The New York Yankees have signed shortstop Troy Tulowitzki to a one-year contract for the league minimum pending a physical, according to Jeff Passan of ESPN.com
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
Tulowitzki was released by the Toronto Blue Jays earlier this offseason, and they'll pay out the remaining $38 million on his contract. Thus, signing for the minimum wasn't going to be a problem for 'Tulo', who now gets the chance to play for a championship contender.
As Passan noted, Tulowitzki will play shortstop while Didi Gregorious recovers from Tommy John surgery. The Yankees hope to have Gregorious back at some point in the 2019 season, but adding a veteran in Tulowitzki gives them valuable insurance for the time being.
A five-time All-Star, Tulowitzki has been slowed by injuries over the last two seasons. A severe right ankle injury limited Tulowitzki to 66 games during the 2017 season. A bone spur in the same ankle forced Tulowitzki to miss all of 2018 as well, and the Jays simply decided it was time to move on.
Though Tulowitzki's batting stats have declined significantly since his trade to Toronto in 2015, he remains one of the game's elite defensive players. Tulowitzki is a two-time Gold Glover and promises to shore up the Yankees' infield until Gregorious returns. That is, of course, if he can stay healthy.
It's been a busy offseason for GM Brian Cashman, who traded for left-handed pitcher James Paxton from the Seattle Mariners and re-signed J.A. Happ to a two-year contract. Now, he adds a potential future Hall of Famer at a discounted price.
What This Means
It's a low-risk, high-reward move for the Yankees. They add a reliable veteran who can be a complete difference maker if healthy. It's a cheap one-year deal, so there is absolutely no risk in giving Tulowitzki a chance. As for the 34-year-old, he now gets that chance at winning a World Series after falling short with both the Blue Jays and Colorado Rockies.