How to use Jacoby Ellsbury in a Yankees outfield with no room

NEW YORK, NY - DECEMBER 13: Centerfielder Jacoby Ellsbury stands with his agent Scott Boras during his introductory press conference at Yankee Stadium on December 13, 2013 in the Bronx borough of New York City. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - DECEMBER 13: Centerfielder Jacoby Ellsbury stands with his agent Scott Boras during his introductory press conference at Yankee Stadium on December 13, 2013 in the Bronx borough of New York City. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images) /
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Now that the Winter Meetings have come to a close, the Yankees have put together one of the best, if not the best outfield rotation in MLB.

With the recent acquisition of 2017 NL MVP Giancarlo Stanton, Yankees outfielder Jacoby Ellsbury has become the odd man out of the outfield rotation.

Currently, the Yanks have Stanton and AL MVP Runner-Up Aaron Judge to interchange in the corners, and then Brett Gardner and Aaron Hicks to patrol center. Hicks and Gardner also have the ability to play the corners if need-be.

With this four-man rotation, there is simply no room for Ellsbury. His function will likely be as a pinch runner or injury insurance, should Hicks spend time on the DL as he did for half of ’17.

Even so, general manager Brian Cashman may feel more comfortable sticking Clint Frazier in there instead of Ellsbury. The fact of the matter is that the Yanks are loaded with outfielders and prospects that will be better contributors than Ellsbury.

Cashman has already vocalized that he is trying to move Ellsbury wherever it is that he possibly can, as to take some of his monster salary off the books. Cashman has even committed to paying half of Ellsbury’s salary if a team were to concede to a deal.

However, Ellsbury has a no-trade clause in his contract, and has indicated that he wants to stay in the Bronx.

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With that being said, it looks like Ellsbury will have to deal with being a part-time player and transition into more of a mentor for the Yankees. Although it may not look good on paper to have someone who makes $22 million per year sit on the bench, this is a golden opportunity for the Yankees’ prospects.

Ellsbury has been in the bigs since 2007. He was ranked as the No. 13 prospect overall as a 23-year-old. He understands what it’s like to come into the game as player with huge expectations, having to perform at a high-level at a young age.

What better players for him to mentor than Clint Frazier, Gleyber Torres, or Miguel Andujar? All of these guys are fighting for a starting spot come February 2018. For Frazier especially, Ellsbury has 10 years of MLB experience and loads of wisdom to share with these young studs. Due to his rollercoaster career, Ells can guide them through a plethora of professional circumstances.

Simply put, Ellsbury needs to become the new Carlos Beltran. When Aaron Judge was making his way to the majors, Beltran took the initiative to become his mentor, requesting a locker next to the Yankees’ top prospect during Spring Training 2016.

Although Beltran singed with the Astros the following offseason, Judge gained several tips from him that most likely played a part in the rookie’s success in 2017.

Beltran continued to do the same thing with the Astros, and his veteran presence was definitely a factor in Houston winning their first World Series Championship.

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Ellsbury needs to follow in the steps of Beltran with this selfless attitude. With a team that is full of the best young players in the game, Ellsbury should to seize this golden opportunity — to reinvent himself.

If he refuses to leave the Yankees, then this is the best possible way for Cashman to utilize him. Having that mentor in the clubhouse will help the team in so many ways, especially as they get into the home stretch of 162-game schedule and approach the postseason.