After missing the entire 2018 season due to bone spurs, veteran shortstop Troy Tulowitzki will be playing in the Bronx for 2019. According to ESPN’s Jeff Passan, the New York Yankees reportedly agreed to terms with Tulowitzki on a league-minimum deal last week. Tulo was released by the Toronto Blue Jays in December, despite owing him $20 million for the 2019 season. The Yankees have not confirmed the signing.
Free agent shortstop Troy Tulowitzki is in agreement on a deal with the New York Yankees pending a physical, league sources tell ESPN. Tulowitzki is expected to join the Yankees on a league-minimum deal, with the Toronto Blue Jays paying the remainder of his $20 million salary.
— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) January 2, 2019
Veteran SS Troy Tulowitzki Joins New York Yankees
It was not that long ago that Tulowitzki was considered the premier shortstop in all of baseball. Known for his acrobatic plays and strong bat, Tulo was a five-time All-Star and two-time Gold Glove winner with the Colorado Rockies. From 2007-14, Tulowitzki averaged 22 home runs, 25 doubles, and 75 runs scored with a 127 OPS+.
His best season in Colorado was 2010 when he slashed .315/.381/.568 with 27 home runs, 32 doubles, and 89 runs scored. It marked his second straight fifth-place finish in MVP voting while capturing a Gold Glove and Silver Slugger.
Unfortunately, Tulowitzki was never the same player in Toronto. He did put up a 20 home run – 20 double season in 2016, but his slash line suffered after arriving from Colorado. Tulowitzki posted a line of .250/.313/.414 while appearing in 238 games over parts of three seasons with the Blue Jays. That does not count 2018, a season he missed entirely while dealing with bone spurs.
To the Yankees
For the Yankees, Tulowitzki offered a lost-cost solution to their hole at short. Didi Gregorius will miss at least the first part of 2019 as he rehabs from Tommy John Surgery. Plugging in Tulowitzki, on a league-minimum deal, should be viewed as a slam dunk.
There remains an obvious health concern for a player who missed all of 2018 and appeared in just 66 games throughout 2017. However, it is not every day a player with Tulowitzki’s track record and talent is available, especially at such a low cost. Hopefully he can remain healthy and provide a boost until Gregorius makes his return.
Embed from Getty Images