Yankees Add Tulowitzki To Bolster Infield While Didi Recovers
January 4, 2019 in Sports News
The New York Yankees today have added some depth to their infield after agreeing to a one-year deal with five-time All-star shortstop Troy Tulowitzki.
While the Yankees are still in the running for free agent shortstop Manny Machado, the 34-year-old Tulowitzki is a player that adds experience at the position while Didi Gregorius recovers from Tommy John surgery.
“Tulo” is a career .290 hitter who has 224 homers since 2006, his first year in the big leagues. His contract includes a no-trade clause and will pay him the major league minimum salary for 2019 ($555,000).
After releasing him on December 11, the Toronto Blue Jays still owe Tulowitzki $20 million in 2019 and $14 million in 2020, plus the $4-million buyout of his $15 million club option for 2021. That’s a total of $38 million over the next two years.
After nine-plus stellar seasons with the Rockies, he was shipped to Toronto where his career took a hit due to multiple injuries.
The right-handed infielder only saw action in 66 games the last two years with the Blue Jays (he missed the entire 2018 campaign) and he eventually had surgeries in both heels to remove bone spurs. Despite that, Yankee scouts reportedly were impressed during a December workout in which Tulowitzki showed promising mobility.
Defensively he’s a two-time Gold Glove winner and should provide good competition for the top shortstop position during Spring training before Gregorius returns to the team around the All-star break.
Even if he fails to become the full-time shortstop for the Yankees his presence and .985 career field percentage could become a valuable asset by providing infield depth and experience during the Yankees postseason chase and an eventual playoff run.
In 2017 Tulowitzki batted .249 with seven home runs and 26 RBIs in 241 turns at bat.