Yankees land Tulowitzki on low-risk, common sense deal

Troy Tulowitzki
"Troy Tulowitzki" by Keith Allison is licensed under CC BY-SA

Troy Tulowitzki has agreed to join the New York Yankees for the 2019 season, as reported by Jeff Passan. Tulowitzki was released by the Toronto Blue Jays earlier this offseason, meaning the Yankees only owe him the league minimum salary.

Passan also reported that Tulowitzki will play shortstop for the Yankees. There had been speculation that Tulowitzki could move to second or third for his new team, but Didi Gregorius’ absence with Tommy John surgery means the former Blue Jay will get to play his primary position.

Tulowitzki did not appear in a single Major League game in 2018. He played just 66 games in 2017 and had a disappointing time in Toronto after being traded midway through the 2015 season.

His best years came as a Colorado Rockie, including six top-30 MVP finishes and five All-Star appearances. In 2010 and 2011, he won the Gold Glove and Silver Slugger at shortstop.

Health is the main concern, as he has not played over 140 regular season games since 2011. Tulowitzki is heading into his age 34 season and, despite the rave reviews from his offseason workouts, it remains to be seen if he can play a serviceable Major League shortstop.

Either way, this is a no-lose deal for the Yankees, who have added infield depth for a league minimum salary. Tulowitzki is projected for a .702 OPS in 2019 per Baseball Reference, but he is little more than a stopgap while they wait for Gregorius. Who knows what sort of hitter he will be if he is healthy.

There is also the strong possibility that the Yankees look for further depth, particularly a left-handed bat to split up their righty dominant order of Aaron Judge, Miguel Andujar, Gleyber Torres, Giancarlo Stanton and Gary Sanchez.

The biggest question when this news broke was about Manny Machado. The Yankees have been mentioned around the former Baltimore infielder more than any other team. Passan reported that this does not take the Yankees out of the running for Machado.


The Yankees have nothing to lose by acquiring Tulowitzki. If he’s rubbish or unable to stay fit, they can release him. If he’s able to provide value at the plate, he is a bargain. It should have almost no impact on their Machado pursuit, aside from perhaps a little extra leverage in negotiations.

It’s hard to judge the ceiling on Tulowitzki in 2019. The Blue Jays could have been right – maybe he’s useless. Maybe he’s a key role player on a World Series winning New York Yankees. With it not effecting their attempts to sign Machado, though, there’s no reason to dislike this move for the Yankee faithful.

Once Tulowitzki wanted to join the team, it was common sense for the Yankees to sign him.

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About Sam Cox 727 Articles
Sam is a widely published freelance writer, covering basketball, baseball and a range of other sports. He's still trying to decide if he prefers a rundown shot block or a smooth double play.

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