With the recent addition of reigning National League MVP Giancarlo Stanton, the Yankees’ outfield will be awfully crowded in 2018, and the future role for Jacoby Ellsbury in the Bronx remains somewhat of a mystery.
But Ellsbury’s big shot agent, Scott Boras, told reporters on Wednesday that his client is eager to continue his playing days with a team equipped for championship runs — despite the latest trade buzz.
“Right now [Ellsbury’s] pretty excited. Talked to him yesterday. He feels he’s going to be a major part of what they’re doing,” Boras said. “I think there’s going to be a competition in New York. They have a lot of diamonds in their jewelry store, no question about it. It’s going to be a very healthy environment and Jacoby has done a lot of big things in a lot of big situations in a lot of big cities, so competition does not in any way do anything but exhilarate him.”
As Ellbury’s representative, Boras’ remarks aren’t surprising. The 34-year-old veteran — who hit .264 with 39 RBI in just 112 games last season — will certainly have to beat out his competition, as Stanton, Aaron Judge, Aaron Hicks, and Brett Gardner are expected to rotate in the outfield. Last month during the GM Meetings, Brian Cashman told reporters that Ellsbury will have to fight for a starting job during spring training.
But, with Stanton and Judge as everyday fixtures in the lineup, it seems more than likely that Ellsbury will serve as a $68 million bench player — barring injuries to anyone else. And that could be his role until his contract expires after the 2020 season.
According to FanRag Sports’ insider Jon Heyman, the Yankees are reportedly willing to eat half of the money remaining on Ellsbury’s contract if another team is interested in a trade. But, with Ellsbury having a full no-trade clause, he ultimately controls the situation, and if Boras’ comments hold any truth, it seems unlikely that Ellsbury will be in another uniform next season.