Yankees: How will the signing of Troy Tulowitzki affect Manny Machado?

Virginia Santiago
January 5, 2019

According to ESPN's Jeff Passan, the Yankees are set to sign five-time All-Star Troy Tulowitzki.

The Yankees move for Tulowitzki came out of the blue as the only shortstop they have been continually linked to has been Manny Machado. They will pay the majority of his $20 million contract, with the Yankees responsible only for the league-minimum $555,000. Tulowitzki missed all or significant portions of four of the past seven seasons because of a variety of injuries, most recently bone spurs in both of his ankles that required surgery.

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When healthy, Tulowitzki has been arguably MLB's best-hitting shortstop.

In the run-up to Tulowitzki's open workout, in which he fielded ground balls and took batting practice, teams were provided the player's most recent medical reports.

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The Blue Jays released the 34-year-old former star in mid-December. Tulowitzki joined the BlueJays prior to the 2015 Trade Deadline but failed to fulfill his potential in the 238 games he played for the Toronto franchise in three and a half seasons. In 2010 and 2011, he won the Gold Glove and Silver Slugger at shortstop. Tulowitzki could be a viable placeholder at shortstop until Gregorius is able to return without the Yankees reorganizing their infield. Tulo's presence in the lineup will allow phenom Gleyber Torres to remain at second base. 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. I also think if Machado wants to sign with the Yankees it's going to be on their terms.

Since getting traded to Toronto during the 2015 season, Tulowitzki has not almost been the same player that he was for the nine-plus seasons he was with the Colorado Rockies. The Blue Jays could have been right - maybe he's useless.

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The deal for the free agent infielder was reportedly too good to pass up for the Yankees as it was a win-win situation for them. It's a spare part for the Yankees, it's not a sign that the Yankees have moved on from the Machado sweepstakes.

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