The main takeaway from the Tulo news is the report that this doesn't at all take the Yankees out of the running to sign superstar free agent Manny Machado. The Yankees met on December 19 with free agent shortstop Manny Machado and could continue that pursuit.
Tulowitzki still had two years and $38 million remaining on his contract with Toronto at the time of his release. The Yankees are only responsible for the pro-rated portion of the league minimum ($555,000).
Injuries have limited Tulowitzki to just 66 games the last two years, including none last season.
Tulowitzki made his debut as a 21 year old for the Colorado Rockies and quickly established himself as one of the best all-round players.
That Tulowitzki picked the Yankees without the assurance of 500-plus plate appearances exemplifies just how motivated he is to play for them. Overrun by injuries, Tulowitzki played in 238 games over 3 ½ seasons in Toronto. Passan notes that Tulowitzki will likely log some time at shortstop for the Yankees while their regular shortstop, Didi Gregorius, recovers from Tommy John surgery. A enormous contract offer could convince Machado to move back to third base, where he spent the majority of his big league career and won a pair of Gold Gloves. If the Yankees do sign Machado, then they'll have a crowded infield situation once Gregorius returns. I also think if Machado wants to sign with the Yankees it's going to be on their terms.
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John Gibbons did not get to manage Troy Tulowitzki past year and yet the now-former Blue Jay skipper declared the Yankees took a great gamble for next season. It should have nearly no impact on their Machado pursuit, aside from perhaps a little extra leverage in negotiations.
Machado has already met with the Yankees, Phillies and White Sox in their home cities, while Harper has been meeting with interested teams in his hometown of Las Vegas, including some during the winter meetings there last month.
The deal for the free agent infielder was reportedly too good to pass up for the Yankees as it was a win-win situation for them.
In the end, though, Tulowitzki represents a low-risk, high-reward move by a team with strong designs on the World Series.