Tulowitzki went 1-for-2 with a three-run homer Thursday against the Pirates. Tulowitzki has now left the yard twice in as many games to open up Grapefruit League play. More importantly, the veteran infielder has looked healthy thus far, as injuries have limited him to just 66 games over the past two seasons. Tulowitzki is expected to open the season as the Yankees' starting shortstop until Didi Gregorius (elbow) is cleared to return.
The Yankees plan to bring Tulowitzki along slowly during spring training and into the regular season, Ben Nicholson-Smith of Sportsnet.ca reports. Tulowitzki has yet to suffer any setbacks since claiming to be pain-free at the beginning of January, but even so, manager Aaron Boone will limit his opportunities early. "We'll try to protect him in spring training, but even early in the season with not overdoing it too much, even if things are going very well," stated Boone. With Tulowitzki the favorite to slot in as the starting shortstop to begin the 2019 campaign, expect him to get his fair share of off days as a precaution.
Tulowitzki said Monday that he is no longer feeling pain in his heels, Coley Harvey of ESPN.com reports. Tulowitzki missed all of the 2018 season after undergoing surgery to remove bone spurs in both of his heels in April, but it sounds like the veteran infielder has finally put the issue behind him. Barring any setbacks -- or additional offseason signings by New York -- the 34-year-old is expected to open the season as the Yankees' starting shortstop, a role he'll likely fill until Didi Gregorius (elbow) returns to the fold sometime this summer.
Tulowitzki (heel) agreed to sign a contract with the Yankees on Tuesday, Jeff Passan of ESPN.com reports. The deal is still pending a physical, but it appears Tulowitzki is headed to New York after being released by Toronto on Dec. 11. The veteran shortstop will make the major-league minimum with the Blue Jays still on the hook for the remainder of his $20 million salary in 2019. Tulowitzki missed all of the 2018 season due to bilateral bone spurs and played only 66 games in 2017, but makes sense as a relatively low-risk fill-in option for the Yankees with Didi Gregorius undergoing Tommy John surgery in October. Given the minimal financial commitment, the signing has a negligible impact on the team's ability to potentially sign Manny Machado, per Passan.
Tulowitzki (heel) was released by the Blue Jays on Tuesday. The Blue Jays will still have to pay the $38 million that remains on the shortstop's contract. A five-time All-Star with the Rockies, Tulowitzki's career has been wrecked by injuries since a mid-2015 trade to Toronto. He was an effective enough player for the first year and a half with his new team but played in just 66 games in 2017 and none in 2018, with bilateral bone spurs keeping him on the disabled list all season. If the Blue Jays prefer an empty roster spot over keeping him around despite the financial commitment, that doesn't bode well for the likelihood of another team taking a chance on him, though his past success could be enough to at least earn him a minor-league deal.