Troy Tulowitzki is headed to the New York Yankees – My Reaction

Mar 11, 2017; Dunedin, FL, USA; Toronto Blue Jays shortstop Troy Tulowitzki (2) looks on against the Philadelphia Phillies at Florida Auto Exchange Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

2019 started off with a bang for Troy Tulowitzki, as he has agreed to a deal with the New York Yankees. The shortstop grew up a Yankees a fan, keeping Derek Jeter’s picture in his locker and wearing his #2 with the Rockies and Blue Jays. Tulowitzki signed for the league minimum of $550,000, and the Blue Jays will pay the remainder of his $20 million after he was released by the team.

I know that many Yankees fans are jumping for joy and calling this a steal, but I’m not so quick to applaud this move. Personally, I always believe there is something to be said about the fact that a team is literally paying someone $20 million not to play for them! Seriously, there is a reason that Toronto is doing this. Rather than keeping him on their roster and at least getting some value for their money, they are paying Tulo to just get out of town. Understandably, this is a low risk move in terms of finances, but I really do not think he is worth the roster spot.

Reason 1 – Lack of Versatility

Many people are saying that Tulo will provide depth not only at shortstop, but throughout the whole infield as well. In his 1264 career defensive appearances, he has made 0 (yes 0), appearances at a position other than shortstop. Not only has he never played at other positions, he has no desire either.

“He won’t Play any spot other than shortstop”

As of now, he would start with Didi Gregorius out to start the year as he recovers from Tommy John surgery. If the Yankees fail to sign anybody else, I will concede that this would be a bargain for a starting shortstop. However, I have someone else in mind that I think the Yankees can sign to play there instead…

But that’s a blog for another time.

Reason 2 – Past His Prime

For those Yankees fans ogling over the former 5 time All-Star, that’s exactly what he is – a FORMER All-Star. Those days are behind him, and the reality of the situation is that he is a 34 year old coming off missing an entire season due to bone spurs in both heels. Not exactly something that I’m ready to sign off on. Fans are hopeful that Tulo will return to his 2015 form, a season in which he hit .280 / .337 / .440 with 17 HR’s, 70 RBI’s with an All-Star appearance.

I’m sorry Yankees fans, but we are not getting the Gold Glove winning Tulo, but rather an injury prone shell of his former self. He has played 130 games once since 2012, I just don’t get the fascination.

Reason 3 – Doesn’t Fit the Yankees Needs

The main argument that I have heard from Yankees fans in favor of this move is, “we’re basically getting him for free,” or that he is a low risk move. So, lets just say he does recover from his injury and taps into some of his potential. At this point in his career, he is at best a .250 hitter with some pop in his bat. This is not what the team needs. I know that it may seem arrogant to dismiss his 24 HR’s and 79 RBI’s in 2016, but the Yankees already had the most home runs for a single season in MLB history last year!

I watched this postseason in anger as power hitters like Giancarlo Stanton, Luke Voit and Gary Sanchez were stifled and struck out at the hands of opposing pitchers. They need to add an all around hitter like Machado to take the next step, and Tulo isn’t the piece we need on the bench either. Neil Walker was a solid utility player who came up clutch multiple times for the Yankees, and it is unlike the Yankees to try to save money going after Tulo at the expense of team success.

Maybe I’m wrong, and I typically have faith in Brian Cashman, but this wouldn’t be the first team he’s chased after a guy’s potential and it didn’t work out. (*cough* Sonny Gray *cough*) Let’s hope that this does not effect our chances at Machado, and many reports are saying it won’t. This obviously is not going to be the move that defines our failures, but I don’t set it pushing us forward either.