On the first day of the year, the New York Yankees decided to finally fill the hole they had at shortstop but not with Manny Machado. Troy Tulowitzki decided to stay in the American League East by signing with New York after being released by Toronto. The Yankees took advantage of the fact that the Jays are still paying the shortstop an important amount of money ($38 million over the next years), so Tulowitzki was not looking for money, but for an opportunity to shine.
Brian Cashman, a long-time fan of the former Rockie, could not pass up the opportunity to sign the veteran to a very low price. Even if Tulowitzki has not played in the last 18 months or so, there is absolutely no risk in inking him to a one-year deal. If he plays well and stays healthy, he could become a regular until Didi Gregorius is ready to play again. On the other hand, if he does play like the 2017 or even 2018 version of himself, the Yankees are just going to bench him and he will be forgotten. Even in that case, he could bring a lot of leadership in the Bronx.
He will likely never be as good as he was in the past, but the Yankees are looking for someone who can fill in for the short-term. He needs to bring stability in the field and even if he struggles at the plate, this is not why the Yankees brought him. This is why New York can’t lose on that little bet: the expectations are not high.
What about Manny Machado?
In the last few weeks, numerous rumors have linked Machado to the Yankees. If he wants to play there, the fans are going to love him and the Yankees do not seem very bothered by his negative behavior during the playoffs. He will shortly enter in his prime years and he is a better option than Tulowitzki.
Machado visited the Phillies and the White Sox, but, according to some insiders, he would prefer to sign in New York. These organizations are not as prestigious as the Yankees and the city of New York seems perfect for a guy like Machado. When he finished his 2018 season in Los Angeles, a bigger city than Baltimore, he was in an environment built for him.
For all these reasons, Machado is very likely to become a Yankee in the next few weeks. He is expected to sign a decade-long contract (or a bit less) worth around $300 million. He is not going to back off because Tulowitzki just signed a minimum-salary contract after a huge injury.
If Machado signs a contract in New York, Tulowitzki will become a bench player or will have to change position in order to play. He knows about the rumours surrounding Machado and he knew that the former Oriole is expected to replace Gregorius in Derek Jeter’s famous spot. Tulowitzki still made the decision to wear the pinstripes because he felt like this was the best opportunity to give his career a second chance.
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