The Toronto Blue Jays announced Tuesday that they've released veteran shortstop Troy Tulowitzki, thus making the 34-year-old a free agent.
ROSTER MOVE: We've released SS Troy Tulowitzki, making him a free agent.— Toronto Blue Jays (@BlueJays) December 11, 2018
Tulowitzki missed the entire season with bone spurs in his right ankle, and he was limited to 66 games the year prior because of a high ankle sprain. The Blue Jays decided it was time to cut ties with 'Tulo' and start rolling with their younger players for the 2019 season.
As Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports points out, the Blue Jays still owe Tulowitzki $38 million, making the release a little surprising. But the former Gold Glover admitted that he wouldn't want to stay in Toronto if they asked him to play a different position next season.
The Blue Jays acquired Tulowitzki from the Colorado Rockies in a blockbuster deal before the 2015 trade deadline. He was instrumental in helping Toronto end its 22-year playoff drought, and Tulowitzki guided the franchise to consecutive ALCS appearances in 2015 and '16.
But with top prospects in Danny Jansen, Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Bo Bichette and Lourdes Gurriel Jr. ready to take over, the Jays have decided it was time to start building towards the future.
Veteran Yangervis Solarte was released earlier this winter, while utility man Aledmys Diaz was traded to the Houston Astros for minor league pitcher Trent Thornton. Releasing Tulowitzki is just one of the many house-cleaning moves by the Toronto front office.
What This Means
If the Blue Jays were in position to contend, they would have likely kept Tulowitzki. But he's ageing, injury prone and well past his playing prime. And with so many young infielders to work with, the Blue Jays made the right call in deciding to more out another veteran.
Tulowitzki's tenure in Toronto didn't last very long, but fans will surely remember him as the guy that helped them reach the ALCS twice. He will also be cheap in free agency, so Tulowitzki shouldn't have to wait long to find a new home.