New York Yankees: The case to buying out Jacoby Ellsbury

New York Yankees. Jacoby Ellsbury (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
New York Yankees. Jacoby Ellsbury (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images) /

The New York Yankees’ outfield depth is being tested due to injuries, and Jacoby Ellsbury, who has multiple years left on his contract, has been out all season. Here is the case to buyout Ellsbury during the offseason.

When the New York Yankees spent more than half a billion dollars in the 2014 offseason, one of the major pieces added to the team was none other than center fielder Jacoby Ellsbury.

Ellsbury was signed to a seven-year, $153 million deal as he was slated to replace outgoing center fielder Curtis Granderson, who had signed with the New York Mets.

He opened the season leading off on Opening Day and batting in between Brett Gardner and another new acquisition in Carlos Beltran.

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Overall, Ellsbury had a very solid showing in his first season as a Yankee, hitting .271 with 16 home runs and 71 runs batted in in 149 games, mostly between the leadoff spot and the three-hole.

In 2015, the injury-prone Ellsbury only played 111 games as he missed the second half of May and all of June.

He hit .259 in his worst offensive season since 2010, where he was out the majority of the season. 2016, however, was a slightly better season for Ellsbury, hitting .263 with nine home runs and 56 runs batted in, but he still was not the player he used to be.

Then, Jacoby Ellsbury’s 2017 season included an injury that led to him missing the majority of the month of June. By the end of the season, he was moved to a platoon role, and then ended up as primarily a pinch-runner for the postseason.

Entering the 2018 season, the Yankees, along with the fan base, did not expect much from Ellsbury. Now, it’s worse than that. The Yankees will not expect anything from him this season.

Ellsbury has suffered multiple injuries, all of which are discovered while he seems to be rehabbing the previous injury.

This all is happening while he is being paid over $21 million, which is his yearly salary.

Jacoby Ellsbury’s contract includes a no-trade clause, which allows him, along with his agent, Scott Boras, to reject any potential trade that the Yankees try to complete involving Ellsbury.

That is the reason that the Yankees should buy him out.

The majority of the Yankees’ young stars are under pre-arbitration and arbitration years and will cost the team less money than many people typically expect the players to get.

Buying him out can help clear up room for younger prospects to come up and play without any concerns that Ellsbury could come back at any point.

Jacoby Ellsbury’s contract is for two more seasons after this one. Then, there is an option for 2021 at $21 million or a $5 buyout.

Buying him out now could allow the Yankees to defer his salary over a longer period of time so the team has more room under the luxury tax.

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Another options is the Yankees could wait to buy him out after the 2020 season for $5 million, which would mean that he would only be on the team for two more seasons.