As a Red Sox fan, it saddens me to see what has happened to Jacoby Ellsbury.
During his 7 year stay in Boston, Ellsbury was nothing less than electric. He won two World Series’ with the BoSox, hit .297, stole 50 bases in a season three times and was the last man to ever steal 70 bases in a season, and was the AL MVP runner-up in 2011 and he SHOULD’VE WON IT TOO.
After his 2013 season where he hit .298 with 52 stolen bases, Ellsbury was a free agent and was looking for a big payday. Boston certainly wasn’t going to give a long term deal to 29-year-old center fielder who had multiple seasons robbed by serious injuries. But you know who was willing to dish out the big deal? Those Damn Yankees.
In early December of 2013, Ellsbury and the Yankees agreed to a 7 year, $153 million contract with a full no-trade clause. It seemed like a perfect fit. The short porch in right field would likely revitalize Ellsbury’s 30 homer season from 2011, and the dynamic duo of he and Brett Gardner on the bases would be a nightmare for opposing teams.
And things started out pretty well. Ellsbury hit 16 home runs, stole 39 bases, and although his batting average declined, he still hit .271 with a .747 OPS. Then, things started going downhill the next year; .257/ .318/ .345 with 21 stolen bases in only 111 game played. Next season, .263/ .330/ .374 with 20 stolen bases. 2017 season was almost identical.
The Yankees are paying Jacoby Ellsbury $21 million PER YEAR for significantly less production than what Eduardo Nunez has done since 2014.
Red Sox fans, imagine giving Eduardo Nunez a 7 year, $156 million extensions. It’s fun to laugh at the Yankees every now and then, right?
Then came the penultimate reason why this contract will go down in history as the worst contract in Yankees history. Jacoby Ellsbury, who again is making $21 million per year, has not played a game for the Yankees since October 17th, 2017. He has disappeared entirely. He did not sniff the field at all in 2018 due to a torn labrum and subsequent surgery and has yet to be seen in spring training thus far, and there has been no mention of what the team is looking to do with him.
This saga is hilarious.
I have heard from sources that are very close to the Yankees that the team had Ellsbury killed shortly after the 2017 season concluded out of anger from not reaching the World Series, as the team thought his on-field production was so lackluster, no one would notice his absence. His body is currently lying next to Jimmy Hoffa’s underneath Metlife Stadium. Once people got wise to Ellsbury’s disappearance, the team cooked up the torn labrum story. Horrible stuff done by the Pinstripes here.
It’s a shame that Ellsbury “isn’t healthy” enough to play, and likely will never take the field for the Yankees again. Then again, that’s probably just the way the team wants it.
Photo by Phil Long/ AP Photos