Yankee fans wanted a splash. They wanted a big move. Well, here it is.
Jon Heyman of CBS Sports has confirmed that Jacoby Ellsbury will indeed be in New York to take a physical, as reported here first by Bronxpinstripes, to put the finishing touches on a 7-year pact worth a guaranteed $148 million. According to Yahoo’s Tim Brown, the deal also includes an eighth year option worth $21 million. Additionally, the contract has a $5 million buyout after year seven. Ellsbury will receive a no-trade clause.
Ellsbury, 30, will immediately take over for Curtis Granderson in the outfield, officially ending any chance of a return to the Bronx.
Ellsbury hit .298/.355/.426 last season with nine homers and 53 RBI. For his career, he owns a slash line of .297/.350/.439 with 65 homers and 314 RBI. He’s a prolific basestealer, having swiped 52 bags in 2013, and 314 in his seven-year career.
The only major drawback with Ellsbury is his propensity to get injured. In 2010, he played just 18 games before bouncing back in ’11 with 158 games played. The injury bug struck again in 2012, when Ellsbury’s season was held to just 74 games. Long term deals for guys who depend on their legs usually never end up well. However, Ellsbury vastly improves their lineup with both speed and power. Remember, he’ll no doubt take advantage of the short porch in right field at Yankee Stadium.
What this deal means for Robinson Cano remains unknown. If the Yankees are indeed trying to stay under $189 million, they may let Cano walk, as they reportedly will not budge from their standing offer of seven years, $160-$175 million. Keep in mind that GM Brian Cashman still has to address the starting rotation, with only CC Sabathia and Ivan Nova penciled in as starters.
Regardless, the signing of Ellsbury will only add to the rekindling of the Yankees-Red Sox rivalry. With Brian McCann set to be introduced on Thursday, Ellsbury’s deal is expected to be official soon.
Ellsbury contract, according to source: 7 yrs, $148 million. 8th-year option that would take contract to $169m. Buyout is $5m. No-trade.
— Tim Brown (@TBrownYahoo) December 4, 2013