Yankees agree to seven-year deal with Jacoby Ellsbury

(Darren McCollester/Getty)

(Darren McCollester/Getty)

On the same day they officially announced the Brian McCann signing, the Yankees made their second huge signing of the offseason (and it wasn’t Robinson Cano). New York has agreed to a seven-year contract worth $153M with former Red Sox outfielder Jacoby Ellsbury. That’s a $21.9M luxury tax hit. The deal is pending a physical and includes both a club option for an eighth year that could push the total value to $169M and a full no-trade clause. Jon Heyman and Mark Feinsand originally broke the news.

Ellsbury, who turned 30 in September, is the 18th player to receive a $150M+ deal in baseball history. It’s the third largest contract ever given to an outfielder, behind the identical eight-year, $160M contracts signed by Manny Ramirez and Matt Kemp prior to 2001 and 2012, respectively. The Yankees will forfeit their next highest draft pick to sign Ellsbury — either their second rounder or the compensation pick they receive when Cano, Hiroki Kuroda, or Curtis Granderson signs elsewhere. Their first rounder was already surrendered for McCann.

In 134 games and 636 plate appearances this past season, Ellsbury hit .298/.355/.426 (113 wRC+) with 31 doubles, eight triples, and nine homers. He hit 32 homers in that giant outlier of a season in 2011 but has otherwise never managed double-digit homers in a single season. The short right field porch will help Ellsbury’s power output somewhat but not a ton unless he changes his approach — he’s a classic speedster who hits the ball on the ground (50.8% grounders) and slashes it the other way to left field. After seeing what’s happened with Mark Teixeira, let’s hope those approach changes are not made. Stick what what earned him that huge contract.

Ellsbury is baseball’s premier base-stealer, going 52-for-56 (!) in stolen base attempts in 2013. He provides both bulk steals and tremendous efficiency. I don’t think it’s unreasonable to say he figures to be the team’s best base-stealing threat since Rickey Henderson. Surprisingly, Ellsbury is not all that great at taking the extra-base (first-to-third on a single, etc.), doing so only 42% of the time this past season. That’s roughly league average. I suspect that’s at least somewhat attributable to funky orientation of Fenway Park, especially in left field. Outfielders can play shallower and prevent runners from taking that extra base. Ellsbury has a 70-steal season to his credit (2009) but I’m not sure if that will ever happen again.

(Mike Ehrmann/Getty)

(Mike Ehrmann/Getty)

In addition to being a great base-stealer, Ellsbury is a high-end defensive center fielder who has graded out exceptionally well in UZR (+29), DRS (+23), FRAA (+18), and Total Zone (+19) over the last three seasons. His arm is awful though, legitimately Johnny Damon-esque. The Yankees will play Ellsbury in center and shift Brett Gardner back into Yankee Stadium’s spacious left field while Alfonso Soriano moves to right, a position he has never played as a professional and doesn’t really have the arm for. Runners are going to be going first-to-third on Soriano like crazy. Outside of Ellsbury in center, the outfield alignment is a bit of question at the moment. The team could always sign another outfielder and make Soriano the full-time DH.

Injuries have been an issue for Ellsbury over the years. He missed 144 games in 2010 with fractured ribs suffered after colliding with a teammate and then missed 88 games in 2012 with a right shoulder injury after a fielder landed on him while sliding into second. Ellsbury played through a foot fracture this past September and some kind of left hand injury in the postseason. He had an MRI after the season but I’m not sure what the tests revealed. Ellsbury has played in only 384 of 648 possible games over the last four seasons so the Yankees will really have to check him out — the ribs, shoulder, foot, hand, everything — during the physical.

Obviously, given his time with the Red Sox and as an important player on two World Series winning teams, there is no concern about how Ellsbury will handle New York. The spotlight won’t be anything new to him. He’s a career .301/.361/.414 (104 wRC+) hitter in 38 postseason games, in case you’re wondering. The Yankees have placed a renewed emphasis on makeup and work ethic in recent years and I’m sure that is an especially serious consideration with a contract of this season. There are no concerns about Ellsbury in that department. He knows the big market/super high expectations routine by now.

The Yankees had their worst offense since 1991 this past season and have made two pretty huge upgrades in McCann and Ellsbury already this winter. McCann replaces one of the game’s least productive catching situations while Ellsbury essentially replaces the mess New York had in right field last year. I have to think the signing moves Ichiro Suzuki and/or Vernon Wells that much closer to the chopping block, so hooray for addition by subtraction. Even though they still need to figure out third base and take care of the Cano situation, the Yankees need to start focusing on their pitching staff. They still need to dig up two starting pitchers and a reliever or three. Ellsbury did not exactly come at a reasonable price, but will he will be an enormous upgrade next season and should give the club another few years of high-end production in center.

Categories : Transactions


  1. Karl Krawfid says:

    Ells and Gardy in the same outfield.

    Thank ya jesus.

  2. Brooklyn Ed says:

    Does this mean Gardner is getting traded very soon, or Ellsbury playing RF?

    • Dan says:

      They should trade Gardy for pitching. I love him, but he’s expendable. They could get a pretty cheap corner outfielder with power to play.

      • BamBamMusings says:

        Gardner in Left Els in CF.

        • Dan says:

          They signed Kelly Johnson. Assuming they sign Cano, Johnson would be great as a platoon left fielder with power. That makes Gardy expendable for a pitcher. They could then just get a righty platoon outfielder and be set.

  3. JJ says:

    Goodbye Cano?

    • lightSABR says:

      I hope this will put some pressure on him and get him to be more reasonable. If it does mean goodbye Cano, then the years and dollars on this deal look a lot more questionable. Cano is obviously worth a lot more than Ellsbury – more than the extra year and 25 mil they’re offering him.

      • lightSABR says:

        Okay, I take it back – there’s no reason for this to make Cano more reasonable. Y’all are right. It hurts those negotiations.

  4. Cy Pettitte says:

    at 7 years I’m not a big fan, 5 would have been the most I’d go.

    So I guess this means either Cano is gone or $189 is out the window?

    • The Big City of Dreams says:

      I hope it’s the second one.

      • Caballo Sin Nombre says:

        I think this makes it official– the Yankees are not going for $189M. It’s also clear at this point they no longer need to sign stars to fill their remaining holes and still end up as the strongest team in the AL (on paper, of course). They could get it done with Kuroda, Infante, Reynolds, plus an average starter and a couple of relievers– the kinds of guys you can pick up in routine trades. There is no reason to be desperate for Cano or even Tanaka, for that matter.

        • Laz says:

          I think they saw the decline in ticket revenue and decided to change mind.

          • lightSABR says:

            I agree. And if that’s the case, I expect them to match any other offers Cano gets. Just not outbid themselves when nobody else is putting up dollar signs yet.

        • BamBamMusings says:

          Agree on Cano. Disagree with Tanaka. There’s no reason not to pursue Tanaka aggressively. Makes sense financially and we still need lots of pitching.

  5. Hans Moleman says:

    Wow… Just wow.

  6. J says:

    Do not want. I’m guessing they’ve moved on from Beltran since they are not caving on that third year…and then decide to give a less talented and equally injury prone player seven years? Thought they would just resign Grandy if they couldn’t get Carlos.

    • IRememberCelerinoSanchez says:

      This. Just, all of this.

    • lightSABR says:

      I agree there are questionable aspects to this. I’m just happy to see ownership caring about winning again.

    • Bryan says:

      You are wrong though. On the one hand, you have a 38 year old asking for close to 20 million for 3 years. If he tumbles, which as a 38 year old will do, that deal is essentially lost.

      The other option is Shin Soo Choo. Who is almost the same age as Ells and wil want most likely similar money. Maybe a shade less. BUT Choo can’t hit lefty pitching. Are you going to pay that much for who will be nothing more than a platoon hitter in three years?

      Ellsbury is easily the best of the three. He offers speed, good defense, solid offense vs both hands, and gives the Yankees their best base stealer in some time.

  7. stan says:

    next move will be trading gardner for phillips i bet

  8. Anthony says:

    Either $189M is out the window or bye bye Cano.

  9. steve (different one) says:

    Hal is drunk. Obviously would love to have the guy, but wtf is going on? $189M is dead IMO.

  10. Kevin W. says:

    Why???? They’re gonna let Cano walk for Ellsbury? That or I pray $189 out the window

  11. Andrew says:

    This is ridiculous. What are they doing? They’re going to end up with a bunch of good players without someone who can truly take them to the next level. Don’t understand why they seem to be making more of an effort to Ellsbury than Cano

  12. Fin says:

    I thought the Werth deal was bad. If there is truth to this rumor, this would have to be one of the worst deals ever. Guy cant stay healthy and they would pay him as if he has averaged that MVP caliber season over his career.

  13. Karl Krawfid says:

    I bet A-Rod is done for the season.

  14. RYO says:

    My first take: I really don’t know. That’s a lot for a guy I’ve always been very critical of. Hmmm. There has to be something I am missing if Cashman likes him that much. This is a very odd move and entirely unexpected.

  15. Fin says:

    I thought the Werth deal was bad. If there is truth to this rumor, this would have to be one of the worst deals ever. Guy cant stay healthy and they would pay him as if he has averaged that MVP caliber season over his career. I mean hes a good player but not one of the best in the game and he cant stay on the field, this seems crazy.

  16. Stop complaining. Whatever it is, it is a whole lot better than last year. I would not have done it this way, but this is very exciting to watch. I guess Hal decided he did not want a fourth place team.

    • Slu says:

      Agree 100%. This has been fun and has me excited for the spring already. Bring back Cano and add Tanaka and things will be looking good.

      • D$1184 says:

        Even with Tanaka on board, they would need to find about 350 more innings somewhere.

        • nycsportzfan says:

          Don’t forget, they know better then us how Michael Pineda is doing. Maybe hes doing really well and there expecting him to be part of the rotation right away.

    • IRememberCelerinoSanchez says:

      I’m not convinced Soriano-Gardner-Ellsbury-Whoever plays second is better than Soriano-Gardner-Ichiro-Cano. Cano >>>>>>>>> Ellsbury.

      So I’m not sure how this makes them better.

      (The McCann deal made them better, but I’m just talking about Ellsbury-Cano here.)

      • nycsportzfan says:

        First off, its probably less money and yrs then Cano. So maybe they are moving on? We just don’t know yet. If they are, they definetly needed someone to replace cano’s production. All i know, is are lineup is better today with Soriano, Ellsbury, McCann, Jeter, Gardner and Tex.

    • David N says:

      It’s better than last year ONLY if they’re ditching the whole $189 million idea. If they’re sticking with that, then it’s a horrible move. Cano is far more valuable than Ellsbury if you had to pick one of the two, and to be honest I’d prefer Beltran on a three-year deal over Ellsbury on a seven-year deal.

      I was actually liking the new “we’re not going to overpay for people” Yankees. This would appear to torpedo that strategy, and while I’m fine with torpedoing it for certain elite players, Ellsbury is not one of those players.

  17. max says:

    nooooooooo. whyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy????? wtf????? this is a terrible deal if it’s over $100mm, which it obviously is

  18. DERP says:

    In. This is totally awesome.

  19. james says:

    7/153 is ridiculous. Cano is an idiot shouldve of stayed with boras he would probably got you your 300

  20. Raza says:

    Brett Gardner for Brett Anderson now? Maybe?

  21. Rob4224 says:

    JeffPassan says” Not only do the Yankees believe they’ve got room for Ellsbury and Cano or Choo, they still plan on signing at least one SP as well.” So Goodbye 189 plan

    • Need Pitching & Hitting says:

      Not necessarily, if ARod is suspended all year.
      With ARod out all year, the Yankees could still add about another $40M in payroll and still get under $189M.
      That’s enough for Cano or Choo and a SP (while leaving a bunch of other holes).

  22. HateMclouth (formerly I'mVernon) says:

    While I enjoy the Yankees being the Yankees, I’m still not sure how I feel about this given his injury history and the way the staff has handled injuries as of late.

  23. Nathan says:

    Still counting A-Rod, how much does this leave the Yankees for Cano, Tanaka and all the other needs?

    • Need Pitching & Hitting says:

      They have about $10M – $40M left under $189M depending on ARod. ($10M with no suspension, about $40M if he’s suspended all season)

  24. warren says:

    this is insane! signing a speedster until he is 37??? why not bring back the power of granderson for 3 to 4 years and not give out these INSANELY STUPID long term contracts??? if there willing to pay this much to ellsbury why not just get Cano at slightly more per year!!!

  25. Havok9120 says:

    Eeeeeeh. I’ll wait to hear the terms before I do much. I would have preferred Choo if Beltran was totally unmovable off 3/~50.

  26. Need Pitching & Hitting (and common sense) says:

    Too many years and too many $$$ for Ellsbury.
    Hopefully this means $189M is gone, which would make this deal only slightly less ridiculous.

    I just don’t get it.

    • Barney G says:

      If this isn’t a signal that the budget is gone, then what is? That reason alone should be enough to like this deal.
      When it comes down to it, years and money don’t really matter when you have unlimited funds. It’s not like AROD’s trash-heap of a contract is precluding them from operating right now.

      • Need Pitching & Hitting says:

        IF the budget is indeed gone, then I like that, but still don’t really like this deal. They could have scrapped the budget and not signed Ellsbury.

    • forensic says:

      Completely agree, and I like the addition to your handle.

    • BrianMcCannon (formerly HateMclouth) says:

      Nice addition to the handle.. heh

    • Betty Lizard says:

      Well done, NP&H, well done.

  27. Mr. Roth says:

    I can’t understand why they would possibly give this guy 7 years. He’s a great player, who is exciting to watch, but he can’t stay healthy for shit and is on the wrong side of 30.

    Hopefully there isn’t a no trade clause.

  28. Dicka24 says:

    OMFG ewwww…. I live in Boston, this deal will be laughed at non stop here. The locals thought the Crawford deal was atrocious when the Sox signed him, this deal is up there with that. Might be worse when you consider the injury history. WTF…

    I have to think the Yankees have thrown the $189 out the window, and are back to spending $220+ year in, and year out. Bye Grandy, that’s for sure. I don’t think this affects Cano too much, and in all honesty I hope it solidifies the Yankees stance on holding firm, and not negotiating against themselves.

    I’ll say what I always do when the Yankees, or other rich teams sign expensive deals for what I perceive to be too much money. “it ain’t money”.

  29. Lou says:

    Please for the love of god trade GARDNER!!!

  30. Yanks200910 says:

    8:41pm: Ellsbury’s deal is worth $153MM over seven years, according to Mark Feinsand of the New York Daily News (on Twitter). That tops Carl Crawford’s deal by $12MM

  31. Robinson Tilapia says:

    Not a fan of the contract.
    Not a fan of the injury potential.
    Not a fan of the potential lack of production.
    Not a fan of the potential implications with Robbie.

    Other than that, welcome aboard.

    …the fuck?

  32. Rossdfarian says:

    I don’t like this deal at all. I feel Ellsbury is completely overrated and is good for at least two prolonged DL stints each year … not a good long-term signing (especially when trying to save luxury tax money).
    The only silver lining I can see is that Jacoby was an usher in the wedding of Jed Lowrie … Now, that’s someone the Yankees should be targeting as Derek’s replacement!!!

    • Cool Lester Smooth says:


      You don’t want Ellsbury because he’s gotten injured twice in the last 4 years, but you do want Jed Lowrie?


      • blee says:

        he probably doesnt think jed lowrie will get 7 years or 20+ mil per year.

      • Rossdfarian says:

        Ellsbury missed almost all of 2010, more than half of 2012, and 25+ just last year. These numbers are all searchable on the internet and you should probably research before belittling someone.
        $22mil per year … Boras must have photographic evidence of Cashman doing something nasty.

        • Cool Lester Smooth says:

          Oh, I’m not belittling you because I think Ellsbury is durable.

          I’m belittling you because you think that Jed Lowrie, who has played more than 100 games exactly once in his career, isn’t injury prone.

  33. TheRealGreg says:

    I don’t know about this. And I don’t think this was an ownership move.

  34. Buhner's barber says:

    I’m fine with this, even without the power he’s a 5-6 win player, if he can hit 20 HR this is a bargain.

    • nycsportzfan says:

      People seem to forget, his swings tailor made for our ball park. I could easily see a 24hr season a couple times, ala Johnny Damon.

      • matt says:

        Hahaha your crazy. I’m from boston and wanted jacoby to stay but certainly not for that money. You can thank bourn and bj upton for that. Thats yearly mvp money. Enjoy that contract lol

        • nycsportzfan says:

          I think he’ll hit for more power here to go with his speed. I can easily see 20hrs a yr and 40sb for Ellsbury with a solid BA.

  35. Tom says:

    Bryan Hoch ( reporting there is an option for an 8th year- 169 total – so it would seem to be a 16mil option. Not clear if it is player/team/vesting.

  36. D says:

    NO to trading Gardner who is a year away from free agency and whose 2014 salary will be peanuts compared to what McCann and Ellsbury got.

    They landed a new DH in Soriano who is not playing LF now.

    I say re-sign Cano then sign Beltran fuck it, fuck $189M, go nuts, you only live once.

    Gardner LF L
    Jeter 3B R
    Ellsbury CF L
    Beltran RF S
    Cano 2B L
    Teixiera 1B S
    Soriano DH R
    McCann C L
    Ryan SS R

    The bench is Cervelli, Nix, Reynolds, and Suzuki (trade Wells.)

    • TheBadOwl says:

      Jeter won’t move to third. If anything, the lineup would look like this:

      Ellsbury CF L
      Jeter DH/SS R
      Cano 2B L
      Soriano RF R
      Teixeira 1B S
      McCann C/DH L
      Reynolds 3B R
      Ryan/Cervelli SS/C R
      Gardner LF L

      I actually don’t mind that lineup, I think it could be pretty competitive if we get pitching. Might as well scrap the 189MM plan and go get Tanaka and re-sign Kuroda, too. But if we’re scrapping the plan and still have some holes, I think we should trade for any shortstop/third baseman that we can, really.

    • Noah Poser says:

      Love the lineup but order is questionable.
      I’d go with…

  37. Cool Lester Smooth says:

    I don’t like this if it means we lose Cano.

    Otherwise? It’s not my money, baby! Welcome aboard.

    • Robinson Tilapia says:

      Losing Robbie over this would just be shit. I also think this damages their leverage with him quite a bit. This isn’t a team crying poverty.

      Maybe we’re just going over 189, Thelma and Louise style. Who knows.

      • I'm a looser baby so why don't you kill me? says:

        Definitely damages their leverage on total value if not also years. But if Robbie wants to win (as well as get paid) then he may take this, along with McCann, as a good sign.

        • Robinson Tilapia says:

          Cashman: “Robbie… better take our 7/161 offer seriously. We’re just going to run out of money to pay you if you take too long BECAUSE WE JUST GAVE JACOBY F’ING ELLSBURY 7/153….WITH AN OPTION FOR AN EIGHTH YEAR.”

          Robbie: “Bite my nuts.”

          • MD says:

            Cashman: Sorry you feel that way. I wish you the best but we just couldn’t wait around for you as other players come off the board. Call us if you have a change of heart and want a plaque in Monument Park some day. Take care.

            • Robinson Tilapia says:

              *looks at Jacoby Ellsbury*

              *Jacoby breaks head, leg, and ass*

              • MD says:

                Robbie: Cash, it’s me again. I NEVER said I wanted 250-260mil for 9 years. (cups phone) *muffled voice* Jay, Hova, Jigga or whatever your name is — get over here now. I told you I ain’t going to Seattle. Talk to him or I’m going back to Boras.

          • I'm a looser baby so why don't you kill me? says:

            Not sure why you responded with this, because that’s not the implication of my comment. It doesn’t remotely mean that anyone would now expect Cano to hit the Yanks 7/165ish bid. In fact as stated it definitely reduces the Yanks leverage.

            But what it may do is get Robbie and JZ to have a real world conversation as opposed to the pretty much outlandish not gonna happen numbers they’ve thrown out thus far.

            8/200 seems to be where everyone sober has been triangulating. Maybe this helps, ever so slightly, toward such an outcome, even if Seattle/mystery team doesn’t actually come into play.

  38. Robinson Tilapia says:

    Did I just break RAB by saying something negative?

    • SDB says:

      are you joining the Cashman failed bandwagon, pollyanna?

      • Robinson Tilapia says:

        He may have failed here. We shall see. Plenty of off-season left. My initial reaction ain’t good, though.

        • SDB says:

          I’m not a fan of the amount, but I’m not complaining too much. I’ll wait and see what other deals are made this winter.

      • I'm a looser baby so why don't you kill me? says:

        It did appear that the news broke the internet there for awhile. Now I know it was you R-Tils! The Pollyanna come over to the dark side! Are you at like a 5 now? :)

        • Robinson Tilapia says:


          Temporary 6.5. Cautiously optimistic we’re going balls to the wall here.

          • I'm a looser baby so why don't you kill me? says:

            Yeah that’s my hope too. Obviously too many years and dollars here, but as part of a much larger drunken sailor spree that puts us on top for a couple years I can deal with the hangover in 2018.

          • Cool Lester Smooth says:

            I’m just hoping that Dave Cameron’s right, and this is just a “We’re the motherfucking Yankees and market values don’t mean shit to us! We’ll spend however much we want to on a player…because we can!”

    • forensic says:

      I was actually thinking something similar to this when I saw your first comment. You know it’s a bad deal when even you don’t like it.

    • nycsportzfan says:

      Hey, lets not forget what adding Ellsbury does on the base paths. Having Ells and Gardy could lead to 2 40sb guys. Also we still have ichiro, who just stole 20plus, and Sori can still steal a bag. Also, Ells has hit for power before and now has the short porch. I could see him having some nutty good yrs in NYC, with both power and on base paths.

  39. Pat D says:

    We’re back on the air.

    I hereby forewarn anyone who says they’re happy with this deal and letting Cano walk.

    I will find you. I will hurt you.

  40. Frank says:

    Maybe the plan was to preach $189 was a real goal, then rush and sign everyone but Cano and pretend to have taken themselves out of the bidding for Cano, then swipe Cano at what the market (excluding the Yanks) establishes as Cano’s price?

  41. VernonW says:

    Great Deal! Great value!

  42. Fin says:

    Awful deal. He’s not even worth the AAV in the first year, let alone what its going to look like in the middle/end of the contract. The Yankees better know something about Els that we don’t, like a plan to have him perform at his 2011 level, not at the level hes played at every other year hes been a pro. Shit, I don’t like the deal and that’s not even taking into account his awful injury history.

    Not sure if this is good or bad for Cano. All the good FA’s are coming off the board, leaving Cano the last man standing. He could get a desperation 250m like Detroit did with Fielder. I do think this bodes bad for the Yankees resigning Cano for the price they want. The Yankees gave Els and 8th year option bringing the contract into the range of what the Yankees offered Cano. Does anyone in their right mind think Els in the ball park of Cano as a player?

    • Avi says:

      No, elsburry isn’t nearly the player Cano is. And the idea that paying elsburry $152mm HELPS the Yankees in their negotiations with Cano is just silly.

  43. Greg C says:

    So, Cano is only worth $1 million more per season to The Yankees?

    Am I wrong feeling that Gardner is like a very cost-effective “poor man’s” Ellsbury, and that I would rather just have the cost-controlled guy we already have and not spend $22 million for a similar, slightly more productive when healthy, player?

    • Nick says:

      You’re not wrong at all. They paid 22 million for a better version of Gardner. And your first comment is on the mark too. I don’t know how Cano can look at the team now and take them seriously about any of their “we ran out of money” stuff.

  44. bb says:

    The Yankees of old have returned. Let the bloated contracts return! Good riddance

  45. cuponoodles says:

    Well, that escalated quickly.

    About 2 years and $40-50 million too high from what I would’ve thought was fair, and I can’t wait to see what this will look like with Ellsbury at 37…

  46. Wheels says:

    The stove is piping hot.

  47. Cuso says:

    Insanity. Money not well spent IMO.

  48. Avi says:

    Fuck you Hal Steinbrenner. You fucking penny pinching billionaire owner who makes epically bad signings when you do spend. Your dad is rolling in his grave. Fuck you!

  49. RetroRob says:

    Strengthen your team by weakening your competition. That part I like.

    Don’t like length of the deal. Dollars concerning, but then again, if Plan 189 is out the window, less concerned. They clearly are banking on A-Rod not returning in 2014.

    Yankees want to strengthen themselves up the middle while securing a leadoff hitter since Jeter is a question mark.

    Gardner now about to be traded?

  50. Eddard says:

    I absolutely LOVE this move! Ellsbury is a winner with a championship pedigree. What better way to beat the Sox than to sign their ballplayers. And if Cano walks so be it, we’ve got Ellsbury.

  51. BigBlueAL says:

    I dont get many of you. The Yankees just signed the 2nd best FA available (according to Keith Law) and if they re-sign Cano would mean they have signed the top 2 FA’s available. Not to mention taking care of their greatest weakness at C with signing by far the best C available.

    It would suck if Cano leaves but the Yankees seem to still be willing to re-sign him so if he leaves they will still be spending money. After all the complaining about Hal being cheap now we want to complain about him spending too much??

    • TheRealGreg says:

      I don’t mind the Yankees signing Ellsbury. It’s the money and length of contract that’s bothering me.

      You spend on the right player.

    • Robinson Tilapia says:

      Spending money =/= Spending money on the right players.

      In a vacuum, that big a contract to Jacoby Ellsbury doesn’t make a whole lot of sense to me.

      That, yes, can be mitigated with re-signing Robbie, as well as some other smart moves. You still just gave seven years and 150 million dollars to Jacoby Ellsbury.

      Like I said, we shall see.

      • BigBlueAL says:

        Sure, I totally get that. Before the off-season I wasnt hoping they signed Ellsbury. But shit I am not gonna complain about ownership when they have signed McCann and Ellsbury already and are still planning to do more serious shopping you know.

        • Robinson Tilapia says:

          I get it.

          It’s still questionable, to me, to give that much money, and that many years, to this one player. All I’m sayin.

        • Slu says:

          Yep. Damned if you do, damned if you don’t around here. The Yankees are either too cheap or are wasting money. This team is clearly better with Ellsbury. I doubt they would back themselves into a corner with this move. If that is the case, who cares about the contract? It ain’t your money.

      • TheBadOwl says:

        I think it’s a big deal if we’re trying to get under the luxury tax threshold, but if we’re scrapping the plan, I don’t really care how much they spend on free agents, as long as they perform.

    • Revan says:

      Did you not see how that flatly fucking failed for the 2011 Red Sox? Or the 2013 Angels?

      • Cool Lester Smooth says:

        What failed? All of their good players getting hurt?

        • Revan says:

          I’l give you a chance to FanGraphs the team to rethink your statement.

          • Cool Lester Smooth says:

            Just did. Crawford was playing hurt all season, Youk missed 40 games, Scutaro missed 50 games.

            They also didn’t have a single starter with more than 200 IP. Buchholz missed half the season and Lackey was pitching through a torn UCL most of the year.

            The 2013 Angels, meanwhile, lost Kendrick for 40 games, Pujols for 60 games and Bourjos for 100 games on the offensive side, while CJ Wilson was the only pitcher with more than 25 starts.

      • BigBlueAL says:

        It didnt fail the 2009 Yankees.

  52. Slu says:

    I was against Ellsbury because he is injury prone. If he can stay healthy, great move as long as this doesn’t close the door on Cano coming back. If it does, big risk.

  53. forensic says:

    What a time for RAB to breakdown (at least for me).

    Anyway, I was initially coming to comment in the open thread that I wanted nothing to do with Ellsbury or Choo at the rumored prices and that those teams would regret giving them those contracts.

    And now I see this. Yuck! I really don’t like this deal.

    • RetroRob says:

      I had difficulty signing in, although I wasn’t aware of the deal until I actually got to the site. It might have been caused by Ellsbury, meaning heavy incoming traffic all at once slowed the site.

  54. Brandon says:

    Stop with the ellsbury injury talk. Every injury he’s had has been a total fluke. It’s not your money, and this makes the team better. Well done yanks.

  55. Now Batting says:

    Three scenarios:

    1. $189 is done
    2. Robbie is gone
    3. The Yanks expect A-rod to miss the year and aren’t sure enough they can land Tanaka to save dollars for him.

  56. KevinD says:

    I LOVE this deal. This is perfect. I have no idea why you guys are complaining about the probable DL stints that are coming with Ellsbury. This will free up more playing time for Wells and Ichiro!!

    Seriously, I think this will improve the club but at a huge price especially if Cano leaves. Production in the center of the diamond is what you need but that has to include Cano.

    C’mon Hal, make it happen…sign Robbie too!!

  57. Dick M says:

    Let’s see. We have resources at catcher and CF. So what do we do?

    This ownership and front office has no ability to look ahead and plan for the future. Williams and Slade should be the future in CF. And Murphy/Romine/Sánchez were our long term answers at catcher.

    Sailors on shore leave with a paycheck in their pocket.

    No way to run an organization.

    • W.B. Mason Williams says:

      None of this precludes any of that.

      Slade and Williams won’t be ready til 2015 at the earliest.

      At that point, you could move Ellsbury over to right or start the kids out on the corners, if either of them make it that far (significant if).

      Murphy and Romine have outside shots at being viable big-league starters. Sanchez more so. But all of them are going to need a mentor i.e. McCann.

      Besides by the time they’re ready for The Show McCann will be ready to start gradually shifting to 1B and DH.

      • RetroRob says:

        Right. Heathcott and Austin are AA players who may never amount to anything great. If they do, there will be room as they have three OF positions. Soriano only has one year remaining, as does Ichiro and Gardner. Until the Ellsbury signing, they had no OFers under contract past this year. Plus, if the keep progressing, they also make great trade pieces.

    • perspective says:

      Betting on Slade or Mason to be the CF and ignori g the fact that McCann will be there to mentor Sanchez/Murphy over the coming years is stupid. If they pan out and you have no room, young cost controlled players at premium positions are valuable trade chips.

  58. Farewell Mo says:

    Terrible, terrible signing.

    30 year old with a not insignificant injury history whose whole game is based on speed for 7 years at more than 20 years per year???

    This is gonna be as bad or worse than the Carl Crawford contract. They Yankees are lucky if they get their money’s worth for even half this deal.

  59. W.B. Mason Williams says:

    The way I feel about this will be decided by the rest of the winter.

    Currently I dislike it, but if this is gonna follow with Tanaka and Cano I will jump for joy.

    My gut says Tanaka, Infante and Drew.

    What if this scares Cano into thinking the Yankees’ offer is the best he’ll be able to get? That would be awesome.

    • CashmanNinja says:

      Tanaka is looking less and less likely considering the new posting system most likely would screw the Yanks/any team that could throw a huge secret bid out there. The supposed system would have a max bid, and if multiple teams hit the max bid then it’ll go to the team with the worst record. The Cubs apparently are out of this world on Tanaka and have some cash to throw around…so yeah, chances are Tanaka is not going to work and that’s probably why the Yankees said screw it and went all in on Ellsbury, lord knows why.

  60. CashmanNinja says:

    I just do not understand this contract. He’s literally Brett Gardner with a little more power (not much more) and a bit better at stealing bases. That year when he hit a ton of home runs was his career year that won’t be repeated — or get anywhere close to again. It’s not that Ellsbury is a bad player by any means, but this is simply a bad contract. 5 years would have been pushing it because speed guys do not last forever. They wear down quickly and once the speed is gone everything else seems to go. I’d have rather given Beltran 3 years, but I guess they wanted Soriano in the DH spot quite a bit this year so it wouldn’t be wise to get another OF who would need to play there a bit to stay fresh as well.

    I just don’t get this contract though. Earlier it seemed like Boras was marketing Choo as a $90-100 mil guy. Well that suddenly looks like a better overall deal and better fit for this team considering his ability to get on base. Hell, I don’t even think Ellsbury is that great of an outfielder. I’d take Gardner’s defense over him. So I wonder if they’re going to put Gardner or Ellsbury in CF in Yankee Stadium. Ugh, this deal is going to KILL us in a few years.

    • Farewell Mo says:


      Who else is giving these kind of contracts to speed players at 30 years old?

      The last one was the Red Sox with Crawford and they were lucky as shit to dump it on the Dodgers.

      Michael Bourn got 4/$48 last year and he’s pretty damn comparable to Ellsbury.

      • CashmanNinja says:

        I actually like Bourn a bit more over Ellsbury because, well…the contract. Bourn got a contract he was worth (in my opinion). They knew he wouldn’t last forever and will basically get the best years he has left. I also like Bourn’s overall defense a bit better. I think Ellsbury may make the “flashier” plays, but Bourn is more sound. The real difference is the power. Bourn has zip while Ellsbury has hit 30+ once…and then never made it past double digits again. So right now the Yankees are literally paying for Ellsbury to become a .320/.370/30/100/40 SB guy. I don’t see it happening.

    • Barney G says:

      If they bring back Cano and Kuroda, and everything works out with the posting and Tanaka, then the last few years of this deal will be worth it. If the above isn’t true, then there’s not a whole lot of sense here.

      • Robinson Tilapia says:

        I simply can’t count Tanaka here. Too many things have to go right there.

        • Barney G says:

          You’re probably right. I’m just holding out hope that the Japanese teams don’t back down and MLB realizes its actively keeping international star power out of their business.

          • Robinson Tilapia says:

            We still have to have the highest bid in a blind system….and one that doesn’t have us losing out to a worse team that made the same bid.

            I’d love to have him. I can’t count on him. He needs to be the extra present under the tree.

  61. JobaTheHeat62 says:

    if we keep Cano, this is an epic offseason…if we lose Cano its one of the worst offseasons ever.

  62. TheRealGreg says:

    Now to be fair about Ellsbury, the injury thing is a bit overblown. He played 134 games last year, not including postseason.

  63. Nathan says:

    Thank God I don’t have to hear about $189M anymore…I’ve never hated three numbers more.

  64. Greg C says:

    “Via this estimate, Ellsbury is expected to produce 20.2 WAR over the next seven seasons, which would have a market value of $126.3 million”

    That’s ^ from the “What is He Really Worth” Jay Jaffe series over on SI.MLB, which includes the whole WAR regression calculation with $ per WAR inflation figured in.

    ” Via this method, I get 51.0 WAR over the 10-year period, valued at an astronomical $341.4 million.”

  65. Joeybatz says:

    Ells will be great for the Yanks and his HRs will go up since he’s a lefty in Yankee Stadium.
    I bet he hits .300-20-80 with 50 steals if he plays 145 games

    • CashmanNinja says:

      Or he becomes pull happy, like so many lefties do, and becomes a .260 hitter with 15 HR and, 70 RBI, and 35 SBs. I could live with that if he…you know…wasn’t being paid an insane amount of $$.

      • Revan says:

        This is all speculation so I wouldn’t worry about that juuuust yet. What’s concerning is that a fuckton of his value is his speed by stealing bases and plus defense.

        Let’s see if he keeps that up 3 or 4 years from now in his mid 30s..

        • CashmanNinja says:

          I just don’t have much faith in a player who hits 30 HRs one year, but every other year of his career he has never hit double-digit home runs. And by that I mean he hasn’t even hit TEN in a season save for the year he hit 32. I just don’t see how anyone can value speed that much. I do love speed, but like you said…that’s not going to be around forever. Speed is great, but it is one of the first things to go. I remember when Jeter was pretty damn fast, but he hasn’t been that way in years and years (I’m talking before the ankle injury). Hell, even Granderson slowed down a tad compared to the past. But maybe Cashman believes that Ellsbury could have a Granderson like transition with Yankee Stadium.

  66. Revan says:

    If Cano is re-signed, whatever. It’s not the Yankees without hilarious contracts. If we pass on Cano this is fucking stupid, no way around it.

  67. Newman says:

    Unexpected. Things getting interesting fast and Yanks right where I like them. In the middle of shit.

  68. Lee D says:

    Overpay, but if this overpay is a sign of ‘fuk 189 sign Cano and be all in for the next few yrs’, THEN YAY.

  69. I'm a looser baby so why don't you kill me? says:

    Fear of the Day (FotD)™: the Yankees officially cancel the winter meetings by signing all teh free agents.

  70. Darren says:

    This is either:
    (a) FUCKING AWESOME, but only if they also sign Cano.


    (b) FUCKING DISGUSTING, if they sign Ellsbury INSTEAD of Cano.

    it goddamned better be (a), that’s all I’m saying.

    • RetroRob says:

      What if they think Cano will only sign for $250M over 9 years?

      It may not be a preference for Ellsbury over Cano, but a concern that they can’t sign Cano and are not rebuilding in other ways.

      This move can only be viewed once all the pieces are in place. As of now, the Yankees have signed two quality free agents. That’s not a bad thing.

      • Darren says:

        I’d MUCH rather have Cano at $250mm than Elsbury at $169mm. It’s not even close for me.
        I’m fine if this comes at the expense of beltran, Choo and even Gardner, but if they panicked and lose out on Cano because of this that’ll be a horrible move.

        obviously we won’t know how to feel until Cano signs with either us or someone else.

    • Jimmy says:

      Well put.

  71. TheRealGreg says:

    See I don’t think it’s ownership driven because clearly they can look at stats and they would rather have Cano than Ellsbury. Ellsbury isn’t big enough of a name that Cano is.

  72. Chelo says:

    If this means we lose out on Cano than fuck this. If its this plus cano i feel a bit better about it. Now is it just me or is this #Boras way of getting back at cano for leaving him before free agency? get the yanks to pay up and maybe not be able to afford cano? 189 has to be gone, or yanks know arod isnt coming back for a couple years lol

  73. Cuso says:

    All the “smart” of McCann was erased by the length/money given to Ellsbury. This offseason is a push as it stands at the moment.

  74. bpdelia says:

    First reaction: haha what sucker gave him that.

    Second: oh. Crap.

    Third: well he is a six won player and the injuries are flukey.
    Fourth: Gardner must be getting traded for Anderson
    Fifth: oh pass an saying they’ll still have cash for cano?
    Sixth: well, damn, he could easily hot 10-15 hrs in ys3
    Seventh: yeah. Yeah OK. This looks good.
    Eighth: he’s a fantastic defender, elite elite baserunner and a good hitter.
    Ninth: they just added 10 wins with these two guys.
    Finally: McCann, ellsbury, cano, Tanaka, and Brett Anderson puts this team right back in contention

  75. mark rodgers says:

    I HATE the deal. Everyone knows it’s a major overpay but you know if you look at next years free agent class and the fact that teams are going to become even more richer with the tv deals i think besides trades(our farm kinda stinks right now) how are the yankees going to put butts in the seats and have a decent team. I do think ellsbury power numbers will come up a bit playing in the short porch but i don’t know. I’m upset by it and i’m sure when ellsbury gets hurt i will hate it even more but all we can do is just say lets see what happens.

  76. nyyankfan7 says:

    A lot of negativity over this signing. Personally I am waiting to pass judgement. If this deal stops them from signing Cano – then it is a bad deal. If someone is dumb enough to give Cano 10/250 then its a different story.

    Yes Ellsbury has had injuries – but weren’t they fluke injuries? It’s not like he pulls hamstrings or anything. Didn’t he miss one season because he broke 4 years in a collision with Beltre? And wasn’t the 2nd big injury after some guy fell on his shoulder when he was sliding into 2nd? Those don’t seem like “oh he’s a pansy” injuries to me.

    Yes he is a base stealer and that usually goes with age. 2 things: #1 – he is also a DAMN good hitter. High average, high on base type of guy with some pop – now coming to the short porch of Yankee Stadium. #2 – in Ichiro’s ages 35 – 37 seasons he stole 26, 42 & 40 so its no guarantee he turns into a 15 steal guy.

    As I said, I will pass judgement until the offseason is done and we see what team we put on the field. I hope we are adding these guys to tempt Beltran to take a 2 year offer. Trade Gardner for a SP. Sign Cano and then kick everyone’s ass.

    • nyyankfan7 says:

      by the way watching ESPN is hilarious.

      John Kruk is a drunken idiot.

      Merchand actually said that the Yankees bullpen has HUGE holes because MO is gone (yes) but also because….wait for it…..JOBA IS NO LONGER THERE!!!! Fucking moron.

      Then the other idiot with red hair who I can’t remember just kept saying “horrible idea to sign Ellsbury and let Cano go” as if someone came out and said we are signing Ellsbury and absolutely not resigning Robinson Cano.

      God I hate ESPN.

    • I'm a looser baby so why don't you kill me? says:

      Agreed. In a vacuum this is too many dollars and too many years. But as a complementary piece of a bigger plan I can see it making more sense. Just have to wait and see where things go from here.

  77. Fin says:

    The Yankees just signed a slightly better version of Gardner for $150m-$170m with the option. I don’t think Els is worth the AAV in his first let alone what its going to look like in the middle/end of the deal. WTF, this is insane, they just gave him basically the same money its been reported they have offered Cano. Can the Yankees really place the same value on fucking elsbury as Cano? The Yankees hopefully know something we don’t, like how to get him to play at his 2011 level, because that’s the only way this deal works.

    • RetroRob says:

      Ellsbury was a 6 WAR player this year compared to Gardner’s 3 WAR, and in 2011 he was a 9 WAR player. He is a better player than Gardner by a decent margin, something I would not like admitting when he was on the Red Sox, but now, well…

    • Hornets686 says:

      Ummmm I don’t think Gardner ever has/will hit 30 HRs….

  78. Iron Horse says:

    THIS MAKES NO SENSE! Seven years…for this guy? $150 mil? WHY? They gonna trade him for Matt Kemp..lols…this is a move right out of the 1988 play book…I can tell you one place this deal looks great: Boston!

  79. Farewell Mo says:

    What’s the ETA on Cashman holding a press conference to announce he was against this signing?

  80. Dr TJ Eckleberg says:

    So…the Yankees preach austerity with Cano…then sign a fragile center fielder who profiles as a guy who will quickly deteriorate? Doesn’t make sense

    I think the Yankees believe they are going to sign Cano.

    • Robinson Tilapia says:

      This is the only way this makes sense……unless you actually think adding Ellsbury on this deal and, say, Omar Fucking Infante makes things better… which case I give up on humanity.

      • Farewell Mo says:

        Even if they sign Cano, it’s still a huge waste of resources giving that kind of money to Ellsbury.

        • Robinson Tilapia says:

          Agreed completely.

          I don’t mind another big contract. I’m simply concerned as to giving a big contract to this specific player.

          Like I said, I hope he wins 9 MVP Awards while he’s here.

  81. Pasta says:

    Love it Cano gone
    Gardner and jr murphy for brandon philips and a player to be named later.
    Yanks saw the projection for ticket sales in 2014 and Hal uncorked his wallet
    Yanks are back

  82. Frank says:

    Don’t like this move at all. 7 years and 22M per for a good player, not great player, who is fast, but gets hurt all too often. Speed won’t last. Not a priority need. Yanks just think making the big splash is the thing to do. Oh how I wish Billy Beane was running this team. This is looking like the ’80′s all over again.

    • CashmanNinja says:

      But just recently everyone was moaning about how much they missed George Steinbrenner. Well…this is a Boss type of move. Ellsbury is probably Hal’s version of Rickey Henderson.

      • Farewell Mo says:

        Except Ellsbury couldn’t carry Henderson’s jock strap.

        .350 OBP compared to career .401 for Ricky.

      • Fin says:

        Els shouldn’t be mentioned in the same breath as Henderson. Henderson was probably the best player in the game when the Yankees got him, and a future first ballot HOF’er. Els is a nice player that was just singed to a super star contract. Just awful.

      • RetroRob says:

        Ellsbury is most definitely not Henderson, but the first part of your statement is correct. Vintage George move.

  83. Mike HC says:

    Considering the lack of talent in next year’s free agent class, adding our future centerfielder this year, even if he is a bit redundant with Gardner, is ok in my book. What a crazy off season so far.

  84. JeffG says:

    For the same money I would have signed Choo for RF… Hope they can still sign him and trade Gardner for 3B.

  85. bpdelia says:

    Well actually they have pretty similar value. Ellsbury adds a couple of wins on the bases a couple in the field and a couple at the plate.

    He’s a true talent b5 to 6 win player with more there in good years.

    In copacetic now.

    Once ii heard that they still have cano money in good.

    If he is acano alternative hell naw.

    But in addition to? Hell yeah. He’s a great ballplayer.

  86. Iron Horse says:

    The guy is so brittle, we can hope he fails the physical…assuming the doctors who examine him never looked at Pineda…the Yankees have fallen! and they can’t get up…

  87. Joe Boorns says:

    First Reaction was huge overpay, but if you buy sabermetrics at all, Ellsbury is actually comparable to Cano WHEN he plays (using WAR). Cano obviously is the less risky player having played at least 159 over the last 7 seasons, while Ellsbury has missed half of one season and almost one full season from injuries.

    Cano: 5.33 Baseball Reference WAR/162 games (1374 games)
    Ellsbury: 4.76 Baseball Reference WAR/162 games (715 games)

    Cano: 4.37 Fangraphs WAR/162 games
    Ellsbury: 5.36 Fangraphs WAR/162 games

    Still think it was an overpay, but probably not as much as a WTF as my initial reaction. Hopefully the cracked rib/shoulder injury were just isolated incidents. This could turn ugly fast but I’m comforted to know there is at least potential for this to be a good signing.

    • I'm a looser baby so why don't you kill me? says:

      Yeah have to believe that they looked at his two primary injuries as flukes and rolled the dice.

    • Guns says:

      But you really need to factor in that Ellsbury had a fluky season for the ages when he was worth 9 WAR that skews his average. Same with Cano and his fluke down year. I’d like to see your comparison minis those particular seasons which do not accurately reflect what kind of player they are in both cases.

  88. Cuso says:

    What if he turns into a .265/.335/.390?

    It feels like it. ..

  89. TheRealGreg says:

    Now looking at the WAR comparisons and the fact that he has been a great WAR player, it moves it even more towards a Cashman signing

  90. Cuso says:

    There’s still hope….he could fail the physical?

  91. SDB says:

    For all the complaining… so far the Yankees have decided they needed to improve the catching, and they grabbed the best offensive catcher in the game right now. Then they decided to strengthen the outfield, with Grandy leaving and the Wells/Ichiro black hole in right, and they took Ellsbury from the world series winners.

    This is shitloads better than last season. I don’t like the Ellsbury contract numbers, I’d prefer it to be shorter, I’d prefer that money to go to anyone not with Boras, but the FO looks to really be set on improving for next year, and I’m not complaining there.

    • IRememberCelerinoSanchez says:

      If the deal is Ellsbury in and Cano out, that part does not make them better.

      Obviously, McCann makes them better. But McCann + Cano is much better than McCann + Ellsbury.

      If they can still sign Cano, then I’m still not convinced Ellsbury is better than Beltran or Shoo.

      • SDB says:

        Ellsbury is in, that’s all we know.

        The Yankees have offered good money to Cano, and if he turns down a 7/170ish deal because someone else is stupid enough to offer him 250, that’s not the Yankees’ fault.

        At the very least, there’s a really aggressive intent here to get better after last year, and I love it. Let’s see what happens with Cano. But so far, I like the way this offseason’s panning out.

        So much better than reading about Hafner, Overbay and Wells being picked up off scrap heaps last year.

    • CashmanNinja says:

      But they handcuffed themselves for seven (maybe even 8) seasons. They could have gone short term and gotten an outfielder from the other team that made it to the WS — one who is one of the most clutch post season performers in recent history, in Carlos Beltran. Beltran will probably get 3/50 mil. It’s 4 less years and $100 mil yes. It would be a better overall deal. Or they could have tried for Choo at $100-120 mil and get a guy with great OBP skills. Ugh, this whole deal is just annoying. Ellsbury better hit 40 freaking homers next year.

    • Fin says:

      I agree I’m glad the Yankees are making everyone excited about next year, but Els just seems an awful mistake when there were short term answers that seemed to be pretty close in value. Paying Els that much money that long is mind boggling. I’d certainly take Grandy for 3yrs ~50m than 170m for Els over 8.

    • Revan says:

      And it’s the same people who demand contracts that not even a 4 year old would do that first complain when they are hurt or ineffective.

  92. Tom says:

    I love this deal and don’t get the criticism. It’s not a steal or anything but the Yankees are adding huge talent up the middle this offseason.

    Above average offense at catcher and CF is huge. If they resign Cano that gives them above average offense at 3 of the 4 up the middle positions for many years.

    They still have a lot of work to do on the rotation (2 out of Kuroda / Tanaka / Feldman?) and need 1 or 2 bullpen arms, but the only real open item now on the position player side is Cano and 3rd (and if they resign Cano they could probably patch 3rd base).

    • TheRealGreg says:

      The money and length of contract is the main factor in scaring people. If this had been done for 5 years and 125 million, then people would probably feel better about it.

    • IRememberCelerinoSanchez says:

      I’m not sure that a player whose career OPS+ and wRC+ are:

      2007 (131 PA) 131 136
      2008 88 91
      2009 98 98
      2010 (84 PA) 30 26
      2011 146 150
      2012 84 84
      2013 114 113

      is a “huge talent.” More like a guy with one great year and one good year, surrounded by a bunch of below-leageue-average seasons.

      This is a terrible deal whether they can now re-sign Cano or not. If they can’t, then, obviously, Ellsbury is half the player Cano is. If they do sign both, then Ellsbury isn’t as good as Beltran and even Choo. And a huge deal like this for a guy likely to not live up to it will hurt them down the line. Look what the A-Rod deal is doing to them (along with the Teixeira deal, to a lesser extent).

    • nycsportzfan says:

      I agree. The potential on the base paths with Ellsbury, gardner, and Soriano, is unreal! Its gonna be insane watching guys like Jeter get to hit with any of those guys on base. Also, its gonna help teams not be able to shift on guys like Tex, as theres gonna be speed on the bases. Also, Ells has hit 30hrs in Fenway as a lefty. I could easily see power, speed, avg, defense, all coming to us for under 200million which is rare. The obvious question is health, but untill he gets hurt, gotta hope and assume he stays healthy. I like the deal.

  93. Kevin W says:

    Gardner for Homer Bailey now

  94. Dan says:

    It’s a lot of money for a guy who has no power and whose speed will probably decline about half way through the deal. Even if his power spikes a little w/ Kevin Long and the short porch (to 15+ home runs).

    Now, he is very good though. So I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt for the time being. Having said that, I’d rather have Cano with an 8th year, and I hope they make it happen. And I hope this proves that $189m is contingent on A-Rod being suspended.

    Also, I think they should trade Gardner for a SP. They don’t need two speedy Outfielders. I’d rather left field is manned by a less good outfielder with more power who can be cheap than have two speedy outfielders. But we’ll see.

  95. forensic says:

    I keep refreshing the page hoping that the typo will be fixed and the 1 at the beginning of $153 million will go away.

    But alas…

  96. Robinson Tilapia says:

    Honestly, though, Jacoby Ellsbury is now our centerfielder and I hope he wins 7 MVP Awards, becomes team captain, and bangs every NYU coed within arm’s reach.

    • SDB says:

      McCann gets the CUNY coeds, Ellsbury gets the nerdier ones?

      • Robinson Tilapia says:

        CUNY implies a rather wide scope there.

        You’re safe with NYU. Hell, I’d prefer Columbia. I married Barnard.

        • SDB says:

          Good taste on Barnard! Columbia’s not bad either, at least from the crowd I remember around Havana Central (usual Columbia law school drinking hole on Fridays.)

          Dated a couple of Barnard girls in my college days, but nothing more. Never dated an NYU girl yet (pay too much attention to looks.)

          • Robinson Tilapia says:

            I can’t believe they turned that into a Havana Central.

            That’s a very different neighborhood from 99-01, when I was hanging out there a ton.

            I love my Barnard women.

            • SDB says:

              I’ve only been there in the Havana central days (showing my age there). What was it like before?

              • Robinson Tilapia says:

                Less fake Cuban food. More of a regular hangout.

                I actually never set foot in it. Much more of a college hangout. My now-wife was a GA for Barnard by the time I met her.

                We’re up there sometimes, but not a whole lot anymore. Just a ton more places that we’re around back then. Still like Le Monde.

          • I'm a looser baby so why don't you kill me? says:

            You pay too much attention, or they do?

  97. FIPster Doofus says:

    I love Ellsbury. But this signing’s not gonna mean much if Cano AND at least one of Kuroda/Tanaka aren’t in a Yankees uniform with Ellsbury. If it’s Ellsbury and McCann in, Cano, Grandy and Kuroda out, it’s another 80-some-win season. Hal needs to go for in the kill now. Forget 189.

  98. bpdelia says:

    He’s not brittle. He ran full speed into adrian beltre and got fallen on. The injuries were serious and weirdia

    • Mouse says:

      He cracked his ribs when he dove for a ball several years ago. That is not a freaky injury. He is brittle.

    • forensic says:

      He’s also had a ton of other shorter term injuries though. He’s far from what you’d call durable, and that’s even worse going into his 30′s and being a guy whose entire game is based on his speed.

  99. Mouse says:

    Did the Yankees bid against themselves again? I’d like to know what other offers Ellsbury had. This is lunacy.

  100. Dars says:

    Now a trade for Brandon Phillips perhaps giving Sanchez as centerpiece.
    I think Cano is gone. There are too many lefties in the lineup, they need to balance it out. Phillips will be our 2b.
    On the days that Ryan plays SS and Phillips 2b with Gardner and Ellsbury in Lf and Cf it will be very hard to get a hit for the opposition.

    • FIPster Doofus says:

      If Cano leaves, I’d rather sign Infante than trade Sanchez for Phillips.

      • nycsportzfan says:

        I’d rather sign Kelly Johnson, and have him take over at 2nd, and then go out and focus on pitching. Grant Balfour, Kuroda, Garza, Tanaka, Mujica, and a few others come to mind. Look into getting a couple of those guys to go with are wildcard in Michael Pineda, whos still very young and has a chance to be a number1 starter for yrs to come if healthy.

        A rotation of

        A bullpen
        Wesley Wright?
        Cesar Cabral

        You can win with that staff, if our offense stays healthy, as were gonna score in so many diffrent ways this yr. This yanks offense is gonna be freaking nuts.

  101. Anthony says:

    I get the whole “spend money on the right player” thing but who, exactly, was that player? Tons of people said no to Beltran on 3 years, Choo has his issues, Granderson has his issues, and Cruz is just icky to think about.

    I like this deal if Cano comes back, which he probably does. Passan says the Yanks want Cano (or Choo) plus SP’s.

    Don’t really see the major negative here.

  102. Chris Z. says:

    So the Yankees best prospects were at OF and C. Does this mean they will trade Mason Williams and Sanchez for pitching?

    They missed the boat on Fister. He would have made a great addition.

  103. perspective says:

    Scott Kazmir got 11M per and hasn’t done much of shit in years. A guy fresh off a PED suspension pulled in over 50M. Phil fucking Hughes just got 8M per.

    Every deal this offseason (aside from maybe Johnson) has been bloated…no reason to stop now.

    • TheRealGreg says:

      That is true. If Phil Hughes can get 8 million for one of the worst pitching seasons ever…..

    • Fin says:

      Bloated for a year or 3 is one thing, bloated for 8 is a whole other animal. I don’t think he will be worth his AAV in year 1 let alone year 5+.

  104. yankees53 says:

    Source for the club option? I have obviously read there’s the 8th year option, but don’t see anywhere saying it’s a club option.

  105. Dale Mohorcic says:

    I am officially changing my rooting interest to no suspension for A-Rod. If they are going to be over $189M anyway, then Hal and Randy will have incentive to spend. Would love to see that I’ll-advised plan blow up on their faces.

  106. Farewell Mo says:

    Shockingly, Keith Law doesn’t think this signing is completely outlanding.

  107. BrianMcCannon (formerly HateMclouth) says:

    Mike, we need a poll on this deal tomorrow. People seem pretty polarized.

  108. JGYank says:

    Not completely on board with this, but still… what an amazing offseason.

    This was just out of nowhere. Maybe after negotiating with Beltran they thought he asked for too many years, looked at his flaws, and saw he was talking with KC and decided to go elsewhere. Maybe we can introduce McCann and Ells on Thursday. If we somehow add Cano, our lineup is going to muuuuuccccccchhhh better than last year as long as we’re healthy of course. And here I was hoping we focused on SP. I hope there’s still some money left to improve the rotation and sign Cano while filling some other holes but it’s hard to fill all that under a budget. Love our outfield defense and it’s great to have a baserunner like that. I think Ells goes to center and Gardy moves to left with Sori in right. We might have overpaid somewhat and given him a long deal but for next year at least it seems like we’re going all in. I was concerned about Beltran’s age, health, and decline but I’m also worried about Ellsbury’s health and how he will hold up. Very risky deal but for the short term I’m really excited about the team and to see what the rest of the offseason will bring.

  109. Eric Scheinkopf says:

    Why – Beltran for 3 yrs would have been better

  110. We can only hope Robbie is still in the cards, because if the Yankees idea of roster construction is to sign a few expensive complementary pieces, only to let the centerpiece leave, then this team is dumber than we ever feared.

  111. perspective says:

    Next years FA class is a pile of steaming hot garbage and more and more young players are getting locked up. Cant sit around and wonder why the $$$ thrown around this winter is so insane.

  112. Jim Is A (Bored) Peckerhead says:

    There’s more money in baseball, as a whole. The freakin A’s are spending.

    No one knows what the true market value is for Ellsbury. $/WAR might be going up in the near future.

    And speed/D guys don’t age poorly, as most would assume. Dave Cameron wrote a great article on fangraphs. Not that I expect anyone who’s already off the deep end to go read it.

    • Farewell Mo says:

      The guy has had trouble staying on the field when he was younger and trying to get the huge payday.

      Now that he’s signed till age 37 and has gotten the huge contract, do you think he’s more or less likely to stay on the field?

    • forensic says:

      While it’s an interesting article, I don’t fully agree with it.

      First, he’s been less durable than all but one of the players he compared him to. You can’t produce if you’re not on the field.

      Second, he (and most others looking at Ellsbury and doing analysis/comparisons) are including his 2011, which is so far out of line with the rest of his career that I think it’s pretty difficult to look at that as if it’s potentially what you could see him doing.

  113. Tyrone Sharpton says:

    This sounds like a really dumb deal. Goddammit

  114. RetroRob says:

    “You have two choices: continue to be surprised by every “outrageous” free agent contract, or update your expectations.” — J.C. Bradbury

  115. Avi says:

    I hope ellsbury fails his physical.

  116. Dean says:

    What time is the McCann press conference on Thursday? Hope they do a double with Ells

  117. Zack D says:

    Why sign “fragile” Ellsbury when they could have signed durable young Carlos Beltran for 3 years?

  118. FIPster Doofus says:

    “Dan Szymborski ?@DSzymborski 6m For Jacoby over 7 – 4.1, 3.7, 3.7, 3.4, 2.9, 2.5, 1.7″

    That would be 22 WAR total, aka 3 per year.

    • FIPster Doofus says:

      Jay Jaffe @jay_jaffe 5m at $6M per win for 2013 + 5% inflation, I get $157M for those 7 yrs RT @DSzymborski: For Jacoby over 7 – 4.1, 3.7, 3.7, 3.4, 2.9, 2.5, 1.7

      • Tom says:

        Sounds about right. 4.1 might even be a little conservative as a starting point too (he put up 5.8 fWAR last year) – the missed year can make it tricky for projections

        Dan S (the ZIPS guy) is about as good as it gets in terms of public projection systems.

        Like I said above this is not a steal or anything, but people are looking at the offensive #s in a vacuum. He’s about a 10% better hitter than the league average CF’r, with well above average defense and elite baserunning. As an overall package that is a significant value at an up the middle position.

  119. Bruce says:

    I hate Ellsbury. He’s a whiner and a juicer. Why do we need him when we already have aroid. Hate this signing. Yanks will regret it

  120. Mike says:

    His power completely disappeared. Why are we paying him this much?

  121. FIPster Doofus says:

    Choo to Detroit for 6/120.

  122. mustang says:

    NO WORDS!!!!

    There has to be more to this.

  123. Fin says:

    Was anyone surprised when Youk went down for the year? Will anyone be surprised if the same thing happens to Els this year? At least Youk was a 1 year $12m mistake. I can see Els hitting the DL for a month in May only to suffer setback after setback, and getting less than 100 AB’s.

    • FIPster Doofus says:

      “Will anyone be surprised if the same thing happens to Els this year?”

      Yes. Youk was an old man with a bad back.

      • Fin says:

        I’m not saying hes as likely to get hurt as Youk, just wouldn’t surprise me at all. He has a significant injury history for a 30yr old player. Really, I don’t give a shit about how bad the signing is, if the Yankee are scraping $189. IF they are just gona keep spending and cover mistakes it doesn’t matter. But if they are going to be on a budget, I think this deal is going to kill them sooner rather than later.

        • FIPster Doofus says:

          I don’t really worry about guys getting hurt. If it happens, it happens. Until it does, though, I expect them to stay healthy. That aside, I agree with you regarding the budget. If that’s out the window, throw caution to the wind and make it rain all day. I guess we’ll find out in the coming weeks.

  124. KevinD says:

    The more I allow this to sink in the more I am really liking this signing.

    We may say this is too much money, But, the market is crazy this year. Hughes just got 8 mil a year for 3 coming off a horrible few years. I am glad NY is being aggressive and not just letting guys sign elsewhere as they try to be patient.

    The Yankees can’t afford to have two bad seasons in a row. I believe Hal now when he says that fielding a championship caliber team is more important than the 189 cap. This team isnt championship caliber just yet, but we are moving in the right direction.

  125. Tom says:

    What makes this deal aweful is the years. If they signed him for 5 years most people would love it.

    Pro of Ellsbury:
    .300 hitter
    Will lead team and league in SB
    Great Centerfielder

    Can he stay Healthy

    The Yankees needed an outfielder and Ellsbury was ranked #1 on ESPNs list of free agents.

    I like the addition but NOT the YEARS

  126. TJF says:

    Sounds like overpaying, but also does damage to Boston. Johnny Damon part 2? Only younger.

    I also think the $189 thing is dead and probably was never serious. If you want to know what the Yanks are up to, then listen to them and believe the opposite of what they say. Most of the time it turns out right.

  127. Frank says:

    Third highest contract in baseball history for an OFr (after Manny and Kemp). Oh, and he has a shitty arm for a CFr. Insane. Just fucking insane. Yanks must be planning on playing a lot of 10-9 games because they have no pitching. Good luck with that.

  128. TJF says:

    So knowing them, expect them to sign Cano for the moon, then an SP or two and a legit 3b. This isnt over by far,


  129. Betty Lizard says:

    Who cares what I feel like tomorrow morning? Another round of free agents! On the house!

  130. Ben says:

    jesus when the hell did this happen? I was away from the computer for 10 goddamn minutes.

  131. Now Batting says:

    To all the Beltran supporters something to ponder:

    Beltran would be signed for his age 37-39 seasons at $16m/year (alleged high offer). Ellsbury is signed for his age 30-36 seasons (turns 37 in September) or 37 if it vests at ~$22m/year.

    • Tom says:

      And postseason heroics aside, Beltran put up 2 WAR last year. I would have gone for Beltran for 2 years on a slight overpay (15mil per?), but a 3rd year at 16mil per is borderline nuts.

      The age thing puts it in perspective. People are thinking Ellsbury will be useless at age 35/36, but Beltran at age 38 and 39 will be worth 16mil per? i realize they are starting at different skill levels but I think the pendulum has swung from underestimating age related decline to overestimating it.

  132. Chris Z. says:

    so how long before Cash leaks this was Hal’s idea?

    • FIPster Doofus says:

      I feel like three years for Beltran would’ve been more Hal-esque. This has Cashman’s fingerprints on it, IMO.

  133. Wait for it.... says:

    should we rename Jacoby Ellsbury to Claudell Washington now, or wait 2 years?

  134. RetroRob says:

    The Yankees sign two, major impact players and are still on the hunt.

    RABers upset. Pretty funny.

    • Chris Z. says:

      Ellsbury isn’t impact. If he kept the 30 hr seasons going then yea but he is a marginal upgrade over Bret Gardner. Thats all he his. An overpaid Bret Gardner.

      • FIPster Doofus says:

        He is absolutely an impact player. So is Gardner, for that matter. Ellsbury is better than him.

        • Chris Z. says:

          How is he an impact player? He is always hurt.

          • FIPster Doofus says:

            Good hitter, great defender and base runner = impact player.

            • Chris Z. says:

              HE is at best an average fielder (great range but terrible arm), he is a great baseruner but is only above average hitting. To me that doesn’t equal impact. That equals out to above average. A part of the puzzle. Once he gets pull happy his average will go down.

              His on base may stay the exact same because boston and new york play the same style games.

              Can he stay healthy? Thats the 153 million dollar question.

              They needed stability and power on a team who hit a very very very disappointing amount of home runs last season. They needed cano.

              I just dont see how cano isn’t worth 200 when you say Ellsbury is worth 153.

              • FIPster Doofus says:

                Ellsbury is, IMO, a 4-WAR-per-year player the next few seasons if healthy. That’s high impact. And the door’s still not shut on Cano. They HAVE to sign him; otherwise, despite adding Ellsbury, they’re not going anywhere next season. We’ll see what happens.

    • FIPster Doofus says:

      To some extent, I can see why they’re upset. Everyone’s wary over 189. If that’s gone, these two signings are great. If 189 is still a thing and it costs the Yanks Cano and/or a chance to sufficiently address their rotation, not so great.

      • RetroRob says:

        No, I get it. I have been positive in this thread just because, what the heck! I do have my concerns, mainly his injury history. Yet people like Keith Law and Dave Cameron are actually pretty positive on this signing. He makes the Yankees stronger. I can’t worry about five years out. If the Yankees resume being the Yankees, then as players like Ellsbury age, they bring in the new hot player. The issue the Yankees have faced the last couple seasons is they stopped spending, so as their older signings aged, they weren’t bringing in the next set of replacements. This offseason they have, and that should be viewed positively. Not worried about five years hence.

        • FIPster Doofus says:

          I totally agree with that. If the Yankees are back in spending mode, five years down the line means nothing to me.

        • Farewell Mo says:

          Keith Law said the deal is “not as crazy as it seems” which is not exactly “pretty positive” and he qualifies that statement by saying “if he stays healthy” which is a huge, huge assumption considering his history and age at the tail end of the contract.

          • RetroRob says:

            I read Law’s article. I stand by the statement that he was pretty positive. Yes, he did have the qualifier about his health.

        • Fin says:

          Well they stopped spending smart and went scrap heap during the offseason forcing them into moves like the money Wells cost them. However, with what they are doing this offseason its possible they let Martin go, because they wanted to wait for McCann and its possible they let Swish go because they wanted Els. LoL, its also possible that the Yankees were setting themselves up for $189 so went cheap and then attendance crashed and so did TV ratings, turning that savings into an expense. Its really hard to figure out what the last couple of offseasons were about at this point in time.

      • BrianMcCannon (formerly HateMclouth) says:


    • Betty Lizard says:

      I know, right?

      My favorite comments from Over the Green Monster:

      by kimmel09

      “We don’t know that. He could have an ebay account and sell antiques in his spare time. or be a stock market buff.”
      by patriotsbeatz

    • forensic says:

      Well, you can’t really just say two major impact players in a vacuum and ignore the contracts. Viewing the whole picture could change things significantly, not to mention the possible consequences it has on other players and overall roster possibilities.

  135. cashjr says:

    I can still see them telling Robbie, “sorry no more than 7 years” maybe adding a similar team option for year 8. BUT how do you not increase the AAV to 26 or 27 now? No way can you say Robbie is only worth a couple of million more per year, no way. So now Robbie is either 8 at 200 or maybe 7 at 180-190.

    • I'm a looser baby so why don't you kill me? says:

      It’s felt like 8/200 all along to me. So maybe it’s 8/200 with an option for 9 that is not super easy to achieve.

      • I'm a looser baby so why don't you kill me? says:

        Or, you load up the 8 years with bonuses for top 5 MVP finishes and stuff like that.

  136. Fin says:

    So, lets assume the Yanks resign Cano (crosses fingers a this pt). What does the lineup look like right now?


    I didn’t bother putting Wells or Ichiro in the lineup behind Soriano, as I don’t think either will play much, if thy are even still on the team come opening day.

    • Fin says:

      I think probably the better order is:


      But you know Jeter isn’t going to it 8th.

      • RetroRob says:

        Gardner, Ellsbury, Cano are three lefties in a row. Add in Tex a switch hitter, and then McCann, that could be five straight LH’d batters. They’ll want to balance that with Jeter at the top, especially as he hits lefties quite well.

        It does illustrate a developing problem. The Yankees need another RH’d hitter.

        • Fin says:

          Hehe, I forgot that Jeter mashes lefties. So definitely him in the 2 hole. Maybe move him down on days when righties start, but that wont happen.

  137. Dean says:

    Lineup with Elsburry and cano has potential to be nasty if they can stay healthy

  138. Cuso says:

    Cano will get 8/$210 from Nats. #gutfeeling

  139. Short Porch says:

    I haven’t been this pumped since the Yanks got Dave Collins.

    You want to really wretch – check out the home / away splits. .833 ops at Fenway, .749 on the road.

    This is what happens when rich but not so bright billionaire sons run things. James Dolan, Hal Steinbrenner.
    Regular New Yorkers can’t afford to see either team, but both are now unwatchable for as long as they are calling the shots (which will be as long as they live) so I guess there’s a silver lining.

    Anyone here if given the chance could do a better job. Excuse me while I pull out the rest of my hair and ponder how I explain to my boy til he goes to college why the local teams are so bad.

    • FIPster Doofus says:

      He won’t OPS .749 at YS3, I’ll tell you that much.

      • RetroRob says:

        Plus, his last two full seasons — 2013 and 2011 — show a different story. He has been a very effective hitter on the road, and Yankee Stadium for a lefty is not exactly a bad thing.

        The Yankees do quite a bit of statistic analysis. There is a reason they’re not concerned about his career home/road splits.

    • forensic says:

      Most of the split is from his power numbers. He’ll certainly lose a bunch of wall-ball doubles and maybe triangle triples, but he’ll likely gain a few short porch homers. We’ll see if he gains enough to make up for the loss.

  140. Long-Past-His-Day-Rod says:

    My guess for the John Sterling HR call: “Ells buries one in the right field seats!” Hope he actually gets to use it a bunch.

    I’m holding out judgement on this signing. If they re-sign Cano then I like it a lot more.

    • Dean says:

      If they re-sign Robbie I’m all for this. If not they better do what it takes to get that dude Brandon Phillips to keep me from hating the deal lol it’s up to Robbie to make this happen

    • Fin says:

      Lets hope we hear that call enough to help justify this monster contract.

  141. Shineon says:

    Nooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo! DV BTW We have cookies. This deal is terrible. Just Terrible.

  142. cashjr says:

    Also, maybe Hal is thinking that they should just spend whatever they need to now and sign everyone (just kidding with the whole 189 after all). Win a WS this year or next, and then just sell the team while they are back on top. End result could be an extra $500M in their pockets, maybe even more. Either that or as many have pointed out, there is just so much money now coming in that anyone who’s even an all star is worth 20M plus a year.

  143. Evan says:

    The Yankees have shown they can afford to have some large bad contracts and be competitive. By the time “Elsy” is in decline the rest of the bad contracts will be off the books. If they resign Cano; Cano, Elsbury, McCann is a nice core to build around for the next 3-4 years. Hopefully, by then the yanks have actually developed some prospects.

  144. mustang says:

    Brandon Phillips didn’t even show up to the Reds Fanfest. It’s been reported that Cano’s agents are off to Seattle.

    By tomorrow Phillips is a Yankee and Cano gets 10 for 260 from Seattle.

    That’s the only way this even comes close to making sense.

    • Dean says:

      I’d imagine to get Phillips they’d have to part with gardy. Does that lead us back to Beltran or maybe even choo?

      • Fin says:

        Gardner is a better player than Philips and you want to trade him for Phillips and take on his contract? No thanks! Please GM for another team.

    • forensic says:

      Yuck, I want nothing to do with Brandon Phillips.

    • Farewell Mo says:

      I sure hope not because if this is all about replacing Cano with Ellsbury, the Yankees are fucked.

      Brandon Philips is a soon to be 33 year old 2nd basemen who has been steadily declining over the last 3 years.

      • Dean says:

        Would you say Phillips is the best alternative available if cano leaves? I sure would.

        • FIPster Doofus says:

          Well, it’s 4/50 for Phillips plus trade assets versus just money for Infante. Both are entering their age-33 seasons. Both have been worth around 6 WAR the last two years. Phillips was easily the better of the two before then, but seems to be declining.

          • Tom says:

            I think Infante might be the straight up better player at this point going forward.

            And even if he’s not, given the player/prospect cost for Phillips I think he’s a better option. Infante may also be cheaper (though in this market, maybe not)

        • Farewell Mo says:

          Cano and Beltran >>>>>>>>> Ellsbury and Philips or Infante IMO.

    • mustang says:

      “The Reds are now unlikely to trade Brandon Phillips, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports (on Twitter). ”

      My proof !


  145. Jerome S. says:

    Good article on this at Fangraphs, recommend checking it out.
    My personal take: Alright with the money, not sure on the years.
    If this were a contract for something like 3/60? Not desirable, but I’d take it.
    It is not as if I believe Ellsbury is particularly prone to injury (though he is), or is susceptible to an early drop-off (I think the dire predictions are exaggerated), as much as it is that I just do not know about long-term contracts these days.
    Unless the player is significantly under thirty, healthy, and/or a top-tier player, it behooves us to extend finances beyond what is reasonable. It is reasonable to expect that a player like Ellsbury will be productive in three years, but even that is pushing it. Who knows what the future holds? In any other business, this would be considered a risky and exceptional move.
    But this is baseball, and money is wantonly thrown about to super-strong man-children while profits somehow continue to accumulate. What a country. Any thoughts we have on this seem moot in the arbitrary and mystical world of baseball finances.

  146. Dan G says:

    So this contract tells me 3 things

    1. They actually underpaid on McCann
    2. Cano should get 8/417M
    3. Gardy is worth 7/120M next offseason

    In all seriousness, the “contract comparable to Crawford” line seems eerily appropriate. As in everyone said it was a bad idea… Bc it was.

    • Fin says:

      Even before this ridiculas contract, I thought they probably got a deal on McCann when the requirements for his vesting option was revealed. I cant remember the last time the Yankees got a good deal on FA, but I think McCann is definitely a good deal for the Yankees. Completely erased and put into the negative by the Elsbury deal.

    • Alex says:

      Most big Contracts are bad ideas we as fans just have to deal with the fallout but in the meantime just enjoy the Yankees finally being the Yankees.

      • Mike says:

        You mean developing a great core from our farm?

        • Jerome S. says:

          It’s very, very difficult to develop a great “core” from the farm system. That is why the Yankees of the past two decades are so historic, because it was a feat unlikely to be accomplished again.
          A good core of players is a mix of home-grown, traded, and bought & paid for ballplayers. A team with deep pockets adding a skilled player who brings speed and defense to a table in need of both does not necessarily subtract from building a core. It adds to it.

          • Mike says:

            I’m just saying I don’t want signing big free agents to be what “being the Yankees” is about. I understand that we need a mix but I don’t like the perception that “being the Yankees” is just throwing a bunch of money on the big free agents.

            I’d rather us still be know for developing our stars from within and keeping them. Hopefully this doesn’t prevent us from resigning Cano.

  147. Alex says:

    Not sure how I feel about this, if it keeps them from upgrading other aspects of the team(as in resigning Cano, who is a much better and durable player, getting a couple pitchers and finding a third baseman.)then I will hate it. But if Cash and Co. continue to upgrade I will grow to love this deal. Either way Ellsbury makes them a better team. The Yankees should have no problem carrying a bad contract in 5 years when they won’t have much on the books beyond McCann and Ellsbury. I’m with Boras as long as nobody runs into Ellsbury he should be fine, some of his injuries have been freak ones.
    Just look at 09 when throwing money at the problem got us a World Series.

    • Fin says:

      “Either way Ellsbury makes them a better team”

      I disagree completely. If the Yankees essentially traded Cano for Els, they are a worse team. The contract the Yankees offered Cano is very similar to what they gave Els. If Cano does resign then the Yankees are a better team.

      • Alex says:

        I don’t think they traded Cano for Ellsbury, as with the McCann signing this mostly exudes pressure on Cano’s agents. The Yanks shouldn’t bid against themselves ones other teams get in the mix then they’re offer will go up. Robby wants a deal like Pujols got but he is nowhere near the player Pujols was. Ones his agents stop flying in the clouds I believe he will sign a 7 year deal with some easily attainable option years. Cano is better than Ellsbury but paying Cano 25 mil until he is 40 is not something I would love to do. 10 year deals don’t work, plus it takes two to negotiate and Cano’s agents are dragging their feet. But just as speedy outfielders don’t age well neither do middle infielders or starters or bullpen arms. Only special players play well into their upper 30′s.

  148. guest says:

    Here’s a thought. Jacoby Ellsbury in Yankee stadium IS better than Cano… Assuming he stays healthy.

  149. Pistol pete says:

    They’ll sign Cano. No way they spend for McCann and Ellsbury and not sign Cano. Cano will want to play for a winner, the park fits him, he’s got a shot at a title and HOF if he resigns. I say no way they invest in two non Yankees and don’t sign Cano. Robbie’s next, tanaka and Kuroda to follow. Ellsbury Jeter Cano Tex Soriano McCann Reynolds Gardner Ichiro

  150. dkidd says:

    if ells is worth 153M, how do you offer cano 170M with a straight face?

    also, we just signed kelly johnson. slow down, cash!

  151. Joe says:

    Yanks just signed Kelly Johnson. I guess Cano is really gone.

  152. Kevin G. says:

    Death to flying objects.

  153. gradner to reds for phillips bet the house ! then sign choo too

    • Alex says:

      If Gardner gets traded I’d rather have Beltran. But if Gardner does get traded which I doubt since he is so cheap right now, it will be for a pitcher.

      • lou says:

        1 Ellsbury CF Finally a lead off hitter!
        2 Jeter DH SS
        3 Cano? 2b
        4 Soriano LF DH
        5 McCann C Finally a Catcher!
        6 Choo ? RF
        7.Beltran ? RF DH
        8 Tex 1b
        9. 3b?

        Take a huge shit on Gardner, Shit on Wells & Ichrio
        Don’t stop now Yankees keep signing those FULL TIME PLAYERS!

        • Chris H says:

          Choo is a career .300/.400/.500 player career against RHP, batting him anywhere oustside if the top three is waste. If you want to hit him 6-8 against LHP that’s fine but against righties he needs to be at the very top so his on base skills play to their full potential.

    • FIPster Doofus says:

      Pass. Gardner is a better player than Phillips. Gardner is younger than Phillips. Gardner is cheaper than Phillips.

    • Fin says:

      Why would you trade Gardner for Phillips? Gardner is the better player making significantly less money.

  154. MartinRanger says:

    Yankees are close to a 1-year 2.75 mil contract with Kelly Johnson. Anybody else think they could try to roll with a Johnson/Adams platoon at 3rd and get enough production to get by?

  155. MartinRanger says:

    There is one more thing that ought to be considered – Gardner is a free agent next year. Having Ellsbury around gives them an in-house replacement – they don’t need another speedy CF type. So they could potentially save a fair bit on that.

    Still not a massive fan of the deal. Hopefully he blows the doors off next season and gives me hope that 2011 wasn’t a complete fluke. And it will be nice to have a ~50 stolen base threat. Possibly two, if Gardner gets his act together.

    • lou says:

      Gardner will never get his act together. If Gardner is not traded then he’s going to play CF and Ells will be in RF but you can bank on it that they will pencil in Gardner in the #9 hole and keep him there till the season is over.

      • Fin says:

        I think you’re wrong again. Gardner is going to play one of the corner spots if he isn’t traded. You don’t sign a guy to a 150M+ contract and have him change positions because Gardner is blocking him.

        • lou says:

          I hope it’s just not on the Yankees but then again you can use and abuse Gardner for an entire year in CF. Throw him out there in CF and at #9 and let him rot or play till he gets hurt again. I rather have him off the team but I guess we will have to see. Signing Ellsbury tell you what? They are tired of Gardner?

          • FIPster Doofus says:

            It tells you they saw an opportunity to add an extremely valuable player and did it. Gardner had his best season back in 2010, when he was in left. He’ll do just fine there. I have no idea what your beef with him is, but it’s weird and based on your inability to identify that he is, in fact, good at baseball.

  156. your mom says:

    Cano is probably like: “Well, shit, if Ellsbury got 7/$153, I can get 10/$350!”

  157. Chris says:

    “the Yankees better do something”,”the Yankees are making billions and putting nobody’s out there” , “Hal and Cash aren’t signing anyone this offseason” Fast forward three weeks “5 years for McCannn?” “7 years for an oft injured player and 153 million, what a bad signing”

    People just really can’t be happy can they?

    • qwerty says:

      You’re the worst kind of fan. You say this now, but fast forward two years when Ellsbury is only stealing 15-20 bases a year and mccan is only batting .215, and you’ll be more than ready to agree with the same people you are currently criticizing. And the process will continue to repeat itself every time the yankees make a dumb signing.

      • Chris says:

        Actually, you are way off base qwerty. I support them no matter what. I support them if they want to stay under 189 or if they want to blow right past it. Am I a huge fan of this signing? No. But they can spend their money however they want. I was simply referring to all the naysayers that have been complaining all year that they Yankees did nothing to improve the team. They have signed the best catcher and one of the two best outfielder on the market. If they sign Cano they will have signed the best infielder and overall FA this year. Not a bad haul. There is nothing out there next year and by the time Ellsbury and McCann start declining there will be no A-Rod, Tex and Jeter. If they can manage to bring up 3 postion and 2 SP’s in the next 4 years, they will still be in good shape. And please, don’t claim to know what kind of fan I am.

  158. Alex says:

    Did the Yanks overpay? Yeah they did but not by all that much. Would we feel better if he was making 17 instead of 22? It’s only five mil a year overpay. If the 189 is not an issue anymore than who cares if Ellsbury is making 5 million more a year. If the Yanks really want Cano then this signing won’t stop them. If it stops them then Cano was as good as gone when his contract expired even if Cash tries to peddle some BS about payroll.

  159. lou says:

    I’d like to get some replies here so here is my question.

    Why did the Yankees sign Ellsbury if they have Gardner in Center Field already? What becomes of Gardner?

  160. Ale says:

    Move Gardner to left, he is a better Leftfielder than center fielder anyway.

    • qwerty says:

      That’s because he’s a centerfielder. You move any above average centerfielder to left and they’ll automatically be better in the vast majority of the cases because lf is not as hard to play

  161. lou says:

    Soriano full time DH?

    What if Jeter can’t play SS?

  162. Alex says:

    The more interesting question is whether this will be Cashman’s last year with the Yanks. His power seems to be dwindling and he’s not getting the autonomy he’s wanted in the past.

  163. qwerty says:

    Well, I guess this is why the yankees are still the yankees. Stupid and them seem to go hand in hand. They never appear to learn from all their constant mistakes regarding large contracts. Without speed Ellsbury is nothing, and it won’t be long before he’s no longer stealing, which is the fate of all basestealers outside of Rickey Henderson. Crawford and Bourn are the most recent examples, but many more come to mind.

  164. matt says:

    Giving an injury proned outfielder mvp money is absolutely crazy. I wanted the sox to keep him for bourn or bj upton money (15m per) but nothing more. This is a horrible deal for the yankees even if he hits 20 homers. I’m shocked the Yankees made this move. Good luck hahaha

  165. matt says:

    It also amazes me how worried you idiots are about gardner. The guys an average major league ballplayer. The yanks gonna give kelly Johnson 12 million? Something in the water in NY?

  166. csonk says:

    More of CASHman’s lunatic fringe & the wannabe Stienbrenner’s just follow along? Unbelievable. Absolutely horrid contract – NOBODY else was paying Ellsbury more than 16, maybe 18 at the very most & highly unlikely given his injury history. CASHman hasn’t learned from A-Rod, Tex, CC??? He knows nothing but to spend. It wouldn’t have cost $20+ mil/yr. to sign St. Louis or the Rays Head of Player Development or Scouting Dept. or even Billy freakin’ Beene!!! Get somebody that has a GD clue!!! CASHman is destroying this franchise with his arrogance & stupidity. IncreDUMBle!!! Even IF they re-sign Cano (that’d be yet another ludicrous contract that’ll eat em’ the final 4-5 yrs.) – who is pitching? They put a figure out there for Cano & there was no competition – how regodamndiculous was that? CASHman has something on the young Stienbrenner’s cause he should’ve been run long ago. Do we even have a prospect on the horizon?

  167. OldYanksFan says:

    I can’t believe it.
    Worst contract since Carl Crawford!
    The guy has a career OPS of 108, and you pay him $22m/yr? TERRIBLE!

    Elite defender? He had accumulated 4 dWar in 6 full years. Elite?
    21 Defensive Runs Saved in 6 years! I mean, that’s good…. but TWENTY TWO FUCKIN’ MILLION A YEAR?


    The only good news is the $189m must be out the window.
    If not…. if Cano and Kuroda sign, the checkbook is empty.


  168. Grover says:

    I am still in shock. Signing Ellsbury calls in to question the intellectual capacity of the brain trust. This will linger all day like a bad song from the 80′s.

  169. Grover says:

    I am still in shock. Signing Ellsbury calls in to question the intellectual capacity of the brain trust. This will linger all day like a bad song from the 80′s.

  170. OldYanksFan says:

    Ellsbury is an All-Star and Gardner is expendable. Right?

    Ellsbury has played about SIX full years: 3204 PA
    Gardner has played about FOUR full years: 2228 PA

    ——— JE —vs– BG
    fWar: 23.7 vs 17.8
    bWar: 21.0 vs 19.3
    dWar: 4.0 vs 8.5 (from BBR)
    wRC+: 109 vs 101
    DRS: 27 vs 84 (!!!!!!! and Ellsbury will play CF????)
    OPS+: 108 vs 97
    fAFld: 43.7 vs 73.2 (FG Aggregate Fielding)

    In 4 years, FanGraphs has Ellsbury, in CF, with a total of ZERO URZ.
    In 3 years, FanGraphs has Gardner, in CF, with a total of 17.7 URZ.

  171. OldYanksFan says:

    from FanGraphs:
    Steamer and ZIPS both see him as roughly a +4 WAR player in 2014. If we do the standard half WAR per season decay for aging, then Ellsbury would project out to +17.5 WAR over the next seven years.

    So…. $153m / 17.5 WAR = $8.75m/WAR. What a steal!

    • I'm a looser baby so why don't you kill me? says:

      Consensus is that 4 next year is too big a drop from his 5.8 this past year. The projection factors in lost playing time of prior years which skews the projection. It’s a risk of course, but I would definitely take the Over on 4 WAR for 2014.

      Even if you bump it up to only 4.5 (still a very big drop from 5.8) that takes you to 21.5 war, or just above $7mm/war. Seems like the current thinking/price is $6mm, so it’s not that big an overpay. Factoring in a desire to get him off the boards before the winter meetings and it makes that much more sense.

      Also, go read the Cameron piece at fangraphs.

  172. Short Porch says:

    There is some circumstantial evidence that Ellsbury was juicing too. I mean how do you go from never hitting more than 9 homers to 32 (2011) all of a sudden (when the heats really on re: PEDs), and then back to again. As with Brady Anderson and his 50 HR season, this is a statistical outlier that stinks to high heaven.

  173. csonk says:

    Do we even have a single ‘REAL’ pitching prospect? Banuelos is likely ruined. Pineda seems to be a shell of what we thought they traded for. Even if they have a projected prospect they screw with their heads so bad they end up….Phil & Joba. The Cardinals & Rays seem to pump out top tier pitcher’s EVERY year – GET THAT GUY (Dir. of Player Dev. or Scouting Dir.)& the staff he brings with him! We have nothing even close to resembling an Ace & absolutely nothing coming. Can’t win if ya can’t pitch. Hitters are great (reg. season) but the big boys shut em’ down come playoff time – even WITH Cano in this revamped offense we get wiped out by Detroit, Boston, Tampa, Oakland & likely Texas or Anahiem because we can’t stop their offenses & we won’t score with them because they have top end arms. CC, Nova, maybe Kuroda (who is done by playoff time anyway), Pineda?, ?????????????? – thats a scary bunch even if they add the question mark that Tanaka represents. CASHman needs to be run!

    • John C says:

      Rafael DePaula, Jose Ramirez, Luis Severino, and hopefully Bryan Mitchell

    • Bryan says:

      We have a ton of decent to good pitching prospects. Right now we will be starting at least one of them in the 5th spot between Warren, Phelps, and possibly Nuno. So yes…we do.

      • csonk says:

        Warren, Phelps & Nuno? Thats GD laughable…I said “GOOD” prospects – not one of those guys amounts to more than a #4-5 roster fodder in a legit rotation.
        And John’s “Rafael DePaula, Jose Ramirez, Luis Severino, and hopefully Bryan Mitchell”? C’mon man, no consistency amongst any of them & they’re all so low down the chain they can’t even be considered legit prospects yet.
        Ya don’t win in the playoffs with the likes of ANY of the names mentioned. Just because a guy stands on the mound doesn’t make him a legitimate MLB pitcher & the Yankees have NO/ZERO prospects that even give a notion of top tier ability – NONE!

  174. Dr. Grenaldine says:

    So…about Cano…

    And where’s the F$%@’in pitching?!?

  175. losealot101 says:

    if you calculate ell’s career war/game, it’s 89.27% of what cano put up. based on what the yanks gave jacoby, that works out to $24.6/yr for robbie. over 7 years that’s $172.2 mil (exactly in line with the yankees offer). it looks like management is just buying production – no matter where it comes from – and valuing it equally.

    • I'm a looser baby so why don't you kill me? says:

      Yup. Someone above did a nice war/162 game calculation and revealed exactly what you also did. Have to believe the FO sees the injuries as flukes and took the gamble. Also, prior to this we had zero OFers on the roster in 2015. And now we have one, our CFer no less. Still plenty of room for the kids, and another FA signing.

  176. Bryan says:

    I like the deal.

    We are in a hitters market for FA. There are three legit players you can go after for OF help in the Fa market to make a splash. You have Beltran, Choo, and Ells. Beltran is a short-term solution for a team since he is 38 and coming off career years. You cannot expect him to continue this type of production. Therefore, even if you pay him the least of the three, keeping him on the books through his age 40 season and beyond is silly. There are much better eways to spend 15-18 million.

    Next you have Choo. Choo is an interesting case. He hits for average, hits for some power (career 176 ISO), steals bases, and does not strike out a lot. But his defense is bad (-15.5 UZR last year and -16.7 the year before) and apparently cannot hit lefties. Choo has hit them for a career 240 average, 92 wRC+, and has seen his play vs them fall over the past two years even further. Now, Boras has stated that he wants Choo to get a contract higher than Werth’s 126 mil one. Justifiably so. Dude can hit (righties). But let’s say he gets 135 over 6 years. That is on average 22.5 million. You would end up paying that much for a glorified platoon hitting weak defense player. We already have enough trouble vs lefties. No thank you.

    Now yes, Ellsbury does also offer a significant platoon split. But his OPS, ISO, avg, and almost all significant categories are higher vs lefties than Choo’s. While we are obviously overpaying, Ellsbury is easily the best bet of the bunch.

  177. Bryan says:

    Per MLBTR: Mets and Grandy talks intensify. Right now looking at a 3-4 year deal. Mets may have to concede 4th year to get it done.

  178. cooolbreeez says:

    Those who think this is a huge over pay in terms of years and $ aren’t factoring in baseball inflation and the new market that is flush with TV money. Phil Hughes is getting $24mm. Peralta, an avg. to slightly above avg player is in the $50 mms.

    It’s the lay of the land. If we can retain Cano, add Tanaka, re-up Kuroda, fill the BP gaps, Reynolds for 3B, we have a scary lineup that will fill the stadium and bump TV ratings and revenue to offset the payroll, along with additional post season games and dough.

  179. cooolbreeez says:

    not to mention we just got younger. he just turned 30. The historical comparables on like type players, Rickey H, Raines, Ichiro, Grissom are favorable for production ages 30 – 37.

  180. hogsmog says:

    Eeeeh I don’t know about this. I have a lot of apprehension about signing long deals to 30 year olds with a game based on speed. Granted, Ellsbury is a fantastic player, but so was Carl Crawford…

    Let’s hope we get Tim Raines instead.

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