Former Blue Jays shortstop Troy Tulowitzki not surprised by release

A trip around the majors sees Yusei Kikuchi sign a three-year deal with the Mariners, plus Troy Tulowitzki signs a one-year deal with the Yankees, and power hitting Nelson Cruz settles on a one-year deal with the Twins.

Nearly a month after being released by the Toronto Blue Jays, newly signed New York Yankees shortstop Troy Tulowitzki seems unfazed by his former team’s decision to part ways with him.

Tulowitzki said in a conference call with reporters that he understands he and his former team were no longer on the same page, according to NJ.com’s Brendan Kuty. The Blue Jays released Tulowitzki during December’s Winter Meetings, agreeing to take on the full $38 million that was still owed to the shortstop.

“They were kind of heading in a different direction than I wanted to go,” Tulowitzki told reporters on Monday. “They were going to go young and commit to a young player. They have some good ones there.”

According to Sportsnet’s Shi Davidi, Tulowitzki’s agent had already laid out a number of possible off-season outcomes to the infielder, and an early release optimized his quest to sign with a different club.

Tulowitzki also says he’s onboard with the Yankees signing Manny Machado.

The infielder told reporters that he would support the move if it helped the Yankees become a better team, Kuty reports.

“I signed up to be a Yankee because I want to play with the best players,” Tulowitzki said. “So if Manny’s one of those guys, I think that would be awesome … so whatever happens happens and I’ll be ready to play.”

Tulowitzki made it clear during his search for a new team that he wanted to play for a contender and would prefer to come back as a shortstop. With the Yankees’ currently positioned as one of the best teams in the American League and their pressing need at shortstop, the fit made sense.

The five-time all-star didn’t play in 2018 after having surgery to repair injuries on both heels, but multiple reports have indicated that he’s well recovered, and scouts were even impressed with his athleticism after a workout session in December. The infielder reportedly drew serious interest from at least six teams before settling with the Yankees.

The 34-year-old’s security might be in jeopardy, however. Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said last week that the team currently views Tulowitzki as its starting shortstop, but that will most likely change once Didi Gregorius recovers from Tommy John surgery. While Tulowitzki told reporters there was “no sense” in discussing where he would play once Gregorius returns, signing Machado would likely also hamper the initial plan and stiffen the middle-infield competition.

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