Toronto Blue Jays: Does Troy Tulowitzki have anything left?

DETROIT, MI - JULY 16: Troy Tulowitzki #2 of the Toronto Blue Jays fields during the game against the Detroit Tigers at Comerica Park on July 16, 2017 in Detroit, Michigan. The Tigers defeated the Blue Jays 6-5. (Photo by Mark Cunningham/MLB Photos via Getty Images)
DETROIT, MI - JULY 16: Troy Tulowitzki #2 of the Toronto Blue Jays fields during the game against the Detroit Tigers at Comerica Park on July 16, 2017 in Detroit, Michigan. The Tigers defeated the Blue Jays 6-5. (Photo by Mark Cunningham/MLB Photos via Getty Images) /
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The Toronto Blue Jays are eating $38 million to make Troy Tulowitzki go away. Does the oft injured shortstop have anything left to offer?

Amongst the signings, trades, and rumors to come out of the Winter Meetings on Tuesday came a surprising bit of news. The Toronto Blue Jays made the decision to release shortstop Troy Tulowitzki, although he was still due another $38 million over the next two seasons. While the Blue Jays are not the Rays or Athletics when it comes to salary constraints, that is still a sizable amount of money to flush away.

It is understandable as to why the Blue Jays would look to move on. Tulowitzki did not play at all in 2018, and only appeared in 66 games the year before. In that truncated season, he produced a career worst .249/.300/.378 batting line, hitting only seven homers and ten doubles in 260 plate appearances.

Now 34 years old, and coming off surgery on both heels, it is fair to wonder what Tulowitzki has left. He has not appeared in a game since July 28, 2017, which would be over 20 months from Opening Day in 2019. Even if Tulowitzki is healthy, which is a major question mark, he may need a lot of time to shake off that rust.

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However, it is easy to see why a team would be intrigued by the prospect of bringing the former All Star on board. It is not that long ago that Tulowitzki was a legitimate middle of the lineup bat, a perennial All Star who hit over 20 homers as recently as 2016. He also displayed excellent defense at short, even in his injury marred 2017 campaign, as he saved six runs that year, and has the sixth most runs saved of any major league shortstop.

He is also not necessarily demanding to stay at short. Tulowitzki, knowing his market would be limited, is willing to change positions, potentially looking to move to second base. He also reportedly wants to pay in the Bay Area for a winning team. Hello Oakland?

If Tulowitzki can provide even league average production with the bat, and can continue to play defense at an elite level, then he would be a bargain on a league minimum salary. Yet, not only can a team not count on Tulowitzki being able to appear on the diamond, as he has played in over 140 games only three times since his debut in 2006, but they cannot count on his being able to play at even a league average rate offensively. In a lot of ways, he will be the ultimate lottery ticket, easy to move on from if he does not have anything left.

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The Toronto Blue Jays have moved on from Troy Tulowitzki, feeling he has nothing left to offer to franchise. It is fair to wonder if he has anything left in the tank at all, after the myriad of injuries he has suffered.