At least 11 teams were on hand to watch Troy Tulowitzki work out earlier today, reports Tim Brown of Yahoo Sports. The Giants, Angels, Red Sox, Cubs, Padres, White Sox, Orioles, Yankees, Phillies, Tigers and Pirates were all represented at the showcase, Brown reports (as were other, unnamed teams), with some clubs even sending their top executives to get a first-hand look at the former Rockies star. Angels GM Billy Eppler was in attendance, per Brown, as were new Giants president of baseball ops Farhan Zaidi and manager Bruce Bochy.
Since being released by the Blue Jays last week — with two years and $38MM remaining on his contract — Tulowitzki has been separately connected to a handful of teams including the Pirates, the Yankees, the Cubs and the Giants. His agent, Paul Cohen, recently told Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle that Tulowitzki is open to playing second base or third base with a new team. Brown, notably, writes that the biggest appeal for Tulowitzki will be the promise of regular at-bats at one positions (as opposed to moving between those three spots in a utility role).
It doesn’t seem as though there’s any early favorite to add Tulowitzki, who’ll cost his new team only the Major League minimum of $555K next season. (Toronto is on the hook for the remainder of his salary.) At that price, it’s justifiable for virtually any team to take a look at Tulowitzki and see if he can rediscover some of the form that once made him one of the game’s premier players. While few would expect him to return to his 2013-14 levels of output, that type of performance is hardly necessary from someone whose new team will pay him the league minimum. Tulowitzki’s bat was at least league-average in both 2015 and 2016, so if he’s healthy there’s plenty of reason to believe he can at least be fairly productive at the dish. How he adjusts defensively after undergoing surgery on both heels last year could be a more pressing question — particularly if he’s also adjusting to a new position after spending his entire pro career at shortstop.