Blue Jays: Which “dead contract” has gotta go?
One of the most decorated players on the Blue Jays roster hasn’t so much as sniffed the field this season, other than to pose for some photos as a pitcher during spring training. Since then, Troy Tulowitzki has had surgery on both heels to get rid of some nagging bone spurs, and just recently been clearly to resume baseball activities. There is no timeline for his return at all, but hopefully we’ll see him at least attempting some rehab games by June.
The 33 year old still arguably has the talent to make a difference on a big league roster, but his body simply hasn’t allowed it over the last few seasons. He’s had injury issues throughout his career, but it’s been particularly bad as he’s gotten older, and the Blue Jays have been without their starting shortstop for quite some time.
At this point I don’t think the Blue Jays are counting on anything from the five time All-Star, which is a shame if you think about it. Fingers crossed, he’ll be able to get healthy at some point in 2018 and play during the second half of the season. With improved depth including Aledmys Diaz, Lourdes Gurriel, Yangervis Solarte and more, it’s possible he can get regular rest and stay as fresh as he can too.
However, if say, he has a major setback during rehab of the latest affliction, it might be time to start asking if the roster would be better off without him taking up a spot. When he sits on the 60 day DL he doesn’t have to take up a roster spot, but the Blue Jays have been waiting for his return at shortstop, without much in the way of a pay off. They did upgrade the depth with his fragile body in mind, but it’s hard to say what his future will look like if he can’t stay healthy this time.
While I don’t have a lot of faith in him staying healthy for much of the remainder of his contract, I’m definitely cheering for the guy. Anyone who continues to rehab, year after year, in pursuit of excellence, and proving his doubters wrong, has my respect. In an ideal world Tulowitzki will be a big upgrade to the roster in the second half of 2018, and hopefully having nearly a year away from the diamond by then will be enough rest to keep him on the roster. If not, who knows how the Blue Jays will proceed.
They owe him 20 million for this season, 20 million in 2019, 14 million in 2020, and have a buyout for four million on the 2021 option, meaning the balance is in the neighbourhood of 53 million.