Red Sox shouldn't fret about Troy Tulowitzki in pinstripes

Rob Bradford
January 02, 2019 - 11:59 am

First off, Troy Tulowitzki was never going to be a fit with the Red Sox.

The only reason the Sox might have entertained making a run at the 34-year-old was as a backup plan for Dustin Pedroia at second base, a position Tulowitzki has never played in the majors. As inviting as reeling in a six-time All-Star might be -- especially on a major-league minimum rate -- all things considered it would have been a square peg in a round hole. (And, yes, the Red Sox were at the shortstop's recent workout.)

But still, when news came down late Tuesday night that Tulowitzki was signing a one-year, $550,000 deal with the Yankees the natural reaction from Red Sox followers was to flinch a bit. Even though this is a player who missed the entirety of last season due to heel surgery, and really hasn't been an impactful player since leaving Colorado in 2015, the idea of there still being something left is intriguing.

And that's basically how the Yankees' acquisition should be classified: intriguing.

Tulowitzki never quite proved that he wasn't at least somewhat a product of Coors Field after heading to Toronto, although the shortstop did put up decent numbers with the Blue Jays in 2016 (24 homers, .761 OPS). It seems like a reach that he would represent an everyday threat while the Yankees hope Didi Gregorious tries to come back from Tommy John surgery at some point in 2019. But the beauty of it for New York is that they aren't banking on such a scenario playing out. Hence, the major-league minimum deal.

They got a guy who has always wanted to play in New York, seemingly in part because of the dream of playing in the same pinstripes as his idol, Derek Jeter. (He has always worn No. 2 because of Jeter.) So right now it would sure seem to be more of the Yankees doing Tulowitzki a favor instead of the other way around.

What does this all mean when it comes to the only shortstop candidate that matters in this American League East race, Manny Machado? Not much.

We will find out soon enough if Machado jumps aboard the Yankees, with his liking (and then unliking) of YES Instagram account Tuesday offering a delicious conspiracy theory. That is a difference-maker. Tulowitzki? At least he's a name you probably recognize.

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