My reaction to the Ellsbury signing: “W…T…F…!?!?!”

Jacoby Ellsbury2I am not one to use emoticons and abbreviations on the internet, but this one really baffles me. According to many sources the Yankees have signed Jacoby Ellsbury to a seven year, $153 million dollar contract. On the other hand, the Yankees are completely unwilling to give the best second baseman, both offensively and defensively, in the league $200 million. Sure, he doesn’t hustle down to first base sometimes. Sure, he doesn’t have the star power of Derek Jeter, or even Tino Martinez. The fact of the matter, however, is that he is the best player on the Yankees, and a perennial MVP candidate. He was one of the few bright spots in what was a lame offense last season.

Jacoby Ellsbury is a speedy outfielder on the wrong end of thirty who has been often injured. Worse yet, it has been shown time after time that these speedsters do not stand the test of time once they turn 32 and above. The Yankees will have him until he’s 37.  Carl Crawford is the most recent example of just that happening. The Red Sox, again outsmarting the Yankees, decided to shy away from giving him such a lucrative contract.

The Yankees had many deficiencies in their offense last season, but one of the most glaring weaknesses was power. I do not understand how signing Ellsbury and letting Robinson Cano walk in any way addresses that issue. In fact, it would appear that the Yankees are moving in exactly the opposite direction as they should be with this move.

To be fair though, Jeff Passan of Yahoo! Sports is reporting that the Yankees still think they can sign Cano after picking up Ellsbury. They admit that the door is closing, however. If the Yankees put up a $200 million dollar offer to Cano before it’s all said and done, then all will be forgiven. I will retract this entire article. Hell, I’ll even remove it if necessary. I don’t think he’s worth much more than that anyway. It just doesn’t make sense to offer a player like Ellsbury this kind of money but not be willing to offer Cano $200 million.

Overall, this move reeks of another horrific veteran signing. When it’s all said and done, I am just a volunteer blogger who gets nothing for his work and Brian Cashman is on the complete opposite side of the spectrum. He is an expert GM getting paid the big bucks to put together a major league team. That said, this has to be one of the worst decisions he has made in his tenure as the Yankees GM.

Let’s add up all of the factors with Ellsbury. 1. 30+ year old player who relies on his legs. 2. Injured frequently, missing 120+ games over the past two years. 3. Yankees lose another draft pick. 4. Ellsbury does not hit for power. 5. $22 million against the salary cap. 6. Second base… now what?

I can only hope that this deal works out for the Yankees, but I see it being a big problem in the future. The deal has a high potential to be yet another albatross in the coming years.

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35 Responses to My reaction to the Ellsbury signing: “W…T…F…!?!?!”

  1. I like the deal as long as they pay Cano. I expect that it's possible they could still reach a deal in the $180-$210 million range over 8 years. If they can do that and construct a pitching staff, that's a decent offseason.

    Plus now they aren't relying so heavily on their outfield prospects to develop. They can deal one or two of them. Mason/Heathcott/Austin + Sanchez is the start of a solid trade package.

  2. Skinny Mike Axisa says:

    Corky, you are free to delete this article, but I'll keep a copy of it, just in case Tacoby Bellsbury helps the Yankees win a championship….But I agree, sign Cano, then let's get some pitching.

    • Yup, if they sign Cano, I have no issue with this signing. The only reason I'm so fired up right now is because I think this could mean the end of Cano.

      • Even a step further. If they offer him $200 million and he rejects it, then I again cannot fault them for anything they've done. That said, I find it improbable that they will offer Cano >$200 mil

        • Skinny Mike Axisa says:

          I agree, they have been more than fair with Cano. If he rejects 8 years for $200 million, then good night and good luck.

  3. Joe says:

    The Yanks must know something that we don't… At least I hope so… Sign Cano 8/180

  4. Fred says:

    This reeks of Steinbrenner/Levine. I'd be surprised if Cashman pulled the trigger here. A 22 million AAV on the books while trying to stay under the luxury tax is ridiculous. Unless, of course, the Yankees decide to throw away the last couple years of (relative) austerity and go over the limit at the last second. Which in my opinion would be the worst part of any of this.

    • olie says:

      They signed the best catcher available,the best outfielder available and I suspect they will sign the best 2nd baseman.
      The "Boss" lives!

  5. Alan Rinfret says:

    Where are you getting $200 million. This is a guy who asks for $300 million and ten years one day. Says he didn't ask for $300 the next day. Visits the Mets and the Tigers, uninvited, a few days later. He's selected amateurs as his agents. Sign for $170 million for 7 years or just go away. You're not a draw and who knows how you'll be in 5 or 6 years. It's the Yankees that are taking the chance not Cano

  6. rrothfeldt says:

    I have no problem with this. The outfield defense just picked up immeasurably, Gardner now sits back into the 9 hole, and Cano will resign – nobody else is going to pay him more than 7/180. The lineup now looks like Ellsbury, Jeter, Cano, Teixeira, McCann, Soriano…pretty decent 1-6. And just throwing this out there, but I bet Granderson China back on something like a 3/35 deal.

  7. tom says:

    I guess Yankees will trade Heathcott, Austin, Flores and even Williams away some time.

    Stupid Move.

  8. budseligblows says:

    Not for nothing Greg but if you buy eveything that is fed to the media dolts by owners everywhere then I have some nice swampland, I mean beautiful countryside meadows to sell you. Cheap. They broke down and threw 189 in the crapper and I'm not sold on their hardline stance on Cano. You don't restore a hot rod and forget the transmission. Now if they go hard and he still signs elswhere I can live with it…if they walk away without throwing a real hat in the ring then i'd be pissed.

    Good to see Hal open up his piggy bank; Cano, Kuroda, a serious bid at Tanaka (if he posts) and a couple of role players and they're right in the thick of it.

  9. Mike Sommer says:

    Put it this way. For what Cano wanted ($250 MM), the Yanks get McCann AND Ellsbury for what, $230 MM? Look at it THAT way.

  10. Mike Sommer says:

    Also, to argue against "Ellsbury doesn't hit for power". Yankee Stadium should help him. The guy DID hit 32 HR in 2011 when he was a 30/30 guy. Expect some pop in the Bronx as opposed to being a lefty hitter at Fenway.

  11. Thomas says:

    You have to remember that all the Yankee outfielders will be free agents next year. If Gardner signs somewhere else, then we would have 3 rookies in the outfield in 2015. I don't believe that there will be anyone of ellsbury talent available.

    • tom says:

      Well. Yankees would get new contract done for Gardner. Flores or Heathcott and Austin would be exciting rookies to watch. Almonte could be ready with playing more time in 2014.

      Hell, Ellsbury has to make sure that he does not run into his teammate once again for the contract's sake.

      • Thomas says:

        There is no guarantee that Gardner will resign. What if he wants to go back south to play. Just to say a new contract will get done doesn't make it so. If the Yankees had a starting OF of Flores, Heathcott and Austin, no one will pay any price to see that. It will be worse than this year. Almonte is a fourth OF at best. Please get real!!

      • Skinny Mike Axisa says:

        Remember that Heathcott did the same in spring training…running into another player.

    • Skinny Mike Axisa says:

      That is a very logical point of view. Ichiro, Wells and Soriano are gone after 2014, and probably Gardner, leaving us only Ellsbury.
      Maybe, just maybe, one of the following moves up to the show (Mason W., Austin, Heathcott).

  12. Tanned Tom says:

    I agree, this signing baffles me. Too old, too much money, for too long. We need middle of the order pop and they sign a no power OF. If they had signed Choo to this deal I might have felt they overpaid, but at least they would have gotten what they needed, a corner OF with power.
    What is interesting is what happens to the other OFs. Gardner moves back to LF, sure. And in right? Soriano/Suzuki I guess. Means Wells will be traded or cut. With Stewart and Nix already gone, Wells and Nunez are the obvious dead wood left to prune.

  13. Michael R says:

    I have to agree with TT on this one. He gets hurt too much to be that productive over 5 yrs. The Stadium will certainly boost his power numbers but for the long haul I think it's another desperate move they hope will work. Me too.

  14. Michael R says:

    I'm sorry, 7 yrs. Wow, haven't we been down this road?

  15. hotdog says:

    I wonder how much is known about Seattle's interest in going $200 million and how much that swayed the thinking to offer Ellsbury this insane contract…it is easy to overspend on free agents, my daughter could do that if given the chance…harder to be smart about these things and avoid making these very questionable decisions…the Yankees need to meet Cano at $200 million and get him signed…8 years $200 mil…if they let him walk without upping the ante, I won't see this offseason as anything but a failed attempt to improve the team…sorry about the derision but Cano should be part of the mix if possible…

  16. hotdog says:

    I also think the Yankees are holding out for Tanaka which will cost them a hefty penny…i would have preferred Granderson for 3 years $15-18 mil/year than Ellsbury at this rate…

  17. Dave says:

    No one seems to be discussing the trade options opened up here. I agree Ellsbury is overpriced, but with Ellsbury/McCann locked up we suddenly have some very expendable and very attractive trade chips. Gardner/Sanchez/one of our OF prospects can bring in a very legitimate return.. perhaps a starting pitcher we don't have to simply buy? Make this sort of trade, sign Cano, and we've had a very strong offseason….

    • hotdog says:

      I would like Cashman to figure out a trade as well. There have been a lot of trades going down and Stewart for a player to be named later has to be improved upon.

      • gcorcoran says:

        My only thing here is that you can't rely on trades. You can't create a trade out of nothing. There has to be an opportunity and a mutual need or the two teams have to be going in opposite directions (rebuilding vs winning). Then, IF you match up you have to come up with a trade that both sides think is fair, all the while each side is trying their best to rip the other side off. It's not an easy thing to do and that's why trades are so infrequent. If there is an opportunity Cashman should jump all over it but those opportunities are often few and far between.

        • hotdog says:

          I think other teams have more interesting prospects and that's what hurts the Yankees…not that I like the idea of trading away good prospects but we really don't have much that's traceable…maybe someone wants Gardner for a year, maybe we include Gary Sanchez, Manny Banuelos etc., maybe the Yankees have to settle on signing an mid 30's innings eater that's past his prime…maybe the best way to look at it is, the Yankees are rebuilding…it will take a couple more years and hopefully opportunities will exist internally, through trade and fa market over that time so we can be more competitive…right now, losing Granderson and likely Cano while picking up McCann and Ellsbury doesn't change much for 2014 imo…sorry about the blues and I know Cashman is trying but I'm confounded about Ellsbury and the disinterest in Cano above the current price…makes no sense to me…

        • Tanned Tom says:

          Exactly. Over the last 20 years the club has pulled off a number of great trades: O'Neill, Tino, Swisher. But these are the exceptions.
          What I really like is, that if you look at the roster we have only 5 players 34 or older: Jeter (39), A-Roid (38), Soriano (38 soon), Suzuki (40) and Wells (35 soon). Might be 6 if Kuroda is brought back.
          A-Fraud is a contract situation from it's own universe, but all the others are signed for just one more year. This is an unremarked upon trend for this club. Seen in this light the Ellsbury and McCann signings make more sense.

  18. guest says:

    Ellsbury reminds me of Ricky Henderson. He played until he was 44 so you never know. Henderson led the league in SB when he was 39 with the A's

    • hotdog says:

      Was that pure talent or was he juiced. And that doesn't have to mean PEDS. Could be amphetamines.

      • gcorcoran says:

        even if it wasn't juiced, Ricky Henderson was a once in a generation, maybe once in a lifetime talent. Jacoby Ellsbury hasn't come close to the stolen base totals that Henderson had by the time he was at this point in his career. Henderson also didn't have nearly as many injuries. It's not a comparison I would make here. The rules are completely different for a legend like Henderson, and that's why he is a legend when Ellsbury won't even make the hall of fame.

  19. Joe says:

    As Chris Russo said on ESPN last night, there is not even a direct flight from the Dominician to Seattle. No way he is going there!!! Is that where JayZ wanted to establish his global presence as a Sports Agent??? Sign Cano for 8/180. Get Anderson from the A's, the LH starter and hope for something from Pineada or Phelps

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