OF Jacoby Ellsbury (2014-2017)
For some Yankees fans, the Jacoby Ellsbury signing looked like a mistake from the start. After New York decided to let Robinson Cano walk, the team made a trio of moves to keep the team in contention.
Ellsbury, Brian McCann, and Carlos Beltran were the big-name additions before the 2014 season. While McCann and Beltran were able to play to their contracts and eventually get traded in the great rebuild of 2016, Ellsbury spent a large portion of his tenure on the injured list.
It didn’t take long to see that Ellsbury was going to be one of the biggest free-agent mistakes in franchise history.
Ellsbury was three years removed from his lone All-Star season in Boston. The injury concerns which followed him throughout his career continued in New York and he ended up not suiting up for a single game after the 2017 season.
Signing a one-time All-Star entering his age 30 season to a seven-year, $153 million deal usually won’t work out but the fact that Ellsbury was essentially M.I.A. for a pair of seasons makes his tenure one of the most disappointing.
In part, it’s hard to place all of the blame on Ellsbury. Aside from one season, he never showed that he was an elite centerfielder. He was certainly above average and his numbers show that (.264/.330/.386) but he was never able to become a cornerstone talent for New York, something fans would expect after dishing out a contract as the one Ellsbury received.
The Yankees officially cut ties this past offseason and sadly, the Ellsbury saga has gotten ugly of late as the organization is fighting not to pay him the remainder of his salary.