Red Sox

Hot Stove Lunch: Red Sox interest in Troy Tulowitzki a puzzle

(Mark Cunningham/MLB Photos/Getty Images)

The Red Sox were one of about a dozen teams attending a workout held by free agent Troy Tulowitzki recently, which seems, well…odd.

Tulowitzki was released last week by the Toronto Blue Jays, who owe him more $38 million for the next two years. So, any team signing Tulowitzki could do so for the minimum salary of about $660,000.

OK, so cost isn’t an issue for the Red Sox.

But how about fit? The Sox, of course, have Xander Bogaerts at short, and while Tulowitzki has signaled a willingness to play other infield positions, the Sox hope to have Dustin Pedroia back at second. If he’s not, they have Brock Holt and Eduardo Nunez.

Third base? Unlikely, since Rafael Devers is under control for another five seasons and the Sox expect a breakout season from him in 2019.

So, again, where? Perhaps Tulowitzki could serve as a utility infielder and temporary placeholder at second base until Pedroia is a full go. Or, maybe the Sox see him as insurance at short in the event they can’t extend or re-sign Bogaerts, who is eligible for free agency after 2019.

But Tulowitzki is 34 and didn’t play at all last year. In fact, he’s played more than 130 games just once since 2011, so he can hardly be counted on physically, especially after coming off surgeries to remove bone spurs in both heels.

Perhaps its just due diligence on the part of the Sox. But from a distance, it’s hard to understand.

Elsewhere…

AL EAST 

Ken Davidoff believes Bryce Harper is a better fit for the Yankees than Manny Machado

Joel Sherman examines why the Yankees want Machado

A few updates on the Orioles.

A few Cuban players with ties to the Rays weighed in on the new agreement between MLB and the Players Association that will help players come to the U.S. from Cuba.

The Blue Jays are taking a patient approach to the market this winter.

AL CENTRAL 

The Indians are still engaging teams on Corey Kluber.

Could the Twins be a longshot to land Harper?

The White Sox will need either Harper or Machado to take a leap of faith with them.

Already, the Royals’ outfield picture is overcrowded.

AL WEST

A look at how the Rangers’ new ballpark is progressing.

Can Matt Harvey resurrect his career with the Angels?

A former Raider doesn’t want to see the A’s leave Oakland.

The Mariners ballpark has undergone a name change.

NATIONAL LEAGUE

Rhys Hoskins is doing his best to recruit free agents for the Phillies.

HOT TAKE I MIGHT SOON REGRET

Wednesday’s agreement between MLB and MLB Players Association is a momentous one. Essentially, what this achieves is eliminating the need for players from Cuba to defect in order to come to the U.S. or Canada to play Major League Baseball.

There have been horrific stories of human trafficking associated with players trying to leave the island nation. Now, the Cuban Baseball Federation will allow players to come play without having to defect — and all that that entails.

This could open the door for many more players to come from Cuba, whose players will now be treated the same as players coming from Japan or Korea.

As baseball continues to grow internationally and seek out talent from all over the world, it also promises to deliver more talented players to fans of MLB.

print