While waiting for free agent superstar Manny Machado to make a decision on his future, the Yankees broke in 2019 by adding six-time All-Star shortstop Troy Tulowitzki on New Year’s Day evening.
Tulowitzki agreed to a deal pending a passed physical on Tuesday night, ESPN baseball insider Jeff Passan reported.
Tulowitzki, 34, missed all of last season due to bone spurs in both ankles that shut him down during spring training with the Toronto Blue Jays.
The Yankees will land Tulowitzki for the 2019 major league minimum of $555,000 because he was still owed $38 million from his previous contract when he was released by the Blue Jays on Dec. 11.
According to Passan, this signing doesn’t affect the Yankees interest in signing Machado.
It’s possible that the Yankees signed Tulowitzki to fill in at shortstop for the first few months of 2019 while Didi Gregorius completes his recovery from October Tommy John surgery and that Machado will play third base if he joins them.
Machado is expected to decide early this month between three suitors – the Yankees, Philadelphia Phillies and Chicago White Sox.
If the Yankees get Machado, they’ll either trade second-year third baseman Miguel Andujar or move him to a different position, perhaps left field or first base. Andujar was the 2018 American League Rookie of the Year runner-up to Los Angeles Angels pitcher/designated hitter Shohei Ohtani.
Tulowitzki is a career .290 hitter with 224 homers in over 12 seasons, the first 9 ½ with the Colorado Rockies.
Tulowitzki was a star for the Rockies from his rookie season in 2007 until he was traded by the Blue Jays in July 2015. He was an NL All-Star in 2010, 2011, 2013, 2014 and 2015.