The Phillies, along with at least 10 other MLB teams, were in Long Beach Tuesday to watch Troy Tulowitzki work out, according to Yahoo! Sports.
Tulowitzki is now a free agent after being released last week by the Blue Jays. He had two years and $38 million remaining on his contract but Toronto saw it as a sunk cost and wanted to move on.
Tulo, throughout his 12-year big-league career, has been one of the most prominent examples of a player skilled enough to be a top MVP finisher if he ever stayed healthy. Here are his games missed per season:
So over the last seven seasons, Tulowitzki has averaged just 84 games played.
He's 34 years old, and his next team won't be identifying him as the everyday shortstop. It would just be unwise given his health history. But Tulowitzki could absolutely contribute to a team as a third baseman who plays shortstop or second on occasion. He sure has the arm for third.
What makes Tulowitzki super appealing is his price tag. Because the Blue Jays are eating the rest of his contract, Tulo's new team will be on the hook for only $555,000, the MLB minimum. That will interest many clubs because it's a no-risk, high-reward proposition. You'd be paying Troy Tulowitzki like he's Andres Blanco ... who really cares if Tulo tops out at 200 or 250 plate appearances?
It's impossible to know what kind of hitter Tulowitzki is these days, but that's why he's holding an on-field workout for a host of clubs. The last time he had a full season's worth of plate appearances was 2016, when in 544 of them, he hit .254/.318/.443 with 24 homers and 79 RBI.
If the Phillies were to bring Tulo aboard, it would likely be as a third baseman. With Cesar Hernandez still on the roster, Scott Kingery is in a super-utility role. If Hernandez wasn't here, a possibility could've been Kingery at second with Tulo in that utility role.
However, since a bidding war cannot really occur based on money, Tulo will likely just pick the spot that offers him the clearest chance at playing time. The Phillies wouldn't be able to commit much more to him than a part-time role.
Still, it's a development worth monitoring. Tuesday in Long Beach was the Phillies doing due diligence, but if they came away impressed, Tulo would be an intriguing bench option in 2019.
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