Wednesday, January 2, 2019

Holy crap: A cheapo Tulo! WTF? Should we post the tsunami warning?

A great philosopher once said, You can't predict baseball, Suzyn. And once again, Brian "Cooperstown" Cashman has proven that all Yankee trade speculation is pointless: Within the boundless chaos of this eternal Yankiverse, let us know the one sacred truth: 

Our only certainty is uncertainty.  

By now, you probably know the Yankees late yesterday rescued 34-year-old Troy Tulowitzski from the scrap heap, signing him to a one-year deal for a meager $550,000, the MLB equivalent of a trip to McDonalds. Like everything these days about the Yankees, it's almost impossible to assign meaning to the move.

Does it signal the front office has secretly moved on from Manny Machado, that Food Stamps Hal Steinbrenner intends to go cheap on spending, and continue to read menus from right to left? Or is this merely a one-off, low-budget wager, a Neil Walker replacement at a factory outlet price? 

We spent the holidays waiting on Machado, thinking that nothing would happen until he decides his future. Suddenly, kaboom - Tulowitzki lands like a rock from outer space that NASA never even tracked. A tsunami warning is now in effect.

Truth be told, we cannot process the implications of this deal until the winter has ended. But there are factoids to ponder:

1. Tulo didn't play a down in 2018, and he hasn't been worth a plumber's fart since 2016 - three seasons out - when he dinged 24 HRs for Toronto (back when Toronto was actually good.) Tulo is five years removed from his glory days in the hitter haven of Colorado, when he seemed to put up future Hall of Fame numbers. Last time he played regularly - 2017 - he hit .249 over 66 games, and he covered shortstop like a statue of Martha Raye.

2. If this deal should remind us of anything, it should summon up recollections of Vernon Wells, Kevin Youkilis and Alfonso Soriano - desperate former stars seeking magical comebacks in the NYC limelight. It's hard to imagine Cashman attempting to balance 2019 on Tulo's aging limbs. Think of it this way: We just signed the Blue Jays' version of Jacoby Ellsbury. So how much significance should we give this?

3. Interest in Tulo stems from a recent public tryout, where he ran the bases, took some grounders and hit in front of scouts. (Next comes the stool sample.) But the audition raised one tricky point: Tulowitzki made it clear that he wants to start at one position for his next team. Apparently, Cashman must have signaled that, yes, Tulowitzki would get a shot at SS, at least until Didi Gregorius returns in July-August (and let's face it, Didi will face a tough road back, having missed spring training.) So, did the Yankees promise Tulo a crack at SS? And if so... well, I speak for the Yankiverse in saying, OMFG!

Does this mean Manny Machado is not coming... and that he was never really in the mix? Apparently, Philadelphia and the White Sox have offered more money, and even if he prefers NYC, he'll take the cash, thank you. Who can blame him? 

Does it mean "Halligator Arms" Hal plans to be a nice, polite, thrifty, small market owner and not overpay the help? Will the Yankees pass on Machado and Bryce Harper - let the Redsocks once again outspend them by $30 million - and squeeze each dime until FDR squeals in pain from his wheelchair?   

Is Tulo simply a cheap night out that fell into their laps? Or are they pinching pennies on all big free agents? 

And what if - say, tomorrow - Machado says he wants to play for the Yankees? Does Tulo mean that Miguel Andujar will be traded? Jeeze. A cheap, $550,000 rock just fell out of the sky and pardon me, if I'm heading to higher ground until the floors stop shaking. Does anyone have a bucket of ice-water? I need to soak my head for a while.

18 comments:

John M said...

Here comes the stupid.

I'm Bill White said...

B-School Hal knows how to run a team by the book.

KD said...

as a percentage of revenues, Hal puts very little into this team. He is an embarrassment.

Anonymous said...

HERE IS THE #1 QUESTION WE SHOULD BE ASKING.....

CAN TULO PLAY FIRST BASE?

HAS HE EVER BEFORE?

I WILL TAKE HIM OVER NEIL WALKER, BUT WHERE ARE THE LEFTY BATS?

WE NEED BRYCE.

13bit said...

This is what a fully operational Death Star looks like.

Hello from sunny Florida, home of the Grapefruit League.

HoraceClarke66 said...

Or, at least the Death Star once Luke Skywalker has sunk a torpedo deep into its depths.

A better headline today would have been "Oy! Troy!"

So, maybe a left side of the infield with El Matador and Tulowitzki? Does Coops have some secret info that MLB is about to switch to softball rules and allow another fielder? One who could, maybe, stop something there from time to time?

Could the plan really be Tulo, with Hetch-Hetchy filling in for those late innings in which we somehow have a lead?

Tune in tomorrow! Same batty team! Same batty management!

Anonymous said...

Let's game it out...

No Machado. Troy is serviceable. AnDUjar at 3B + Stanton in left = Basically our Maginot Line-Up. Solid as a rock as long as the ball is hit right to them.

Machado signed. Troy is back up at short but only short. = Gleybar stays at second. No Neal Walker. (Yay) Troy becomes Neal Walker (Boo) We've seen the last of Tyler Wade. (Meh) Yankee bench speed now measured in calendar pages.

Machado signed. Troy has good spring. Traded at deadline for lug nut.

Best Case = Troy is back up SS. Adds maturity in the club house and plays "The Yankee Way". Gets clutch hits. Goes to HOF as a Yankee.

Most likely. = Troy tweaks a gonad in Spring Training was signed to give Els someone to play pinochle with.

Doug K.

ranger_lp said...

Couple of predictions about Troy...

1. He will get injured this season.
2. He will not be an installment on Yankeeography...ever.

John M said...

Tulo will learn to swing for the fences, hit 15 home runs by Memorial Day, and bat .175.

Alphonso said...

This is a dangerous trend. Cheap, old and slow.

Threatening the young talent.

Gloom and doom.

If he can't pitch or play first base it is a damaging move.

HoraceClarke66 said...

Doug K., I think you pretty much covered the bases. And Troy has Youkilis all over him.

Of course, there's one other scenario: Manny signs, goes to short as he demands, Troy takes over at third, and Miggy is traded.

NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

Still, I thought I should mention it.

Leinstery said...

As my senior year science teacher used to say when someone said or did something stupid.

Why?

David in Cal said...

Taking Tulo was a no-brainer. He's virtually free and might possibly be of value. That's why 10 teams were interested in him.

13bit said...

"no brain" being the operative phrase here.

yes yes yes...everybody has good points on both sides of this contentious issue.

let me be perfectly clear about one thing, though, to recall the words of Mayor Mike Bloomberg from years gone by: The "Youth Movement" is officially over AND it was actually a sham to begin with, just one more prop in the apparatus that Hal and Brian constructed to support out getting out from under that usurious luxury tax so that we could NOW - in 2019 - spend like drunken billionaires at Tiffanys.

HoraceClarke66 said...

Brilliant, 13bit! I think you have hit upon what their strategy was, at least until the "Youth Movement" spoiled the plan by succeeding much too soon (sort of like "Springtime for Hitler" becoming a hit in "The Producers").

BUT...they are not going to give up the youth movement now. Instead, we are going to have to hear that malarkey while the stuff the roster with broken down nags like Troy. Oy.

HoraceClarke66 said...

"Dave in Cal"? "The San Jose Kid" the other day and now Dave in Cal?

You know what this means, don't you? Our particular form of madness has broken all the way through to the Left Coast! YEE-hah!

Welcome, folks! We can use all the help we can get this year.

Anonymous said...

Just read in the Post that the Yankees are thinking of Troy as the SS no matter what. That is just nuts and opens the door to Hoss' nightmare scenario wherein AnDUjar becomes odd man out.

I too welcome others from CA. One bonus - You will frequently get to be the last post in a thread because everyone else is asleep.

Doug K.

13bit said...

They might be Russian trolls.