Tag: Jacoby Ellsbury

Yankees Tender Contracts to All on 40-Man Roster

All pre-arbitration and arbitration eligible players were tendered contracts by the Yankees by the 8 p.m. ET deadline Friday.

The team and players did not have to reach specific figures by that deadline, but the Yankees were required to at least extend an offer. Players and teams must have exchanged arbitration figures by Jan. 11, 2019, and then hearings will run from Feb. 1 to Feb. 20. Players who are not yet eligible for arbitration (less than three years service time) typically agree to their 1-year split-level deals in early-March. The Yankees agreed to deals with all of their arbitration eligible players ahead of the deadline last year.

Here’s everyone eligible for arbitration this year with their 2018 salary and 2019 projection from MLB Trade Rumors:

  • RHP Dellin Betances
    • 2018 salary: $5.1 million
    • 2019 projection: $6.4 million
  • 1B Greg Bird
    • 2018 salary: $582K
    • 2019 projection: $1.5 million
  • RHP Sonny Gray
    • 2018 salary: $6.5 million
    • 2019 projection: $9.1 million
  • SS Didi Gregorius
    • 2018 salary: $8.25 million
    • 2019 projection: $12.4 million
  • CF Aaron Hicks
    • 2018 salary: $2.825 million
    • 2019 projection: $6.2 million
  • RHP Tommy Kahnle
    • 2018 salary: $1.3125 million
    • 2019 projection: $1.5 million
  • LHP James Paxton
    • 2018 salary: $4.9 million
    • 2019 projection: $9 million
  • Austin Romine
    • 2018 salary: $1.1 million
    • 2019 projection: $2 million
  • RHP Luis Severino
    • 2018 salary: $604.975K
    • 2019 projection: $5.1 million

The two players closest to being non-tendered, in my opinion, were Gray and Gregorius. Gray was awful in 2018, and Brian Cashman is determined to trade him this offseason. Didi Gregorius is set to miss at least the first half of 2019, though the Yankees could work with him on a myriad of contract options as this is his final year of arbitration.

Everyone else, with the exception of the guaranteed contracts for Aroldis Chapman, Jacoby Ellsbury, Brett Gardner, CC Sabathia, Giancarlo Stanton and Masahiro Tanaka, has less than three years of service time and will have their split-level deals revealed later on. They get paid one salary for MLB service and a much smaller one for the minor leagues.

Rosenthal’s Latest: Gray, Goldschmidt

Though I’m not sure he can top yesterday’s bombshell revealing the Yankees and Seattle Mariners “briefly discussed” a Jacoby EllsburyRobinson Canó contract swap, Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic dropped another set of interesting Yankees tidbits in his notes column:

Mariners Wanted Gray in Paxton Deal

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Rosenthal did, however, add further insight into the trade that sent lefty James Paxton from Seattle to the Yankees. The Mariners asked the Yankees to add Sonny Gray to the return for the lefty, which included top prospect Justus Sheffield, fringe 40-man pitcher Erik Swanson and lower-level outfielder Dom Thompson-Williams. The Yankees decided to keep Gray, however, telling Seattle that “they had a number of other teams interested in him.”

Rosenthal also cited sources within the Yankees organization who “suspected the Mariners wanted Gray to flip him – perhaps to the Reds, who were trying to land Paxton.” It’s pretty clear that Brian Cashman is waiting for the best deal before trading Gray, who is projected to make $9.1 million in his final year of salary arbitration in 2019. If Cashman was looking to dump Gray for a roster spot, the trade would have been made in advance of last week’s 40-man roster deadline. I’d look for Gray to be dealt prior to this Friday’s non-tender deadline.

Yankees “Not Pursuing” Goldschmidt

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The early offseason news cycle was set abuzz when ESPN’s Buster Olney speculated the Yankees would engage the Arizona Diamondbacks regarding first baseman Paul Goldschmidt. He stirred that up even further by reporting the Yankees had pushed Justus Sheffield in those negotiations before dealing him to Seattle for James Paxton. But, it seems Goldschmidt and his one-year deal are not targets for the Bronx Bombers.

The team is already “too right-handed, particularly with shortstop Didi Gregorius expected to be out until at least June as he recovers from Tommy John surgery,” per Rosenthal. The Yankees also not focusing on an upgrade at first base at the moment.

Rosenthal did note, however, the Yankees would be willing to add yet another righty to the lineup if it was someone like Manny Machado. He mentioned that “at 26, [Machado] is five years younger than Goldschmidt and would be under long-term control. Goldschmidt is signed only through next season.”

Rosenthal: Yankees, Mariners “Briefly Discussed” Ellsbury-Canó Swap

This would’ve been wild.

Here’s a trade rumor that feels like it’s straight out of MLB The Show. Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reported in his latest notes column that Seattle Mariners general manager Jerry Dipoto reached out to the Yankees (and Mets) about a trade for ex-Yankee Robinson Canó.

From that post:

A return to New York almost certainly would appeal to Canó, who played for the Yankees from 2005 to ’13 before signing his 10-year, $240 million free-agent contract with the Mariners. Whether Canó would appeal to either New York team — or any team at all, for that matter — is another question entirely, hinging mostly on how much of his deal the Mariners would be willing to absorb.

Canó’s albatross contract seems to be the reason that the Yankees opened negotiations by trying to salary-dump Jacoby Ellsbury, who is owed $42.3 million guaranteed over the next two seasons plus a $5 million buyout for the 2021 season. Canó – who hit .303/.374/.471 (136 wRC+) with 10 homers and 50 RBI in a suspension-shortened 80 games – is still owed $120 million across the next five seasons with no buyout.

The sides “briefly discussed” the swap, which would also require both players to waive their respective no-trade clauses. The Yankees wanted the Mariners to both take on the full financial commitment to Ellsbury, and “include significant cash” to pay down the money owed to Canó. The Yankees also view Canó as “a first baseman-DH” type player, despite only having 10 starts at the position. The team also does “not want to tie up their DH spot,” per Rosenthal.

It’s pretty easy to see where things broke down. The Yankees want to simultaneously unload Ellsbury, while not taking on the full brunt of a bad contract like Canó’s. The questions about Canó’s spot on defense and the recent 80-game suspension for a banned diuretic would be enough to scuttle a trade before discussion of the contract even begins. The Yankees have cheaper and younger options to fill in at second base, first base or designated hitter for 2019.


The Yankees and Mariners, of course, did just hook up on a major trade. The Yankees acquired lefty starter James Paxton from Seattle in exchange for top prospect Justus Sheffield, Erik Swanson and Dom Thompson-Williams. The teams also discussed a scenario where infielder Jean Segura would have come to New York with Paxton, although that ultimately did not materialize.

Steinbrenner: Machado’s Hustle Comments “Troubling”

“Because that ain’t gonna sell where we play baseball. That conversation will happen no matter who it is.”

It seems Manny Machado would have some explaining to do if he were to become a Yankee. The team’s managing general partner Hal Steinbrenner told Ken Davidoff of the New York Post that the infielder’s comments about his style of play were “troubling” and would require an explanation.

“If it’s a $300 million guy or a $10 million guy, clearly those comments are troubling,” Steinbrenner told a small group of reporters. “But that’s really [general manager Brian Cashman’s] job. If we’re interested in any player, sit down with him face to face and ask him, ‘Where did this come from? What was the context around the entire interview? Was there a point you were trying to [make]? How do you justify it?’ Because that ain’t gonna sell where we play baseball. That conversation will happen no matter who it is.”

The comments in question, of course, come from the Oct. 16 interview Machado gave to Ken Rosenthal where the 26-year-old said his style of play did not include hustling 100% on every play.

“Obviously I’m not going to change, I’m not the type of player that’s going to be ‘Johnny Hustle,’ and run down the line and slide to first base and … you know, whatever can happen. That’s just not my personality, that’s not my cup of tea, that’s not who I am,” Machado said. “Should I have given it a little more effort? One hundred percent. (It’s) my fault like always, I mean that’s just my mentality when I’m in the game. (There are) things that you learn, things that you gotta change. I’ve tried changing it for eight years and I still can’t figure it out but, one of these days I will.”

Machado’s comments combined with a .670 OPS in the playoffs left the star shortstop at a disadvantage heading into free agency for the first time in his career. Players with his talent and youth don’t hit the market often, and he should still cash in with a big contract. But, there will always be questions about his effort and reputation as a “dirty player,” to use the words of Brewers outfielder Christian Yelich.

The Yankees have an obvious hole at shortstop now with Didi Gregorius slated to miss the first half of 2019 at the very least. They could stand to upgrade defensively at third base with Miguel Andújar‘s -15.5 defensive WAR coming in at seventh-worst in all of baseball for 2018. The Yankees have been doing their due diligence on Machado, but have to be weighing whether the signing is worth the inevitable media circus that will come with it.

The very “Yankees” thing to do would be to fill Gregorius’s spot with the best (and most expensive) option. I see them making a serious run at Machado, being careful to avoid a bidding war and albatross contract like Jacoby Ellsbury‘s. C’mon, guys who average 128 wRC+ over their last three seasons don’t just grow on trees.

Ellsbury, Frazier, Heller, Montgomery Activated From 60-Day DL

The Yankees quietly activated OF Jacoby Ellsbury, OF Clint Frazier, RHP Ben Heller and LHP Jordan Montgomery from the 60-day disabled list one day ahead of the Nov. 2 deadline Thursday. The Yankees 40-man roster now stands at 36.

Ellsbury went through an extensive list of injuries in Spring Training, and never took the field for the Yankees in the regular season. On August 6, he had surgery to repair a torn labrum in his left hip. He’s expected to be ready for Spring Training.

Frazier was limited to 283 plate appearances from High-A, Triple-A and the MLB because of multiple concussions. He hit .265/.390/.353 (113 wRC+) in 15 big league games in 2018. He’s expected to be ready for Spring Training.

Heller underwent Tommy John surgery April 6 and missed the entire 2018 season. In 19 MLB games with the Yankees in 2016 and 2017, the righty was 2-0 with a 3.00 ERA. By all accounts, he should be ready for Spring Training in 2019.

Montgomery made six starts for the Yankees in 2018 before he, too, required Tommy John surgery. He was 2-0 with a 3.62 ERA before disaster struck. He’s expected to return at some point towards the end of the 2019 season.

Boras: Ellsbury Will Be Healthy to Start 2019

Can the 35-year-old STAY healthy for 162 games?

Jacoby Ellsbury collected $21.1 million during the 2018 season despite not suiting up past a March 24 Spring Training matchup with the Toronto Blue Jays. Injuries cost him the entire season, and he lost a chance to provide value when the Yankees’ seemingly formidable outfield depth suddenly disappeared from the organization.

With a nagging oblique issue and August 7 hip surgery behind him, Ellsbury’s agent, Scott Boras, told George A. King III of the New York Post that the 35-year-old has his eyes set on Tampa.

“He got the right doctor and the right surgery, and I fully expect him to be ready [for spring training],” Boras said before Game 3 of the World Series, per King.

Ellsbury signed a seven-year, $153 million deal with the Yankees in the 2013 offseason and has hit .264/.330/.386 with 39 home runs and 198 RBI in 520 games across four seasons. If you include missing all of the 2018 regular season, Ellsbury has missed 290 of a possible 810 games since signing in New York. That would be a .358 batting average, but unfortunately that’s not the metric we’re looking at. Missing 36% of your team’s games is just ridiculous for the amount of money he’s being paid.

Ellsbury suffered a concussion May 24, 2017, that setback his season and allowed Aaron Hicks to take over the starting job in center field. Ellsbury’s spot with the Yankees relies on his health in 2019, and the Yankees’ decision with Brett Gardner. Gardner has a pending $12.5 million club option, or $2 million buyout for the 2019 season.

With everyone assumed healthy coming into 2019, the outfield picture will feature Ellsbury, Clint Frazier, Gardner (I think the Yanks decline his option, and bring him back for cheaper), Hicks, Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton.

I would imagine Hicks, Judge and Stanton maintain their spots in the outfield/designated hitter rotation from last season. That leaves left field and the fourth outfield spot open to competition, and also assumes the Yankees make no significant offseason moves. Bryce Harper is the sexiest pick to fill the left field spot, though there are also rumblings of a position change for Miguel Andújar that would allow Manny Machado to fit into the puzzle as well.

What’s the simplest thing Ellsbury can do? Show up in Tampa in great shape, and stay healthy in order to help the team. He’s owed a little over $47.2 million through 2021 (assuming the Yankees buy him out), and the Yankees would love to squeeze some value out of him.

Jacoby Ellsbury Will Miss Rest of Season After Hip Surgery

Good thing the Yanks have insurance.

Well, 2018 is over before it really began for veteran outfielder Jacoby Ellsbury. The well-paid 34-year-old underwent surgery on a torn labrum in his left hip in New York City on Monday, ending the season after just a handful of at-bats in Spring Training. “The surgery went as expected,” per the team’s announcement Tuesday.

Ellsbury, who signed a seven-year, $153 million contract prior to the 2014 season, had not appeared in a game at any level since March 24. He went 1-for-14 in the Grapefruit League before being shut down. The Yankees placed him on the 10-day disabled list March 29, retroactive to March 26, with a right oblique strain prior to the opening series in Toronto. He was then moved to the 60-day disabled list May 2 so that the Yankees could select the contract of pitcher David Hale. Ellsbury reportedly was also dealing with a back issue and plantar fasciitis while attempting to rehab his oblique strain.

The signing of Ellsbury has been repeatedly cited as one of general manager Brian Cashman‘s few failures. After six years in Boston highlighted by a 2011 season where he finished as the runner-up for American League MVP, Ellsbury has hit just .264/.330/.386 with issues staying on the field since joining the Yankees. Not exactly the statistics you want from a player making over $21 million annually. The Yankees are stuck paying him until after the 2020 season, since they’ll certainly pay the $5 million buyout of his 2021 team option.

The announcement comes at a curious time since the Yankees ironically are in need of an extra quality outfielder at the moment. Aaron Judge is expected to miss a few more weeks with the micro-fracture in his right wrist, and Giancarlo Stanton is dealing with some tightness in his left hamstring. Clint Frazier is still working his way back through post-concussion migraines, so there is no firm timetable for his availability. So, it seems the Yanks are stuck with Shane Robinson for the time being.

It seems our next Ellsbury sighting will come in Tampa in February 2019.

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