Yankees: The time has come to cut ties with Jacoby Ellsbury

Jacoby Ellsbury (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
Jacoby Ellsbury (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images) /

Jacoby Ellsbury has been a shell of the player the Yankees thought they were getting in 2014. Next to Carl Pavano, he’s arguably one of Brian Cashman’s worst signings.

At 35-years-old and one year out of baseball, it is hard to imagine Jacoby Ellsbury making this stacked Yankees 25-man roster. There are some signings that don’t pan out. For the Yanks, that contract belongs to Ellsbury.

The former MVP runner-up was a dynamic, impact player for rival Red Sox but he’s come nowhere close to such production in New York. After missing all of last season with a torn labrum in his left hip, Ellsbury is all but broken parts now. Therefore, it’s better for both parties to go their separate ways.

The plight of Ellsbury is disappointing for Yankee fans. He was once considered a franchise player: cornerstone talent, hit for power, fast on the base paths, good in the outfield and a leadoff hitter.

Ellsbury was the is ideal player for any organization. But the Red Sox let him walk because they a had Mookie Betts coming up in their minor league system.

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However, Ellsbury did have one solid season with the Yanks. In his first year, he hit 16 home runs and had 70 RBIs to go along with 39 stolen bases for a 3.3 WAR. But this was a far cry from the monster season he had with the Red Sox in 2011 (slash line of .321/.376/.552, 32 homers, 105 RBIs, 119 runs scored, 212 hits and an 8.3 WAR). Ellsbury finished that season, second to Justin Verlander in the MVP voting.

Now at 35, having missed an entire year of play, Ellsbury is a total enigma. It is unfathomable for the Yankees to expect any production from him, as well, it would be unfair for other outfielders to spend more time in the minors to see if Ellsbury has anything left in the tank.

With Giancarlo Stanton, Aaron Judge, Brett Gardner and Aaron Hicks getting the majority of starts, the Yankees already have Tyler Wade and Clint Frazier as backups. Adding a questionable Ellsbury to the mix only takes up a vital roster spot for the younger, healthier players that can help you win ball games, both in the present and future.

The Yankees owe Ellsbury over $42 million over the next two years and have a $5 million buyout in 2021. Cutting him does not save any money. And getting general manager Brian Cashman to find a trade partner is next to impossible.

The Toronto Blue Jays recently released Troy Tulowitzki from his contract with over $34 million remaining, and he signed with the Yanks. Cashman already declared him the opening day shortstop as the team awaits Didi Gregorius’ return from offseason Tommy John surgery.

Next. Yankees sign two more players to minor league deals. dark

The Yankees should take this similar path with Ellsbury. They can at least save some money (the pro-rated amount of the veteran’s minimum) if another team were to sign him. Alas, whatever payroll the team will be forced to eat can be made up with a World Series win.