The Blue Jays made a bold move this off-season when they released Troy Tulowitzki while he still had two years and $38-million remaining on his contract. Now, just a little over two weeks into the season, one can better understand why the Blue Jays chose to replace Tulowitzki with 29-year old Freddy Galvis.
Just 15 games into the season and Galvis has been Toronto’s best player on both the defensive and offensive side of the ball. Tulowitzki meanwhile found himself on the injured list after just five games because of a calf strain.
It isn’t just the difference in their 2019 stats that confirms why Galvis was the right player for the Blue Jays and Tulowitzki wasn’t. Towards the end of last season, Tulowitzki made it perfectly clear he had no intention of playing anywhere but shortstop. Imagine that, a 34-year old veteran returning from a 21-month hiatus on the injured list and he’s claiming that shortstop is still his.
The whole refusal to play any position other than shortstop was Tulowitzki’s way of getting the Blue Jays to release him as soon as possible. Which they did. Thus giving him exactly what he wanted…an opportunity to sign with another club (a winning club) and finish his career on his terms.
Galvis on the other hand has proven he’s more than willing to do whatever the Blue Jays ask of him. So far this season, Galvis has hit 1st, 2nd, 7th, 8th, and 9th in the order. It makes no difference to him where he hits, he’s just happy to be playing and contributing where he can. And even though Galvis is the best defensive shortstop in the entire Blue Jays organization, he probably wouldn’t hesitate to move to another position if it meant accommodating one of Toronto’s promising young infielders.
With so many talented infield prospects coming up through the ranks, the last thing the rebuilding Blue Jays needed was a crusty old veteran who wanted no part of such a team. Unlike Tulowitzki, Galvis is all about putting the team first, and I couldn’t think of a more suitable player to mentor the likes of Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Bo Bichette, and Cavan Biggio as they work to improve upon their somewhat unpolished defense.