Blue Jays: Troy Tulowitzki’s contract finally off the books

The Blue Jays are finally off the hook for paying the retired Troy Tulowitzki, who finished his career with the Yankees in 2019.

Just days before the 2015 trade deadline, the Toronto Blue Jays made a move that no one saw coming by acquiring Troy Tulowitzki along with LaTroy Hawkins from the Colorado Rockies for Jose Reyes, Miguel Castro and two prospects in Jeff Hoffman and Jesus Tinoco.

At the time, shortstop wasn’t a major need in Toronto, as Reyes was a fine shortstop himself, but Tulo provided a big upgrade, both offensively and defensively. Alex Anthopolous couldn’t pass on the opportunity to acquire a superstar.

In 2010 with the Colorado Rockies, Tulowitzki signed a six year, $120 million extension on top of the three years he had remaining on his contract at the time. It brought the whole deal to a 10 year, $157.75 million.

When the Jays acquired him, it meant taking on his contract and it cost them a hefty penny to do so. The most Tulowitzki made in one season with the Rockies was $16 million in 2014. Meanwhile, the Jays had to pay him $20 million a season from 2016-2018.

As the Jays released him in November 2018, they had to take on the remaining $38 million that was owed to him. They got a very small financial break as the New York Yankees picked him up on a one year deal for the 2019 season. The Yankees gave him a league minimum deal ($555,000) which was deducted from what the Jays owed Tulo for that season.

In 2020, he accounted for $14 million of the Jays payroll, but it’s unclear if they had to pay that in full or prorated due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In order to buyout his contract, the Jays will have to pay him four million, which they will be happy to do to rid him from the books for good. This does not account towards the payroll for the 2021 season, as this last season is a buyout.

In theory, the Jays have more money freed up to spend on free agents or take on a player with a big contract that they deem worthy of.

The oft-injured Tulowitzki played in only 238 games over three and a half seasons with the Blue Jays where he slashed .250/.313/.414 with 36 HR.