NEW YORK — Troy Tulowitzki and the New York Yankees have finalized a one-year contract for the major league minimum $555,000, giving the team a low-cost option at shortstop while Didi Gregorius recovers from Tommy John surgery.
Tulowitzki idolized retired Yankees captain Derek Jeter and has worn No. 2 in his honour. A five-time All-Star who turned 34 in October, Tulowitzki has not played in the major leagues since July 2017 and was released by the Toronto Blue Jays last month. He was limited to 66 games in 2017 because of a hamstring and right ankle injury. The ankle required surgery last spring and he missed the entire season.
Gregorius had right elbow surgery on Oct. 17 and is not expected to return until summer. New York also has been talking with Manny Machado, one of the top available free agents. Tulowitzki could slot in at shortstop, allowing Gleyber Torres to remain at second base and Miguel Andujar to stay at third.
Tulowitzki was taken by Colorado with the seventh overall pick in the 2005 amateur draft, became a star with the Rockies, and agreed after the 2010 season to a $157.75 million, 10-year contract that added $132 million over seven seasons. Colorado dealt him in July 2015 to Toronto in a deal that brought shortstop Jose Reyes to the Rockies.
While Tulowitzki helped the Blue Jays reach that year’s AL Championship Series, he slumped the next year and then was derailed by injuries.
Tulowitzki is owed $20 million for next year, $14 million for 2020 and a $4 million buyout of a 2021 team option. Toronto pays all but the big league minimum in the Yankees deal, which would be offset against his 2019 salary.