 143 home runs, two Gold Gloves and five All-Star appearances. Unfortunately, injuries have derailed his career and he hasn’t played more than 150 games since 2009.
The good news is that “Tulo” has recovered from his surgeries and is getting back into playing shape in an attempt to be healthy for Spring Training. The other good news: the Yankees need a shortstop and Troy Tulowitzki’s services can be had for a league-minimum $555,000 in 2019. A career .290 hitter, this scenario presents little risk to the Yankees with the potential for high reward, affording them the salary space to potentially add to the rotation or bullpen. If “Tulo” can stay healthy and return to his old ways in some degree, this could turn out to be the “steal” of the winter. Brian Cashman should seriously consider forgoing Manny Machado and signing Troy Tulowitzki this offseason. Keep him in the AL East and sit back and watch the Blue Jays pay big bucks for the shortstop to beat up on his old team. What are your thoughts? Is Machado still on your wish list, or is Tulowitzki the answer at short in the interim?