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Heyman: SF Giants make sense for Jacoby Ellsbury

Jon Heyman reported today that Jacoby Ellsbury may be willing to waive his no trade clause to a select few teams, one of which is the San Francisco Giants.

The Giants made moves earlier this week when they acquired Evan Longoria from the Tampa Bay Rays. For the Giants, adding the veteran third baseman will hopefully help erase painful 2017 memories in which they finished 64-98 after expecting to contend for the playoffs. The Giants already did the Yankees a huge favor this offseason in acquiring Longoria, who has murdered the Yankees throughout his career. Taking Ellsbury off the Yankees’ hands would be an even bigger favor considering he is right now a very expensive bench player in an extremely stacked outfield.

The Giants are also reportedly interested in free agent Jay Bruce, but if his asking price is too high, they could look for alternative outfield options on the trade market. That is where Ellsbury and the Yankees would come in, assuming Ellsbury is indeed willing to waive his no trade clause.

After the Yankees acquired Giancarlo Stanton, Ellsbury – through his agent Scott Boras – said he’s excited to be with the Yankees. That’s all well and good, but I can’t imagine the Yankees are excited for Ellsbury to still be with them.

Jacoby is owed $21.14M each of the next three seasons, with a $5M buyout in 2021. He is the third-highest earner on the roster on a per-year basis, yet he projects to be nothing more than a fourth outfielder in 2018. Since signing with the Yanks before the 2014 season, Ellsbury has slashed a disappointing .264/.330/.386 – numbers far below his production in Boston that helped earn him his mega contract. He’s also only averaged 130 games played, partially due to injury and to poor performance. So, why would the Giants want him?

Aside from the fact that Ellsbury is ELITE when it comes to reaching base on catcher’s interference (Ellsbury set the all-time record last season), the Giants are in desperate need for outfield depth. They sent their 2017 center fielder Denard Span to Tampa in the Longoria deal, and have only Hunter Pence as a legitimate major league outfielder on the roster for next season. Adding Ellsbury would give the Giants insurance, as well as a dejected (just my opinion of how Ellsbury probably feels) player looking to prove something.

If the Yankees and Giants reach a deal to send Ellsbury to the Bay Area, I assume it would mean the Yankees are eating some of Ells’ contract. That’s ok though; even offloading half of his $21M+ annually would get the Yankees one step closer to ensuring they are under the $197M tax threshold. Moving Ellsbury is addition by subtraction for the Yankees.

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