Blue Jays’ Troy Tulowitzki progressing but then what?

TORONTO, ON - JULY 28: Troy Tulowitzki
TORONTO, ON - JULY 28: Troy Tulowitzki /

According to Toronto Blue Jays manager, John Gibbons shortstop Troy Tulowitzki is progressing and will resume baseball activities this week, however, the $20 million dollar question is what do you do with Tulowitzki once he is healthy enough to return?

The Blue Jays have hefty financial obligations still remaining for the services of Troy Tulowitzki. The oft-injured 33-year old is still owed $20 million for this season and next plus another $14 million in 2020 and a $15 million team option with a $4 million buyout for 2021. So including this year, the Jays are on the hook for $58 million for the aging shortstop.

Tulowitzki only played in 66 games last season and was not ready to go this year due to heel spurs that stemmed from his ankle injury last season. There is still no immediate return date for him but baseball activities is a step in the right direction for his rehabilitation.

The Blue Jays were well prepared for another season of injury disappointment and rendered the services of Aledmys Diaz and Yangervis Solarte during the offseason. Diaz has seen the lions share of the work at shortstop and has slumped of late with the bat lowering his average on the season to .191 however he does have four home runs to his credit.

Solarte is accustomed to third base but can play shortstop in a pinch if needed, he has one game there so far this season and is hitting better than Diaz with a .237 average and six round-trippers. While newly promoted rookie Lourdes Gurriel Jr. is also a middle infielder by trade.

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There is no question Tulowitzki can still offer some offensive upside and he does bring an element of calmness to the infield when playing defence but I am positive the Blue Jays would jump at the opportunity to cut bait with Tulo and stick with what they have used to begin the 2018 campaign.

Unfortunately, Tulo has not been the same player since leaving Colorado and although he was very integral in the 2015 postseason run, the shortstop has not lived up the expectations that were placed on him when the Jays acquired him and LaTroy Hawkins for Jeff Hoffman, Miguel Castro, Jesus Tinoco and Jose Reyes.

John Gibbons has proved with the slumping Randal Grichuk that he is going to play the hot hand so once Tulo returns the manager can ideally go with the hotter of the two between Tulo and Diaz. Gurriel would likely be sent back to Buffalo unless he forces their hand in the interim much like what outfielder Teoscar Hernandez did.

We all witnessed Vernon Wells and his enormous contract get dealt so anything is possible but I personally do not see a team taking Tulowitzki from the Jays unless they eat almost the entire financial repercussions attached to him.

Next: Blue Jays: Will Vladimir Guerrero Jr. force the Jays’ hands?

Too many shortstops is never a bad thing unless of course they are owed $58 million over the next three seasons. Interesting times ahead in Blue Jays land.