Tuesday night ended with some shocking news as the Yankees reportedly came to an agreement with free agent shortstop Troy Tulowitzki. The agreement is for a league minimum contract — as first reported by Jeff Passan.
Free agent shortstop Troy Tulowitzki is in agreement on a deal with the New York Yankees pending a physical, league sources tell ESPN. Tulowitzki is expected to join the Yankees on a league-minimum deal, with the Toronto Blue Jays paying the remainder of his $20 million salary.
— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) January 2, 2019
The Yankees signed Tulowitzki to fill in at shortstop while Didi Gregorius recovers from Tommy John surgery.
Troy Tulowitzki is a low-risk, high reward type of buy for the Yankees, one who offers a massive upside if he can stay healthy. He also provides much needed defense for the left side of the infield.
The Yankees need to prioritize defense on the left side of the infield alongside Miguel Andujar, and Tulo provides that. He is a former two-time gold glove winner, and should still play effective defense despite going into his age-34 season.
The signing comes with some risk however. Tulo missed all of the 2018 season due to injury and only played 66 games in 2017. His injury history is a major concern, but if healthy — he can be an effective piece for the Yankees.
Signing Tulo does not preclude the Yankees from still pursuing Manny Machado. Tulo will fill the utility role that was held by Neil Walker last season once Gregorius returns from injury.
The Tulo signing could mean bad news for Miguel Andujar. With the Yankees reportedly still in on Machado, the young third baseman becomes the odd man out. The Yankees have been willing to move Andujar throughout the offseason — according to multiple reports.
This move has no risk from the Yankees standpoint. They are buying low on a former all-star who was just cut despite being owed $38-million from his former team.
Tulowitzki provides good defense and a strong offensive upside — exactly what is needed until Didi returns.