Yankees fans need to take a deep breath. Signing Troy Tulowitzki isn’t going to harm the team’s chances of signing Manny Machado in the slightest.
Manny Machado has been dominating Yankees headlines for the better part of the last month. As such, it’s easy to understand why fans were caught off guard at the news that their favorite team is signing Troy Tulowitzki.
Fortunately, Brian Cashman and company aren’t foolish enough to sign anyone that will decrease their chances of landing Machado. The truth is the Yankees informed Machado and his representatives that they intended to sign Tulowitzki several days before news of the move hit the mainstream media.
Even if/when Machado does sign for the Yankees, they still would need another middle infielder. Machado is more than capable of filling in for Didi Gregorius at shortstop until he recovers from Tommy John surgery, but he can’t be expected to play every inning for the first half of the 2019 season.
Given the organization’s decision to let Ronald Torreyes go and their lack of faith in Tyler Wade to hit at the major league level, signing Tulowitzki makes a lot of sense. The key here is the price tag for the 34-year-old infielder. Cashman has managed to land him on a one-year contract for the veteran’s minimum. Compensation wasn’t a major issue for Tulowitzki since he’s still being paid a fortune by the Blue Jays. He is one of the cheapest players on the team. It also means the Yankees can cut Tulowitzki with minimal cost if he can’t manage to stay healthy.
Health is, of course, a massive concern for the former Rockies and Blue Jays star. He missed the entire 2018 campaign after undergoing surgery on both heels. The Yankees, along with quite a few other teams, got a chance to see him work out live several weeks ago. Presumably they believe his health issues are largely behind him.
Signing Tulowitzki for the minimum is a perfect example of Cashman taking advantage of his team’s financial resources. Some teams might be skittish about handing guaranteed money to a player who is such a huge injury risk. The Yankees can afford to be wrong without it impacting any of their other moves this season.
The bottom line here is that the Yankees are signing Tulowitzki as a flier. They still want to ink Manny Machado to be a star.