Show of hands if you had this one on your MLB free agency bingo card! In a surprise move that throws the Manny Machado sweepstakes into total disarray, the New York Yankees are reportedly making a move at shortstop to bridge the gap until Didi Gregorius is ready to return at shortstop. Per MLB insider Jeff Passan, the Bronx Bombers are merely a physical away from making things official with free agent Troy Tulowitzki.
Free agent shortstop Troy Tulowitzki is in agreement on a deal with the New York Yankees pending a physical, league sources tell ESPN. Tulowitzki is expected to join the Yankees on a league-minimum deal, with the Toronto Blue Jays paying the remainder of his $20 million salary.— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) January 2, 2019
Tulo will arrive on a minimum deal after a stint with the Blue Jays that was utterly derailed by injuries. The five-time All-Star appeared in just 66 games in 2017 due to ligament damage in his ankle, and missed the entirety of last season after undergoing surgery for bone spurs.
All told, it's not at all clear what the 34-year-old has left in the tank. But for such a paltry sum, taking a flier on a man who was once one of the best all-around players in baseball is a defensible call for the Pinstripes.
Troy Tulowitzki is expected to play shortstop for the Yankees while Didi Gregorius recovers from Tommy John surgery. Important: This does not take the Yankees out of the Manny Machado sweepstakes, sources tell ESPN. Tulowitzki at the minimum salary was simply too good to pass up.— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) January 2, 2019
Of course, the single biggest consequence of tonight's reported deal surrounds Manny Machado, far and away the premier infielder on the open market this offseason. The Yankees were presumed favorites for his services, and while they could absolutely still scoop him up, this news makes things all the more interesting as the hot stove season enters 2019.