Former Blue Jays shortstop Tulowitzki announces retirement

Jul 26 2019, 3:22 am

Troy Tulowitzki — one of the prized acquisitions from the Toronto Blue Jays’ 2015 trade deadline — has called it a career. Tulo announced his retirement from Major League Baseball after 14 seasons in the big leagues, playing most recently for the New York Yankees.

Injuries took their toll on the five-time All-Star and two-time Silver Slugger and Gold Glove Award winner. Tulowitzki played in a handful of games this year before suffering calf strain.

Coincidentally enough, the announcement is just a few days shy of the Blue Jays’ trade for Tulowitzki back in July 2015. Most Blue Jays fans look back longingly on that chaotic week when the team acquired Tulowitzki, David Price, Ben Revere, Mark Lowe, and LaTroy Hawkins.

Although the Price trade sent Blue Jays fans into a complete frenzy, it was the Tulo deal that caught nearly everybody in baseball off guard. Not only was the deal struck in the early hours of July 28, 2015, but at no point were there any whispers of the Blue Jays making a play for the All-Star shortstop.

Part of the team’s second-half turnaround in 2015 was attributed to the trade of Tulowitzki. His presence on the infield as a Gold Glove-calibre defender helped tighten up the defence and placed an emphasis on run prevention at the shortstop position.

Tulo also provided some memorable moments on the other side of the ball, namely his clutch three-run home run in Game 3 of the 2015 ALDS versus the Texas Rangers. It helped stage the Blue Jays’ comeback, trailing 0-2 in the series until Tulo came to the plate.

Then there was his bases-clearing double in Game 5 of the 2015 ALCS versus the Kansas City Royals.

It’s hard to imagine where the 2015 and 2016 Blue Jays would’ve been without Tulowitzki’s contributions. Although his tenure in Toronto came to a screeching halt, he provided some lasting memories for the organization in 2015 and 2016.

After battling nagging injuries for years, the 34-year-old hung up his cleats. Tulowitzki missed close to a season-and-a-half with the Blue Jays because of bone spurs in his heels. The subsequent surgeries and recoveries sidelined Tulowitzki for half of the 2017 season and the entire 2018 season.

The Blue Jays released Tulowitzki on December 11 of last year and in doing so, ate the $38 million remaining on his contract. He signed a minor league deal with the New York Yankees and broke camp as the Bronx Bombers’ opening day shortstop.

It’s a shame that major injuries derailed his career because if healthy, Tulowitzki was surely on a path to the Hall of Fame. He was a big-bodied shortstop who had the power of a lumbering first baseman, but the agility of a sure-footed shortstop.

In the meantime, he’s already moved onto his next job: assistant coach with the Texas Longhorns college baseball team.