A couple of moves involving two guys who just a few years ago were considered among the best players in baseball hit the Tweetbox within minutes of each other this afternoon, with Andrew McCutchen agreeing to a deal with the Philadelphia Phillies, per multiple reports, and Troy Tulowitzki being released by the Toronto Blue Jays.
McCutchen is reportedly getting a 3 year, $50 million deal from the Phillies, with an option for a fourth year. McCutchen isn’t a center fielder anymore, but he’s a quality corner outfielder who has had a couple of solid years in a row after having a big dip in 2016. The expectations seemed to be that he would land a 3 year deal, though in the low-teens rather than the $17 million per year that he’s getting, but Philly apparently decided they wanted McCutchen and moved quickly on him. This would seem to take them out of the Bryce Harper bidding, with Nick Williams and Aaron Altherr manning left field and McCutchen right field, though they could still go big for Harper and just deal Williams or Altherr (or both) in another deal.
As for Tulowitzki, this is sad news, as it seems to signal that his career may be coming to an end. Tulowitzki is still owed $38 million for 2019 and 2020, along with the buyout of his 2021 team option, so the Jays flat releasing him would seem to suggest they don’t think his health will allow him to play anymore. Tulo is in the same category as guys like Grady Sizemore and David Wright, among the best in the game when he was healthy, but battling injuries for much of his career, and now seeing them seemingly cutting his career short. The Jays acquired him from the Colorado Rockies, his original team, in July, 2015, in a deal that sent Jose Reyes, Jeff Hoffman and Miguel Castro to Colorado. Tulowitzki only played in 66 games in 2017, putting up a 678 OPS, and missed all of 2018.