At about 3:00 PM ET yesterday afternoon, the Toronto Blue Jays announced the release of SS Troy Tulowitzki, ending his tempestuous era with the Toronto Blue Jays.
Troy Tulowitzki was acquired from the Colorado Rockies on July 28th, 2015, along with reliever LaTroy Hawkins, in exchange for infielder Jose Reyes and three minor league pitchers, Jeff Hoffman, Miguel Castro, and Jesus Tinoco.
The Tulowitzki era in Toronto had a great start, as the Blue Jays won majority of their games down the stretch in the 2015 season to roar to 1st place in the AL East. Tulo and the Blue Jays ended up getting bested by the Kansan City Royals in six games in the ALCS that year, before making it back the following season. In 2016, the Blue Jays had a similar result, once again being knocked out in the ALCS, this time by Cleveland.
As the years went on, Tulowitzki began to become more injury prone, hitting the DL constantly. In 2016 and 2017 combined, Tulowitzki appeared in just 197 games, while not playing in a single one this past season.
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There was speculation following this past season that the 34 year old SS might have to consider a position change in order to get himself some playing time in 2019 and beyond. Tulowitzki was quick to shut those rumours down, saying, “I am a shortstop. If someone’s better than me, I’ll pack my bags and go home.”
Ross Atkins decided last offseason that the Blue Jays would make one last competitive push with the veterans. Once it was clear the Blue Jays were out of contention, all eyes were on the rebuild. With names like Bo Bichette, Cavan Biggio, Lourdes Gurriel Jr. and Vladimir Guerrero Jr. all coming up soon, there was no longer room for Tulowitzki on the Blue Jays roster.
Although this may be a sad ending to what started off as a promising beginning with Troy Tulowitzki, it does solidify one thing – the rebuild is officially underway. And with the release of Tulowitzki, the Blue Jays can now let the young guys play more.
Tulowitzki’s agent, Paul Cohen, had this to say about the Blue Jays release of his client: “I’ve known Mark Shapiro for decades. He is one of the most decent, forthright, honest people I know. If they are really going to go with young guys next year, it’s best to give Troy the opportunity to seek out the best situation.”
Tulowitzki is now clear to sign with whatever team he would like, and is still owed $38M by the Blue Jays over the next two years.