Tuesday, December 3, 2013
I tried to keep my head from spinning after I heard CBS Sports' Jon Heyman report that the Yankees and free agent outfielder Jacoby Ellsbury were close to a seven year deal. Now comes word from the NY Daily News' Mark Feinsand that it's a done deal worth $153MM pending a physical on Wednesday. Perhaps it's a leaked rumor to get Robinson Cano into a panic mode since he and the Yankees are still well apart in negotiations or the Yankees are simply moving on.
Ellsbury is a very good player..when healthy. He missed all but 18 games in 2010, was limited to 74 games in 2012 and missed 28 games this past season. He was an AL MVP candidate in 2011 when he hit 32 home runs, drove in 105 runs, scored 119, stole 39 bases, put up a .928 OPS, and had a league high 364 total bases.
The 30-yr old has led the league in steals three times including this past season when he swiped 52 in 56 attempts. With Alfonso Soriano set to play left field, this could spell the end of Brett Gardner's days in pinstripes or a possible demotion to the fourth outfield position.
According to Yahoo Sports' Jeff Passan, Ellsbury's deal includes an eighth year option with a buyout that could bring the total to $169MM. There will be a $21.86 hit on the luxury tax. Passan still feels the Yankees can still get Cano on board as well if he lowers his demands. The Yankees are reportedly still pursuing Shin-Soo Choo and are out of the Carlos Beltran sweepstakes.
Things just got a whole lot crazier.
Update 10 pm: Getting more torqued thinking about this deal. The Yankees supposedly won't budge off the $160MM, 7 years they've offered Cano, yet they are willing to give a very good, but not great player almost the equal amount.
I don't want to hear about Cano not busting it down to first base, he's a superior player to Ellsbury with the bat and with the glove. He's also played at least 159 games in the last six seasons.