There are six teams currently in the running to sign shortstop Troy Tulowitzki, per Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle (via Twitter). Tulo and his agent plan on narrowing the field as early as tomorrow.
Though they’ve been rumored as a logical landing spot, the Oakland A’s are not one of the clubs with expressed interest. Tulo was an A’s fan growing up, but according to his agent Paul Cohen, Oakland has not been in touch with the California native. Speculatively speaking, the Pirates, Mets, Yankees, Padres or Brewers could be potential fits for the 5-time All-Star.
One team that has checked in with Tulo is the the Cubs, per Fancred’s Jon Heyman (via Twitter). Considering the financial restraints and lofty aspirations of Chicago’s Northsiders, Tulo makes sense as a low-cost, high-ceiling target, despite the presence of Javier Baez at shortstop. Addison Russell will also be an option for Chicago when he returns from his suspension, but there’s obviously enough uncertainty there for the Cubs to take a look.
There’s not a team in the league that wouldn’t want a healthy and productive Tulowitzki on their roster, but after missing all of 2018 with bone spurs in his heels, it’s unclear how much of peak-Tulo remains. Tulowitzki, 34, hasn’t been a significant contributor since 2016, his first full season in Toronto.
For the first decade of his career, however, he was perhaps the preeminent two-way shortstop in the sport. He boasts a career .290/.361/.495 line with 224 home runs and 9.4 BB% against 16.6 K%.
Defensively, prime Tulo was as good as they come. He posted positive defensive metrics at short as recently as 2016, lending credence to his stated desire to stick there. After his somewhat surprising release from the Blue Jays, however, his agent indicated a willingness to move off that spot if needed.
The trade that sent Tulo from Colorado to Toronto in the summer of 2015 was dispiriting and disillusioning for the superstar – nonetheless, he mentored Josh Donaldson as the latter blossomed into an MVP for competitive Blue Jays clubs in 2015 and 2016, per the Athletic’s John Lott (subscription link). Tulo’s intensity sometimes plays poorly with the media, but his presence ought to buoy whichever clubhouse welcomes him next. Whether or not he has anything left to offer on the diamond is the open question.