Veteran shortstop Troy Tulowitzki hasn’t played in a professional baseball game since July 2017 and was just released by the Blue Jays (with the Jays swallowing nearly $40 million in the process). He can still draw a crowd, it turns out, as a workout featuring the 34-year-old was attended by scouts or representatives from about a dozen MLB teams.
A group that included reps from the Boston Red Sox, which is certainly interesting.
Now, despite the immediate name recognition that comes with the five-time All-Star, it’s worth mentioning that ‘Tulo’ was last successful in a prominent role in 2016, when he hit 24 homers and knocked in 79 RBIs in 131 games for the Blue Jays. And he last hit at least .300 back in 2014, with a .340 average his final full season with the Colorado Rockies.
His name has become synonymous with injuries more than it has that aforementioned on-field performance, and Tulowitzki himself admitted that he sat out all of last year to get himself back in shape, both “mentally and physically.”
And at first glance, it’s hard to think Boston’s attendance is anything more than an organization doing their due diligence on a free agent looking for a chance to revitalize the latter half of his career, especially with Xander Bogaerts still in town.
But perhaps Dave Dombrowski and Co. have some inventive (read as: probably unlikely) ideas when it comes to taking a low-risk, high-reward chance on a player with the proven tools to be a solid contributor when right.
The Red Sox are still banking on Dustin Pedroia, who was limited to just three games last year due to complications from offseason knee season, being ready to go when the 2019 season begins. And they still have Brock Holt and Eduardo Nunez on their roster as potential backup options, even with Ian Kinsler’s departure to the Padres earlier in free agency. Perhaps Tulowitzki, who has always been a tremendous fielder at shortstop, could make the move to second base.
Or perhaps the Red Sox could look at Tulowitzki as a potential platoon option with Rafael Devers at third base after a slump-heavy 2018 season that saw the still-developing Devers finish with a sub-.250 batting average and sub-.300 OBP.
But the counterpoint to all of these ideas is that Tulowitzki has not played anywhere besides shortstop in his MLB career, and there’s little incentive for the California native to move away from short if teams still view him as a potential fit there.
Meaning that end of the day, this is probably a whole lot of nothing.