I 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.