New York Yankees sign Jacoby Ellsbury

New York Yankees sign Jacoby Ellsbury to 7-year deal: What it means

12/3/13 in MLB   |   Dan_B   |   1067 respect

Oct 30, 2013; Boston, MA, USA; Boston Red Sox center fielder Jacoby Ellsbury reacts with teammates after scoring a run against the St. Louis Cardinals in the fourth inning during game six of the MLB baseball World Series at Fenway Park. Mandatory Credit: Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY SportsThe New York Yankees have reportedly signed former Boston Red Sox center fielder Jacoby Ellsbury to a 7-year contract worth $153 million. This is the second big splash of the offseason for New York, who missed the playoffs for only the second time since 1995 last season. Earlier, New York bolstered its catcher position with the signing of Brian McCann.

Ellsbury is a speedy outfielder who is regarded as one of the top defensive center fielders and best base runners in baseball. He is a career .297/.350/.439 hitter and posted a 5.8 WAR last year. 

The biggest question with Ellsbury is not his talent, but rather his durability. He is almost 30, and has only played 150 games in a season twice in his big league career, which spans more than six seasons.

Signing Ellsbury also makes Yankee fans wonder if the club will continue to pursue free agent second baseman Robinson Cano. The Yankees and Cano are said to be about $80 million apart in negotiations and other teams, including the Seattle Mariners, have apparently entered the bidding for Cano. New York has stated it will try to keep its payroll below the $189 boosted luxury tax threshold this offseason. Signing Ellsbury, Cano and McCann would make that awfully difficult.

Sep 8, 2013; Bronx, NY, USA;  New York Yankees second baseman Robinson Cano (24) singles to left center during the second inning against the Boston Red Sox at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY SportsIf the Yankees do bring back Cano and Alex Rodriguez is absolved of his suspension (big ifs), New York could theoretically trot out a lineup with 8 former All Stars. Going around the diamond: McCann catching, Mark Teixeira at first base, Cano at second base, Derek Jeter at shortstop, Rodriguez at third base, Ichiro Suzuki in right field, Ellsbury in center field, Brett Gardner in left field and Alfonso Soriano DHing. Obviously, a number of those players are way past their primes.

The signing of Ellsbury all but assures that Curtis Granderson's days in pinstripes are over. It also likely means the Yankees will halt their pursuit of free agent Carlos Beltran.

What do you think of the Ellsbury signing?
Notify me by email about comments that follow mine. Preview