The Yankees agreed to a one-year deal for the league minimum salary on Tuesday night with shortstop Troy Tulowitzki, their first transaction of the 2019 calendar year, according to Jeff Passan. It is a Major League contract.
Tulowitzki, 34, had been released by the Toronto Blue Jays last month. He did not play one game in 2018 and the Blue Jays decided to just eat the remainder of his contract and grant him free agency, a move that surprised a lot of people coming from a franchise in somewhat of a rebuild.
2010 Big Baby Dave is pretty stoked about this move. 2019 Big Baby Dave is shrugging and is cool with it. Tulo has battled injury problems for the last couple of years, only playing in 66 games since the start of the 2017 season.
Tulo hasn’t been particularly good in several years, so it is hard for me to get excited about this, but he actually was an All-Star as recently as 2015, which I would not have guessed.
There was speculation when he was released that he may be willing to try out some new positions, if need be, with a new team, which makes sense since he would become more of a utility man when Didi Gregorius comes back from Tommy John surgery, or if they sign Manny Machado to play shortstop in Didi’s absence.
Speaking of Machado, this move has no impact on Brian Cashman’s pursuit of the superstar. You don’t turn your nose up to an MVP candidate who is entering their prime because you signed an injury-riddled 34-year-old, you know? Machado is expected to make a decision any day now, so we’ll hopefully have the conclusion to that saga soon.
One person this move will likely impact that immediately comes to mind is Gleyber Torres. The Yankees seemed to feel comfortable with the idea of sliding him over to shortstop full time while Didi is out, but this move says to me that they have decided to commit to him at second base, and I’ll admit that I don’t hate the idea of letting him just worry about second base and get as much work in there as possible without moving around, even though that might be a bit of an old-timey baseball adage.
Another thing this move signifies to me is the end of the Disco Neil Walker era in the Bronx. I’d have liked to bring him back (I think I’d have preferred him to Tulo, honestly) but I think signing Tulowitzki- and perhaps Machado as well- signifies that there is not any room for Walker on the roster, particularly when Didi comes back. I suppose I’ve been wrong about such things before, but I think this is the end. Disco Neil shirts are still for sale, though!
It’s definitely an interesting move by Brian Cashman, and at the league minimum, it’s really a no-risk scenario.