The Toronto Blue Jays announced this evening that they were parting ways with shortstop Troy Tulowitzki with two years and $38 million left on his contract.
I was actually very surprised by this move, primarily since it completely rules out the return of a player who was once very productive at both ends of his game. Despite his productivity in Colorado, where he was a five-time All-Star, bopping 188 home runs in 10 seasons with a stellar .299/.371/.513 slash line, his production sagged in Toronto, where he played parts of three seasons (and didn’t play at all in 2018). In 2016, he had his best season with Toronto, hitting .254/.318/.443 with 24 home runs in 131 games but that was still a far cry from his numbers in Colorado.
Tulo will be paid the $20 million owed to him for 2019, the $14 million owed to him for 2020 and the $4 million buy out for his 2021 option, making this a very expensive move for Toronto to gain a roster spot. It does, however, clear up questions as to what the Blue Jays might have done if Tulo gets healthy but doesn’t produce enough to take playing time away from the younger players already on the roster. At least Lourdes Gurriel won’t have to sit down if he’s playing well for the veteran Tulowitzki with the rich contract. In my mind, this move makes for more certainty and allows a player like Brandon Drury to have a clear shot at a roster spot even after Vladimir Guerrero comes up from the minor leagues.
That said, Tulo was a fan favourite in Toronto and his numbers, had they continued at the level they were at in Colorado, would have put him in Hall of Fame conversations. Can Tulo rebound for a few more years? I wouldn’t think it possible with the kinds of injuries he’s endured the past three or four years but it’s not impossible.
Wherever he goes, we wish Troy Tulowitzki the best.
What do you think? How should we remember Tulo?
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