Since the news was released that All-Star shortstop, Troy Tulowitzki, was released from the Toronto Blue Jays, speculation began to arise as to where he would sign — not if he would sign. On December 18th, Tulowitzki held a private work out with 11 teams in attendance.
One of those teams was the Detroit Tigers.
Does a Tulowitzki to the Tigers deal make sense? Let’s divide out the arguments.
For Signing Tulo –
For a stretch of years, Tulo was arguably the best shortstop in all of baseball. Compiling a career WAR of 44.1, five All-Star appearances, two-time Gold Glover, and multiple Silver Sluggers, Tulo is a 12-year veteran that has postseason experience.
Even better, when the Blue Jays cut Tulo, they still are on the hook for his $38 million over the next two years. This is a simple low-risk, possible reward situation for the Tigers. For a team that signed Jordy Mercer to a one-year deal, and who have yet to decide who will man the keystone for 2019, signing Tulowitzki does make sense. Especially given the price tag, veteran presence, and defensive need he would be. A middle infield of Mercer and Tulo could be a great bridge to the prospects littered in the Tigers minor league system.
This could definitely be the move for the Tigers, given the production Tulo could bring, they could potentially flip him at the deadline to a contender for more prospects. Especially given the salary he’ll be paid, he could be very, very valuable.
Against Signing Tulo –
The defensive upgrade and price tag aside, Tulo does come with some baggage. This is why signing Tulowitzki isn’t so much of a no-brainer. It has been well documented that he has faced his fair share of injuries since 2012.
This is the major hangup for signing Tulowitzki, will he be healthy enough to become that valuable trade chip come the end of July. Since 2011, when he played in 143 games, the former All-Star has only once (2016, 131) played more than 130 games in a season; not to mention, four out of those seven years brought a games-played-total of fewer than 100 games. There’s a very good chance the “risk” would be in the fact Tulowitzki would not be moved at the deadline and the Tigers would be forced to either play him or cut him come August.
There is no way to truly say one way or the other if signing Tulowitzki would be a good choice for the Detroit Tigers. There’s good to it, there are drawbacks to it. Does the possible reward of a trade piece outweigh the possible risk of not being able to move him at all, and him blocking a position at the end of the season?
That’s the million dollar question.