Ken Rosenthal reports that the Pittsburgh Pirates are among the teams with interest in free-agent infielder. One of perhaps six teams, we learned over the weekend.
Pirates manager Clint Hurdle was Tulo’s manager in Colorado back in the day. Maybe this is just Hurdle or someone saying nice things about Tulowitzki off the record. Maybe it’s a basis for real interest. For what it’s worth, though, the Pirates’ infield is kind of a disaster on paper right now, so taking a chance on Tulowitzki — who will only make the league minimum since the Blue Jays are still on the hook to pay him $38 million over the next two years — is an extraordinarily low-risk prospect.
Tulowtizki last appeared in the majors in 2017, hitting .249/.300/.378 with 17 extra-base hits and a .678 OPS through 260 plate appearances. Bone spurs and surgery for said bone spurs kept him off the field for all of 2018.
The Athletic’s Sahadev Sharma reports that the Cubs have considered trading super-utilityman Ben Zobrist in order to free up payroll space, which would allow the club to address other areas of the roster.
Zobrist, 37, is entering the final year of his contract and will earn $12 million in 2019. According to Cot’s Contracts, the Cubs project to have an Opening Day payroll of about $204.5 million, just a hair below the luxury tax threshold of $206 million. The Cubs have notably been absent from the free agent marketplace, particularly involving Bryce Harper and Manny Machado, due to luxury tax concerns.
Last season, Zobrist hit .305/.378/.440 with nine home runs, 58 RBI, and 67 runs scored in 520 plate appearances. He played all over the field, logging 100-plus innings in both outfield corners and second base while also spending a handful of games at first base. With Addison Russell serving a 40-game suspension to open the 2019 season, Javier Báez will handle shortstop and Zobrist figures to be the starting second baseman.