The Pittsburgh Pirates need a shortstop for the 2019 season. One of their top realistic options is now off the board.
Many Pittsburgh Pirates fans have been clamoring for the team to fill one of their biggest holes in their lineup by bringing in a new shortstop. The top option in many eyes was Troy Tulowitzki, who was released by the Toronto Blue Jays earlier this offseason.
What made this a great option for the Pittsburgh Pirates is that he could not be offered any more than the league minimum due to the Toronto Blue Jays still owing him $38 million over the next two seasons. This put the Pittsburgh Pirates in the mix to sign the injury prone, but former all-star shortstop. The team was interested as they were one of eleven teams to scout him during his workout last month.
However, the Pittsburgh Pirates will not be the team signing the former Rockies and Blue Jays shortstop. Jeff Passan reported late last night that Clint Hurdle‘s former shortstop will be signing with the New York Yankees. Passan tweeted:
"“Free agent shortstop Troy Tulowitzki is in agreement on a deal with the New York Yankees pending a physical, league sources tell ESPN. Tulowitzki is expected to join the Yankees on a league-minimum deal, with the Toronto Blue Jays paying the remainder of his $20 million salary.”"
So, unfortunately, the Pittsburgh Pirates were not able to lure Tulo to the NL Central. The Bucs were able to offer Tulowitzki the chance to play every day at shortstop and the comfortability of playing for a manager that he spent a lot of years with. Furthermore, the Pittsburgh Pirates finished last year with 82 wins and conceivably should be even better next year, adding him would have made the team a true playoff contender.
However, there is the issue. The New York Yankees need a starting shortstop for at least half the season, as incumbent shortstop Didi Gregorius is recovering from Tommy-John Surgery. Gregorius will be out until at least July, meaning Tulo has plenty of time to reestablish himself. Tulo could always move to DH or fill in if there are injuries elsewhere.
So where does this leave the Pittsburgh Pirates? Many fans are already considering the worst and that the team will not add a shortstop. First off, the team has been reported to have interest in other options such as Freddy Galvis and Nick Ahmed. Meanwhile, there are many other options on the board such as Jose Iglesias, Marwin Gonzalez, and others.
Realistically, the Pittsburgh Pirates did not have a lot of say in the Tulowitzki negotiations. They could not offer any more money than any other team. It is tough to blame the team on this one, however there is still plenty of time to sign another shortstop.