Who's going to be the Cubs' starting shortstop at the outset of the 2019 season? Well, it won't be Troy Tulowitzki. But according to a report, that's who the Cubs wanted it to be before he signed with the New York Yankees.
According to SNY's Andy Martino, "the Cubs pursued Tulowitzki to be their starting shortstop, at a minimum for the duration of Addison Russell's domestic violence suspension."
Tulowitzki is viewed as a zero-risk move for the Yankees as they get a former All-Star shortstop with a couple Gold Gloves on his resume for the league-minimum salary. But according to Martino, the interest in Tulowitzki was hardly confined to The Bronx, with 16 teams either making a contract offer or showing interest. The Cubs, along with the division-rival Pittsburgh Pirates, were hoping to add Tulowitzki as their starting shortstop, with the Los Angeles Angels also named as an interested party.
The Cubs have some question marks at shortstop as Russell is slated to miss roughly the first month of the season while suspended by the league. While the Cubs insist that they're keeping Russell around and playing a part in his rehabilitation, that hasn't stopped people from wondering if Russell has played his final game in a Cubs uniform.
If that ends up being the case, the Cubs would likely lean on Javy Baez at shortstop and utilize a combination of Ben Zobrist, Ian Happ, recently acquired infielder Daniel Descalso at second base, with David Bote backing up Baez at short.
Theo Epstein's front office has made a habit of trying to find diamonds in the rough or turn cast-off veterans into contributors on winning rosters, and Tulowitzki would have been no different. But Tulowitzki picked the Yankees on a league-minimum salary.