MLB Trade Rumors: Yankees still looking to dump Ellsbury and Headley

Jacoby Ellsbury is still owed $63.4 million over the next three years and Chase Headley has just one year and $13 million left. The Yankees will have to pay Headley $1 million if he’s traded, per Cot’s Contracts.

According to reports, the Yankees are planning on rotating Brett Gardner, Giancarlo Stanton and Aaron Judge in the corner outfield spots and DH, and Aaron Hicks will be the starting center fielder. That leaves Ellsbury as the 5th outfielder and a severe roadblock to Clint Frazier.

Headley, on the other hand, could still potentially fit on the roster, but the Yankees are right up against the luxury tax threshold following the Stanton trade and could use some wiggle room as they attempt to upgrade the pitching. After all, they have some flexibility in the infield with Gleyber Torres, Tyler Wade, Miguel Andujar, Ronald Torreyes and even Thairo Estrada.

About Rob Abruzzese

Rob Abruzzese created Bronx Baseball Daily in 2008 just before graduating from Brooklyn College. He currently serves BBD as its editor and works as a reporter at the Brooklyn Daily Eagle. Follow Rob on Twitter @RobAbruzzese.
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20 Responses to MLB Trade Rumors: Yankees still looking to dump Ellsbury and Headley

  1. Ron says:

    Bad contracts can mess up a team for years GMs need a crystal ball and luck with what these players are commanding these days.

  2. Terry says:

    Ellbury’s got to go. He says he won’t waive the no trade, he wants to win the starting CF spot. May have to just eat the money. It’s a lot I know but he’s not going willingly. Unless BG or Hicks get traded, which puts BG at the forefront. Only because he’s in is last year and doesn’t have a no trade clause. They seemingly remain committed to Hicks. I don’t mind if Headley stays the year at back up 1st & 3rd. Veteran presence to pick up if any injury happens at the corners. GT at second. An OFs got to go. GS and Judge are young starting OFs. I still say 20 games tops at DH for both if healthy.

    • endarmalk says:

      of course he's got to go, but finding someone who wants his contract is the issue.

    • Ollie says:

      Just because Girardi loved Gardner it doesn't mean Boone will feel the same way about him as a leadoff hitter so I am not sure I would get rid of anyone yet!

  3. Mike says:

    Sign Todd Frazier

  4. Balt Yank says:

    I am not sure why the Yankees are stuck on Hicks. Once he got the CF last year, he went dead during the postseason. He seems streaky at best. Gardner should get CF, Stanton LF / DH, Hicks LF / 4th Outfielder, and Judge RF. That makes the most sense.

    • In Gardner's best offensive season his numbers were not as good as Hicks was last year. It's not even that close either — in 2014 Gardner hit .256/.327/.422. Last year Hicks hit .266/.372/.475. He was also big in both the Wild Card game and the ALDS last season.

      I am not sure why Yankees fans hate Hicks so much. Offensively, he's clearly superior. Defensively, he's among the best outfielders in baseball (although admittedly not as good as Gardner (although his arm is much better))

      • Jerry says:

        Rob, not to butt heads with you, but in 2010, Gardner hit.277 , 47 stolen bases, 383 oba, 97 runs scored and a WAR 7.4, the all important stat. And monster defense. Those numbers in my opinion blow away Hicks. I don't hate Hicks, but I look at him as a number 4 outfielder.

        • Eight years ago, when Brett Gardner was still just 26-year-old, he hit .277/.383/.379. His OPS+ that year was 105. Gardner is 34 next season, not 26. Hicks just turned 28 and hit .266/.372/.475 last year which is good for a 122 OPS+.

          In 2018, basically everything would have to go right for Gardner and everything wrong for Hicks to realistically expect a better season from Gardner, I mean, am I crazy? What am I missing? I know Gardner's defense is exceptional, but Hicks' is very good too. His arm is crazy good and all of the defensive stats like him.

          • Jerry says:

            Hey Rob, you stated that 2014 was Gardner's best season, I was pointing out that 2010 was his best year and Hicks has not come close to it. Also in 2017, Gardner's War was 4.9 and Hicks in by far his best season had a 3.9 War. Hicks barely played more than half a season, 88 games. Hicks has a lifetime batting average of 232. … To be fair I checked out a couple of prognosticators , projections for next year and both had Gardner with better numbers. ( Bill James and Baseball Reference) Rob ,I hope Hicks hits 300 with 25 home runs and 100 ribbies in 2018, but I don't think so and yes you're crazy. But you're a fan of Hicks, and like Cashman, you see Hicks through rose colored glasses.

      • Steve S. says:

        I wouldn't call what Hicks did "big" in the wild card game. His hit was a swinging bunt down the third base line. One thing he does well is see a lot of pitches. That paid off as he walked with the bases loaded later in the game to drive in a run. Other than that, in three at bats he didn't get the ball out of the infield.

        • Maybe not big, but getting on base twice in four plate appearances is a solid performance no matter how far his contact went. He also shined in the ALDS and led the team in playoff hits until about midway through the ALCS. I'm just confused as to why so many people hate him.

          • Steve S. says:

            I don't hate him. I hate his body of work. With the exception of a few flourishes with the Twins the year before he came here and the first two months last season he's been horrible. Sure, he's a plus fielder and can work the count well, but he's shown no consistency at the plate. After his hot start last year he hit less than .220 after the first two months. Yes he was injured a few times, but his pattern has been one of mediocrity injured or not. Frankly, on a team like this that's loaded with offense, if he can hit .250 with some power he's worth running out there. I don't think he can hit .250 if he plays regularly.

      • Ollie says:

        Love Hicks, one of better trades Cashman has made, Poor man's Bernie Williams!

  5. Mata says:

    Keep headley and find defensive 2bman. If Ellsbury is going then get SP, or if some will be eating that deal we are ok with even giving them low rank prospect.

  6. Sammy says:

    Who pushed the Ellsbury FA signing? (the worst position player FA contract in Yankee history). Was it Cashman or did Hank butt his nose in again. The no trade and pt out clauses should be banned by the Yankees for future FA's. The length of the Ells contract is the worst part…Sure they have 10 years for Stanton…but he was just the NL MVP. Wow, Ells is blocking up so many good things. I think Clint Frazier needs to get some DH time. Does Frazier make the team out of spring training is Ells is still around? 6 OF's; 5 INF's min; 2 catchers = 13. That leaves 12 pitching spots. I would use Frazier as the everyday DH. Could you also train Frazier as a backup 1B? The best solution is to move Ells…

    • Hank was involved in 1 signing in 2008. He has had almost no finger print on this team since they re-signed ARod.

      It's funny that you mention that no trade clauses should be banned because if they didn't exist than Giancarlo Stanton would be playing for the Giants or Cardinals, not the Yankees.

      Even if the Yankees trade Ellsbury the chances of Frazier making the team out of spring training are slim (and would probably require an injury). I'd be shocked if Frazier played even 2 games as the Yankees DH. He's the youngest outfielder on the team and the freshest. He'll start the year in AAA and will only be called up if there is an injury or a trade. Frazier is probably the Yankee most likely to be traded right now.

      • Steve S. says:

        I agree with that assessment of Frazier. Unfortunate for him. All of a sudden he's pretty much blocked here. A prime trade chip.

        Hank was like a bull in a china shop, lol. I would have loved to have been a fly on the wall to hear the conversations after the ARod signing. They must have been pretty heated. As you say, Hank has been pretty much banished since that time. Conspicuous by his absence.

  7. Roy says:

    Boras has represented to the Yankees that Ellsbury wants playing time. Boras and Ellsbury are professional enough to know what the market is for Ellsbury and to give Cashman a handful of teams to land a deal. Boras, particularly, has always advised his clients to make the best of bad roster situations. IMHO, if the Yankees can make a better deal for Gardner than Ellsbury, they should do so. As far as I can see, Ellsbury can still play in 2018. I would prefer Gardner (and would love to see the guy retire as a Yankee), but the Yankees need to make their best deal. This still leaves either Gardner or Ellsbury as the fourth outfielder. I do not see any chance that they move Aaron Hicks who is still inexpensiive. Clint Frazier should be that fourth outfielder, so it is not a good situation. It would be possible to see Clint Frazier traded for younger prospects or a starting pitcher.

    Let's talk Chase Headley. I thought that bringing in Todd Frazier last year meant that the Yankees were frustrated with Headley's fielding. They did not replace Headley with Frazier for a better bat. So now its 2018, with Stanton's arrival, Gleyber Torres is back at 2B with competition from Torreyes and Wade. Last man standing on 3B is none other than Chase Headley. The blogosphere seems quiet about this. Last week, Gleyber Torres was pushing Chase Headley off of 3B after April of May. Now Chase Headley owns the position, subject to Miguel Andujar (who does not seem to have the interest of the scouts.

  8. Balt Yank says:

    The Stanton trade is exciting but also a bit of a log jam. I see a lot of articles having the lineup as Gardner, Judge, Stanton, but wouldn't you want to separate them? What about Gardner, Judge, Bird/Sanchez, Stanton, Bird/Sanchez? Anyway, the Yankees should keep Gardner as he's a sparkplug and put Ellsbury at Triple A for backup with Frazier at Triple A in LF. Headley remains a good role play; let Andujar earned the job if he can by hitting 330 in Spring Training. I'd put TOE at 2B, but let Torres try to win it. Hicks is a 230 hitter who seems to have month-long flashes once per season. He plays better as a fourth outfielder for some reason.

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