Yankees: Jacoby Ellsbury could actually become tradable

NEW YORK, NY - AUGUST 26: Jacoby Ellsbury
NEW YORK, NY - AUGUST 26: Jacoby Ellsbury /

Jacoby Ellsbury has picked the perfect time to catch fire. So much so that Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe speculates that the Yankees could find a trade partner for him this winter.

Losing Aaron Hicks to the disabled list hurts — especially when you consider he missed 45 games with the same right oblique injury earlier in the season. Yet, over his last nine games, Yankees part-time player Jacoby Ellsbury has turned back to the clock — batting .423 with two doubles, one triple, one homer, three walks and only one strikeout.

Ellsbury’s recent hot streak hit a crescendo this past weekend against Chris Sale — when he went 3-for-3 with a walk, a stolen base and worked a total of 22 pitches in four at-bats.

With Hicks not expected to begin swinging a bat until Sept 14 at the earliest and rookie Clint Frazier only beginning his rehab stint at Double-A Trenton on Wednesday, the Yankees will count on the soon-to-be 34-year-old Ellsbury to set the table like it’s 2012 all over again.

Manager Joe Girardi spoke to the New York Post about the importance of having a locked in Ellsbury.

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"“He looks great,” the manager said. “He’s meant a lot down the stretch here and given us big hits. He’s been through this. He’s been to the World Series, the playoffs. He understands what September is all about. His at-bats have been great.”"

Though Ellsbury’s season stats are nothing to behold, should he keep up his current pace and help guide the Bombers into the postseason, it’s entirely possible his renewed value could make him appealing to a number of clubs come the offseason. Per Nick Cafardo:

"Could the Yankees eat some money and deal Ellsbury this offseason? It’s possible. Ellsbury is hitting again, but the concussion he suffered took its toll. He’s lost his job to Aaron Hicks. The Yankees, who are on the hook with Ellsbury for at least $68 million, might be able to sell him off if they pick up half the contract. Ellsbury, 33, has speed but has declined in the field."

As much as the Yanks need Ellsbury to lead by example, come Spring Training 2018, he’ll be surplus to the 25-man roster.

With Aaron Judge, Clint Frazier and Aaron Hicks penciled into the starting outfield for the foreseeable future — not to mention another year remaining on the contract of Brett Gardner and the approaching talents of Estevan Florial, Billy McKinney and Jake Cave — December could very well be the perfect time to recoup some much-needed value for the 11-year veteran.

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But let’s not get too ahead of ourselves just yet, the only way this comes to fruition is if Ellsbury continues to play like his baseball career depends on it. Because it does.