Outfielder Jacoby Ellsbury, who has considerably underperformed to the Yankees’ standards for the last few seasons, has become a financial burden for a club aiming to shed payroll. At the moment, his future role with New York remains ambiguous.
With a full no-trade clause added to $68 million owed to him over the next three years, Ellsbury’s contract is by no means friendly. But that hasn’t necessarily stopped Yankees’ general manager Brian Cashman from attempting to move the 34-year-old veteran this winter.
According to a source that spoke with NJ.com’s Brendan Kuty on Thursday, the Yankees and Arizona Diamondbacks have reportedly discussed Ellsbury in recent trade talks, although the source notes that Arizona isn’t thrilled with the sum of money attached to Ellsbury’s name.
On Monday, FanRag Sports’ insider Jon Heyman reported that the Yankees would be willing to eat half of the money remaining on Ellsbury’s contract if another team is interested in a trade. But, with Ellsbury having that full no-trade clause, he ultimately controls the situation.
Two days later, Ellsbury’s big shot agent, Scott Boras, told reporters at baseball’s winter meetings that Ellsbury is “pretty excited” to still be a Yankee, as the recent addition of reigning National League MVP Giancarlo Stanton has solidified New York as a legitimate World Series contender in 2018. However, Ellsbury will have to compete for a starting job during spring training, according to Cashman, and in the meantime, he’s looked upon as a fifth outfielder and bench player.
Whether or not a deal for Ellsbury transpires, the Yankees and Diamondbacks still have a chance to do business. Joel Sherman of the New York Post first reported on Wednesday that New York has expressed interested in Arizona’s southpaw starter Patrick Corbin, as well as infielder Brandon Drury.