Dec
04

Thoughts following the Jacoby Ellsbury deal

By
(Jared Wickerham/Getty)

(Jared Wickerham/Getty)

The Yankees made their second huge splash of the offseason last night, landing Jacoby Ellsbury with a seven-year contract worth $153M that could wind up paying him $169M thanks to an eighth year club option. He still has to take a physical and all that before the deal becomes official, but apparently that could happen as soon as today. Here are some thoughts while we wait for things to wrap up.

1. Might as well come right out with it: I am not a fan of the signing at all. Don’t get me wrong, Ellsbury is a very good player when he’s healthy and he will be an enormous upgrade next season, but the Yankees are paying him like he’s an elite player and I just don’t see it. His one truly elite skill is stealing bases and best base-runners in the game provide maybe one win of value with their legs (Ellsbury was at ~1.2 WAR base-running in 2013). That’s nothing. His glove is very good but the net defensive upgrade from Ichiro Suzuki (who I assume is losing his starting outfield spot as a result of the signing) to Ellsbury is small. The offense isn’t anything special at all, especially when you treat that 2011 season like the giant outlier it is. Ellsbury is a ~.350 OBP leadoff guy who will hit single-digit homers. That ain’t elite. That’s pretty good. Ellsbury is going to help the Yankees a ton in the short-term but there’s no way I view him as a $150M+ player. Not even close.

2. As for Yankee Stadium boosting Ellsbury’s power output, yes it will help some. There will inevitably be a fly ball or two that sneaks over the wall each summer that otherwise would have been caught for an out, just like some of those routine fly balls turned into doubles thanks to the Green Monster over the last few years. Ellsbury is not the kind of hitter who can really take advantage of the short right field porch though. He’s a classic speedster, hitting the ball on the ground and using his legs. He also does most of his hitting the opposite way to left:

Jacoby Ellsbury spray chart

Going the other way is not a bad thing. The Yankees could use someone who can hit for a relatively high average, but be careful not to make the blanket assumption that his power output will improve just because he’s a left-handed hitter moving into Yankee Stadium. Ellsbury would have to change his hitting approach to seem meaningful uptick in power and … no. Stick to what works. The idea of having two powerless hitters in the outfield full-time is not appealing at all, especially if they can’t retain Robinson Cano.

3. Speaking of Cano, you know all that talk about holding a hard-line with him? Pretty worthless right now. Refusing to budge off that seven-year, $165M-ish offer after bending over backwards to give Ellsbury all that money is borderline insulting. Cano’s the far superior player and he’s the homegrown star. He deserves more. A lot more. Maybe his rookie agents will botch these negotiations and the Yankees can bring him back at something far below fair value, but the team set the market by giving the second best free agent that huge contract. The gap between Cano and Ellsbury is a lot bigger than the gap between Ellsbury and the third or fourth best free agent and he should look to be paid accordingly. The Yankees might be trying to put the pressure on Robbie but I think there’s a chance they’ll wind up pushing him away, and if they lose him after spending all this money on Ellsbury and Brian McCann … I would not be pleased. Losing an actually elite player after giving a non-elite player elite player money would really suck.

4. The plan to get under the $189M luxury tax threshold is obviously not happening. I mean, I guess it still could if Alex Rodriguez gets suspended for the entire 2014 season, but that’s pretty much the only way it happens. It seems like the Yankees decided to spend as if A-Rod is getting banned for the year and if he doesn’t, oh well, then they’ll go over the limit. It’s hard not to notice the timing –  his appeal hearing ended on a Thursday and the McCann deal was struck on Saturday. Maybe the Yankees know something is up. I guess the plummeting television ratings and overall decline in attendance could have spooked them into changing course as well. Either way, staying under the luxury tax limit almost certainly isn’t going to happen after the Yankees spent the last two years making sure they had as much flexibility under the threshold as possible.

5. This is worth exploring further in a full post, but the Bombers are going to be very vulnerable against left-handed pitchers next season if Mark Teixeira and Derek Jeter don’t rebound. Ellsbury and McCann have noticeable platoon splits and Brett Gardner‘s been up and down against lefties through the years. Their best weapon against southpaws right now is Alfonso Soriano, but it’s pretty much him and him alone until Cano re-signs and Jeter and/or Teixeira show they’re healthy. The AL East isn’t a lefty heavy as it once was but there’s still David Price, Matt Moore, Jon Lester, and maybe Felix Doubront to contend with. Another right-handed bat (Mark Reynolds?) or two is a necessity, and no, Vernon Wells doesn’t count.

Categories : Musings

304 Comments»

  1. dasani says:

    None of this makes sense WITHOUT Cano.

    • MannyGeee says:

      I kind of agree. Ellsbury is the signing you make to get you OVER the hump, not the one you make to get you back to it. This team goes from good to great once Cano is back in the fold.

      • Kevin says:

        Maybe offensively great but the pitching staff leaves much to be desired. Even if Kuroda and Tanaka are brought into the fold.

        • I'm One says:

          Yeah, I’m anxious to see a pitching move. Maybe they’re pretty sure Kuroda is coming back, but they still need at least one more starter after him. And, of course, Cano. Can’t understand this Ellsbury move. Not yet a fan (but I’ll reserve full judgement till after year 3 or 4).

        • CS Yankee says:

          If Cano, Kuroda & Tanaka are inked, this team is great on paper.

          I trust the ‘pen will be a home grown solution that works out well for them.

          Nedd Cano and two legit starters though, hard to believe that they couldn’t top what Fister got from the Nats.

  2. Dr. Grenaldine says:

    I don’t see the point of this at all. Outfield was one of the last positions the Yankees needed and there are the most available options.

    And it definitely destroys their negotiations with Cano. Unless they already know that they aren’t paying him.

    What was this rumor that Ellsbury’s contract pays his lopsided like $5 million in 2014, etc. I thought I saw that on mlbtraderumors.com

    They need pitching more than anything. I personally feel even Robbie Cano at 2nd base comes after that. But the Cano camp will certainly stand pat now on $200 million plus…as they should.

    Not a fan. Pretty miserable right now.

    • Caballo Sin Nombre says:

      I call BS on the argument that these signings should encourage Cano to stand pat. The argument that “the Yankees were crying poor” is a straw man invented by fans at sites like this. The Yankees are showing Cano there is more than one way to build a team– he is not indispensable to the plan. Cano should be getting just a little worried at this point about the market drying up. The Ellsbury signing will help the market to determine what Cano gets, rather than some gamesmanship with the Yankees– as it should.

      • MannyGeee says:

        This is true, to some extent. Cano is losing his leverage once the Yankees are out of the fold.

        I don’t know that this was a message to Cano to shape up or ship out, however.

        • I'm One says:

          Right. It could just be the Yankees saying “We can’t wait till you decide, so we’re making moves now while there are still strong players available. Either sign with us or we’re moving on.”.

    • Matty Ice says:

      You’re thinking short term. Outside of Gardner, look at the Yankees outfielders. Ichiro, Wells, and Soriano are all FA’s who are a combined 800 years old. They needed a longterm piece there (since our prospects aren’t exactly wowing anyone) and probably figured this was the best player they were gonna be able to get in the near future.

      • Stan the Man says:

        Long term piece? Ellsbury is 30. In 4 yrs the Yanks will be on the look out for another CF and that is assuming Ellsbury can stay healthy to not make the Yanks look for a better option sooner. This is signing makes little sense. Not only are they getting a flawed player but they overspent dramatically to get him and signed him to a long term deal that will probably be crippling to the team in 3 or 4 yrs.

        • Jim Is A (Bored) Peckerhead says:

          The overspending is not as dramatic as you think.

          Realistic, even slightly pessimistic breakdown of WAR/year
          1-3:5 war
          4-5: 2 war
          6-7: 1 war

          21 War over 7 seasons equates out to 3 war per season. The cost of a win is only going up with how much money is in baseball. 3 war per season is going to be worth somewhere around $19-20 mil by this time in 1-2 years.

          So a “fair” contract may have been ~135-140 million. 153 is probably the price of being the Yankees and knowing what you want.

          • MannyGeee says:

            Completely fair assessment. In the grand scheme of things, overpaying by 1.5M a season (@13M over the life of the contract) is the cost of doing business as the Yankees, and not a huge deal once all is said and done.

          • Dr. TJ Eckelberg says:

            This.

            And, the Yankees might be looking at next years OF market and cringing. This might be the best guy available for when they have their other two guys coming off the books. I think this was a short and intermediate term move, with the recognition that hopefully good player development fixes the move 5 years from now.

          • Stan the Man says:

            So the Yanks should have forked over $300 million for Cano then? I think using WAR to decide how much a player is worth is completely ridiculous. Ellsbury isn’t worth $15 mill a yr let alone $22 mill. No power and his age dictates that his one asset speed will decline sooner not later (Carl Crawford). Its a pretty dramatic reach for a good but not great player.

            • Evan3457 says:

              Multiple studies of the issue show that, on average “speed” players decline more slowly than “power” players of roughly equal value and age.

          • Dick M says:

            He’s done 5 WAR or better twice in his career and he is entering his 30′s. To think we are averaging 5 WAR for the next 3 yrs is delusional.

            Is the irony that the Red Sox are letting him walk and have a home grown replacement in Bradley lost on everyone?

            Just an awful contract for a guy who will be well past his prime for a good chunk of this contract.

        • Matty Ice says:

          In the grand scheme of things for THIS? 4 years is kinda long term. What would you have done going into next offseason with NO outfielders under contract?

      • BamBamMusings says:

        Exactly.

        + He’s a top echelon player at CF. Take out McCutchen and Trout and you have the best CF in the game.

        ++ If ARod can hook him up on the PED front, he’ll be good to go for 7..

    • Holy Ghost says:

      ^^This

    • Mr. Roth says:

      Cano now sees a Yankee team that is spending big money to bring in good players.

      Cano is going to get paid an enormous amount of money no matter where he goes. Doesn’t it make sense to think he’d rather get that money from a team that is going to put championship caliber players around him every year? Seattle won’t do that.

  3. Pseudoyanks says:

    You captured it perfectly Mike. Also don’t like the signing. Guessing Cashman is thinking he needs Ells beyond 2014, but the contract is absurd and the piss off factor with Cano is undeniable.

  4. SDB says:

    Let’s see what happens with Cano.

    If the FO keeps going after Cano, making it clear that Ellsbury is just an offensive upgrade in the outfield and a supplementary piece for Cano, then this is fantastic.

    If the idea is to replace Cano entirely with Ellsbury, Johnson and someone else, then ugh. But right now I’m keeping fingers crossed, and until Robbie signs elsewhere, I’m glad to see this and the prospect of a lineup with Ellsbury leading off, followed by Jeter, Cano, Teixeira, McCann and Soriano in no particular order.

  5. Lou says:

    I don’t get this signing at all. Maybe they are going to trade Gardener and Nunez plus a prospect or two for a pitcher or trade for Chase Headley.I would like to see them sign Cruz as the right handed power bat to play right field. Also they need to sign Cano. A lineup of

    Ellsbury-cf
    Jeter-DH
    Texieria-1b
    Cano-2b
    McCann-C
    Cruz-Rf
    Headley-3B
    Soriano-lf
    Ryan/Johnson-ss

  6. Chris Z. says:

    If the Yankees had a glaring need at 2B and Cano was someone elses FA he would be a Yankee already.

    This is totally crazy.

    • Pasqua says:

      “New Toy” Syndrome. Usually, the fans suffer from this disorder — in which we don’t value the player we have because we are “bored” by them, and instead want to go shopping for new players — but it sure seems like the team is feeling that way about Robbie, too.

    • MannyGeee says:

      yup.

  7. Caballo Sin Nombre says:

    I wouldn’t be so quick to dismiss the power. Sure, the stadium effect by itself perhaps would have added only three or so HRs in 2013. But he did hit 32 HRs as recently as 2011. He was injured for much of 2012, and still recovering in 2013. Eight of his nine HRs in 2013 came in July-Sept, so there is indication he is recovering. For a better discussion, see this http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs.....rys-power/ . If he’s healthy it’s easy to see him hitting 20 HRs in 2014.

    • I'm One says:

      If he’s healthy. That’s my biggest concern (other than losing Cano because of this).

    • Poconos Adam says:

      His next highest total is 9 HRs! I’m sure the stadium will add a few…

      …pull up his plain old stats — not SABR stuff….

      the guy is simply a speedy major league OFer…..there’s nothing else there. This is just a ridiculous overpay.

      There is another level to this story — animosity between Cano’s camp and Levine — a personal affront — something…..the signing of Ellsbury is not a baseball move — it’s a signal move.

      I think Levine HATES JZ, or Cano.

  8. Mike HC says:

    They overpaid, like you basically have to in free agency, but it is nice to have centerfield locked up for next 5 years or so.

    • Mickey Scheister says:

      Or they could have offered Grandy 5/100 or 4/82, for actual power output to play a corner OF spot. Then signed Gardner to an extention for 4/39 to play center and basically had the same upside with less money/years spent and you get two players under contract in their prime-ish years as opposed to paying a speedster until he’s 37-38 years old. Just a massive overpay, no way Cano gets less than 200M. At least Choo is a lock for 20 homeruns and a high OBP. I do not like this move at all.

      • Mike HC says:

        Not a bad strategy at all. But offering Grandy 4-5 years, at similar aav to Ellsbury, also pays Grandy until he is about 37, while missing out on the presumably peak 30-32 years value of the contract. And Gardner is still on the team, and they might trade him, re sign him, or let him go next off season and use that 4/39 on another corner outfielder.

        If you think Choo and Granderson are just better players than Ellsbury, fair enough, time will tell. Maybe the Yanks still sign another one of them in this nutty off season! All three are very good players and if the Yanks chose to bet on Ellsbury, I’m on board.

        • Dick M says:

          Grandy’s AAV will be nowhere near what JE got.

          • Mike HC says:

            In Mickey Scheister’s scenario, he proposed offering Granderson 5/100 or 4/82, which is within 1-2 mil of Ellsbury’s 22.

            I agree that it probably wouldn’t take that much to get him, but who knows.

      • MannyGeee says:

        Choo has a SUPER ugly split, and could you imagine what that contract would look like in a couple of seasons for a platoon player? It would actually look alot like Vernon Wells’ contract.

  9. Tim says:

    Mike, you’re not going to rain on my parade as a Yankees fan. I love the deal personally. I think he’s the lead off hitter the Yankees have really lacked since Chuck Knoblauch. And that shows how hard it is to find a true lead off hitter. I’ve never liked Gardner in that role. jmho. Did they overpay? Of course. Now I’m hoping they trade Gardner and sign Cano and Beltran.

    • Chris Z. says:

      Would you have given Chuck Knoblauch the equivalent of this deal knowing full well that you have other MAJOR needs.

    • Holy Ghost says:

      Ellsbury is a great leadoff man. I like him in that role. My biggest problem with him and this deal is his inability to stay healthy. We’re committing a lot of money and years to a guy who barely plays more than 120 games a season.

  10. mitch says:

    OF wasn’t a huge need this year, but it would have been next year. There was a post about this a week or so ago. Granderson is gone and Gardner, Ichiro, Wells, and Soriano will be gone after this season (if not earlier). Next year’s FA outfield class is terrible. I wouldn’t say i’m a huge fan of the move, but it definitely makes more sense than i originally thought.

  11. Revan says:

    Can we redo the whole not signing Swisher thing? Or is market value not a thing we seek?

    • TWTR says:

      I would have rather had Puig/Cespedes because they are younger.

    • Jim Is A (Bored) Peckerhead says:

      What’s actual market value when Kazmir is getting 11m per, and Morneau is getting 6.5? What’s market value when the A’s are going after over priced relievers? There’s a lot more money in baseball right now, salaries are going to go up.

      $/War is going to go up. This salary isn’t going to look as terrible once the rest of this offseason is done. The length is still bad, but the $ won’t be as much of a reach.

  12. Radiokev says:

    Personally, I don’t see his 2011 as a fluke. It is without a doubt the outlier, and it is not *likely* he replicates it again, but I think he can with some help from Kevin Long.

    He looked much more balanced at the plate and he was driving the ball with authority that year. Perhaps it can be replicated.

  13. C. Roy says:

    Gardner for Pablo Sandoval? Two above average players going into their last year of the contract that address needs.

    • Robinson Tilapia says:

      Honestly, I think you can move even less important parts for Sandoval. I think I’d do this, in the end, though. I think.

      I want me a piece of that panda for a year at third. Not gon lie.

      Someone talk me out of this. Quick. Not Lou.

      • C. Roy says:

        I agree. I looked to see if I could find a decent pitcher to grab but in the end we probably just get another Warren/Phelps type which we have enough of.

        • Robinson Tilapia says:

          Nuney/Phelps/Almonte. Get Sandoval and some middling middle relief back. Hell, GEORGE KONTOS.

          My trade proposal sucks.

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

            I was actually thinking about a Gardner, Nunez, JR Murphy package for someone a lot better. Not sure whom. But someone. Or ones.

      • Dick M says:

        Isn’t the Panda absolutely horrible at 3B?

  14. JoeyA says:

    Mike,
    Interested to hear your thoughts on whose running things. I know there’s been a lot of speculation about higher-ups calling the shots & this deal wreaks of Hal intervening.

    I don’t mind the deal as much, contingent on resigning Cano, but it just seems so counter-productive to how they planned to run this team going forward. It was such an overpay for a guy who seemingly had a very weak market

    • Mike Axisa says:

      Boras always goes skips over the GM and goes right to ownership with his biggest clients.

      • Robinson Tilapia says:

        It does scream Cashman in many ways to me, though. It’s a deal that you feel better about when you read Fangraphs than on face value.

        Last acquisition I felt this way about? Javy Vazquez. Hey now.

      • John C says:

        Mike:

        Do you know if the contract is heavily front loaded?

    • Jim Is A (Bored) Peckerhead says:

      Fangraphs predicted his exact salary at the beginning of the offseason. I’m not sure it was that crazy.

      And I don’t know how anyone knows what the market was. If anything, the $$ being spent on mediocre crap means we should believe the market is inflated.

    • TWTR says:

      This Sherman paragraph stands out:

      “Just an aside for the conspiratorial among you: Scott Boras represents both Ellsbury and Choo. He tends to wait until later in the winter to sign his best clients, at least until the Winter Meetings. But Ellsbury is all but a Yankee a week before the meetings, and Choo is in play. And, oh yeah, Cano left Boras for Jay Z, who filleted Boras in a rap song.”

      So plans can change for various reasons.

    • Dick M says:

      Honestly, it doesn’t matter who’s running things. At this point it’s all about the culture. The bottom line is that the only MO that Cash, Levine, the Steins, etc know is to throw money at their self-inflicted problems.

  15. Baked McBride says:

    Ellsbury Bobblehead Day tentatively set for April 20 home game

    CF retirement ceremony for April 20, 2017

    Brian Cashman firing set for October 31, 2014

  16. Rick says:

    When I first saw the signing, I was certainly surprised. However, after reading several analysts I respect (like this guy: http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs.....ging-well/) I am beginning to warm up to the idea. At the end of the day, the Yankees are supposed to have a major financial advantage over other teams. They can afford to over pay. Surely this is an overpay. But at the same time, it’s a massive upgrade. Ellsbury is a very very good player, who in his best seasons edges into the elite category. His WAR over the last 3 years is top for 8 OFs. The 189 plan was always garbage. The Yankees used their biggest strength in this deal. I don’t for a second believe this takes them out of the running for Cano. They may be dumb, but they’re not stupid.

    • Dirty Water says:

      Anyone who cites any stats that include Ellsbury’s 2011 season lose all credibility. Most Red Sox fans, while admittedly wishing Ells could have stayed, are laughing at this deal especially if you lose Cano because of it. Ells is a good player that was only great in 2011. The difference between 2011 and all his other years is Brady Anderson-esque. Anyone who thinks he hits 20 homers next year is delusional (I don’t remember any in Yankee stadium last year). Also, he hurts himself at least once a year stealing bases as he was in the playoffs/WS and also is why he missed 25 games last year. He will be missed but not by as much as you think. This deal will probably look like a big win for the Yankees next year as Ells hits .300 and steal 40 bags while JBJr predictably has some ups and downs but imagine years 5,6, and 7 of this deal–can anyone say Teixeira?

  17. Johnny O says:

    I would much rather have preferred Granderson at 3/$45M with an option. But then again I’m here at my desk selling insurance so what do I know.

    I wonder how long until Cashman comes out and talks about this signing being a “management decision”.

  18. Caballo Sin Nombre says:

    8+ rWAR in 2011
    injured in 2012
    5.8 WAR in 2013, coming off an injury. Power picked up in a major way in the second half.

    Elite player. 6+ WAR if he’s healthy.

    • Revan says:

      You know who’s a 6 WAR player and doesn’t get hurt?

      • Jim Is A (Bored) Peckerhead says:

        A guy who’s still a free agent and there’s still a better than even chance we re-sign?

        Oh wait no I forgot no one here knows how to wait more than fucking 3 seconds before proclaiming doom and gloom.

        • Revan says:

          I don’t get how people are so visibly upset and offended whenever people refuse to appeal to authority.

          • Jim Is A (Bored) Peckerhead says:

            What the shit? How am I appealing to authority? It’s December 4th! Winter meetings haven’t even started yet and you’re assuming this was a terrible deal because we could have had cano, as if he’s already gone.

            It’s december 4th.

            December.

            4th.

            • Revan says:

              Because if you’ve read the above article the numbers next to the first couple paragraphs represent other reasons of why the signing is flawed.

              As in a not elite offensive triple slash, over reliance on speed for value and an injury history.

              You’ve not even mentioned any of those factors but you chose to rip on people for “dooming and glooming.” It’s an appeal to authority. Do you, boo but don’t kill people for refusing to groupthink.

              • Robinson Tilapia says:

                Goalpost moved.

              • Jim Is A (Bored) Peckerhead says:

                And if you read this article:

                http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs.....tfielders/

                It shows you why it’s not all doom and gloom.

                What did I ignore? You have no patience. You’re impatient. You’re whining and it’s december 4th. I need 0 more variables to know you’re an impatient, entitled jackass of a fan.

                It’s fucking december 4th. We could re-sign Cano tomorrow. Or thursday. Or friday. Or this weekend. Or next week. Or on christmas. Or on new years. Or on MLK day. Or in February.

                I said nothing about the Ellsbury deal. Nothing. I said it’s december 4th. I’m not appealing to any authority.

                Fucking groupthink? Have you been on this site the past 24 hours? Groupthink? How the shit am I the one using groupthink? There are maybe 3 other posters in the past day who haven’t been pissing all over this signing. Including the folk I like.

                You can go suck a big fat stinking bag of dicks.

            • Jimmy says:

              What was that date again?

        • Robinson Tilapia says:

          Jayson Nix?

  19. BB says:

    Just waiting on a poll so we can vote how we feel about this atrocity.

  20. DERP says:

    I like the signing. They should see what they can get for Gardner since the CF market is pretty much dead now.

    • John C says:

      I like the signing, but am not crazy about 7 years. Would have preferred 5 with a 6th year option, but I assume Boras would not have agreed to deal so early unless there was 7 years. Just hope the deal is heavily front loaded cause its hard to imagine him being the dynamic player he is in the last 2-3 years of the deal

  21. Jim Is A (Bored) Peckerhead says:

    The club option is a positive. If it’s worth picking him up for that money, it’ll mean he’s lived up to his billing.

  22. Robinson Tilapia says:

    Basically, yeah, everything Axisa said. On point there.

    • Jim Is A (Bored) Peckerhead says:

      Come around, RT. You know you want to.

      • Robinson Tilapia says:

        Fine.

        I LOVE THE MOVE THE YANKEES CAN DO NO WRONG IT IS SO NICE AND WARM IN THIS BASEMENT.

        By “love,” I mean I have no idea how giving someone 7/153 makes me want Cano MORE.

        By “can do no wrong,” I mean nothing that will be remembered here in an hour.

        By “warm in this basement,” I mean fuck whoever decided to place my office desk next to the heater, and to turn on the heat on a 50 degree day.

        • Jimmy says:

          I bet the rats aren’t complaining.

        • Jim Is A (Bored) Peckerhead says:

          So I have no idea how giving someone 7/153 makes me want Cano MORE the move the yankees nothing that will be remembered here in an hour IT IS SO NICE AND fuck whoever decided to place my office desk next to the heater, and to turn on the heat on a 50 degree day.

          Polyanna!

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

          Pollyanna!!!

  23. jsbrendog says:

    did hank kill hal and wear his skin? i mean. i just don’t get it. ellsbury is not worth near $20 mil a yr, imo.

    • Jim Is A (Bored) Peckerhead says:

      $/war are going up. If he’s a 3-4 WAR player next year, he’s worth $20 mil. Won’t be for the duration, but certainly could be for the first few years.

  24. Frank says:

    Don’t like the direction this organization is going at all. This signing just makes no sense. It’s the 80′s all over again. I’ve been holding a steady 4 in the weekly poll. It’s going down next week.

    • Colombo says:

      Can you explain why? Granted, this is an overpay, but it also, to me, signals that $189m is out the window, and the Yankees are back to being the financial powerhouse that they should be. If they turn around and resign Cano and land Tanaka, are you going to vote 1 due the the spending?

      • BFDeal says:

        It doesn’t matter who they sign, how much they pay, or the years involved, Frank is going to whine and complain. That’s all he does.

    • Havok9120 says:

      This is the 80s? Signing two of the top 5 FAs with a third still a possibility?

      THIS is how you remember the 80s?

  25. OldYanksFan says:

    As I posted in an earlier thread, so as to ‘ignor injury’, Gardner still has a better fWar and bWar per PA than Ellsbury. And while for some reason the data is incomplete at BBR, they show a 0 URZ over 4 years in CF for Jacoby.

    He is NOT an elite fielder. He is a lot like Bernie. Good glove and fast, but poor jumps and routes. So he ‘looks’ better than he is.

    His career rtot/yr in CF is 4 (runs saved/135 gms), or about 1/2 Win/yr. His career dWar is 4… over about 5+ full years. He is somewhat above average, but FAR from elite.

    • Jim Is A (Bored) Peckerhead says:

      It’s hard for me to justify taking B-Ref at face value when scouts and fangraphs are much higher on him.

      • OldYanksFan says:

        Fair enough. FanGraphs says that in 4.5 full years in CF, Ellsbury has 21 Defensive Runs Saved. That’s just under 5/yr. Isn’t that about 1/2 WAR? Is that considered Elite? Great? All-Star? Or a little above average?

        • Jim Is A (Bored) Peckerhead says:

          Honestly, I think I err on the side of the scouts for this one. It’s hard to know what his true defensive value is given the injury and inconsistency with which he’s been on the field.

          His UZR has been really, really good outside of 2009, which looks really fluky. His arm is mediocre, but what else is new for most CF’s.

          Remember that DRS is defensive runs saved above average, not above replacement, so it doesn’t translate nicely to WAR.

        • Jim Is A (Bored) Peckerhead says:

          Gardner is better, I dont think there’s any real debate there.

          I think, after doing a bit more research, it probably translates to above-average, not elite. Just based on DRS, not UZR or scouts or anything else.

  26. Caballo Sin Nombre says:

    I think the next thing that happens is pitching. My guess is that the Yankees will be looking to sign either Kuroda or Tanaka, but not necessarily both. Tanaka would be preferable, I think. I think they then may try to fill the fourth spot via a trade, possibly with Murphy and one/two of their young pitchers for a typical #4 guy. I don’t think they need a #2 for the #4 slot, not with the way the rest of the team is developing.

  27. mt says:

    I think the biggest thing about this is that it will drive Cano to not accept 7 years at $175 million from Yankees – I also did not want to pay Cano $200 million plus but now I can see Cano’s perspective after this signing: if you are going to pay the non-hometown, very good but non-elite guy $153 million over 7 when he has that one truly huge outlier 2011 season why should I as hometown guy team centerpiece who has had four-or five top ten in MVP type years four or five times only accept 7 years at $175 million.

    To me this Ellsbury overpay only makes sense if they somehow still sign Cano – but problem is how in good conscience is Cano going to sign a 7 year at $175 million deal with Yankees when Ellsbury is getting 7 years at $153 million? To me this only makes sense if $189 million goal is out the window (meaning they are foreced to “overpay” Cano 8 years at $210 million or something.) Even with that, when we still have need for 400 innings of starting pitching and a decent 8th/9th inning relief guy (Crain, etc.) to fill (I am assuming Kelly Johnson/Reynolds platoon can do the 3b fill-in thing if Cano returns.)

    I can also see Cano digging in his heels and finally accepting 7 years at $160 million – $180 million from some other team but not the Yankees – he may feel OK about Nats or Mariners or Rangers getting that money from these other teams but may be extremely pissed off about Yankees crying poverty while signing this Ellsbury overpay contract.

    Basically I can only see Yanks keeping Cano if they go overboard. At the $175 mm level, he will sign somewhere else,(particularly Nats or Rangers, who may have better starting pitching) because he will be angry at Yankees.

    • UncleArgyle says:

      Frankly any player who’s negotiating position is “I’ll play for the Yankees, but only if they give me tens of millions of dollars more than my other options” can go fuck themselves IMHO. The Yankees aren’t the Houston Astros, they shouldn’t have to pay above market value too resign their own guys. Its absurd and insulting honestly. If Cano really dislikes New York so much he needs an extra 20 million to stay here he should probably just pack his rain coat and move to Seattle.

      • Robinson Tilapia says:

        That’s a whole lot of fucking oneself, though.

        That’s a classic negotiation tactic when negotiating with the Yankees.

        What I don’t get is that a lot of fans (not you, necessarily) seem to think that players and agents can’t see that the Yanks still have the most resources in baseball, no matter what comes out of their mouth. No one ever believes the Yankees really mean to go cheap. They just smirk and know they’ll come back to spend, because that’s just what they do.

      • Caballo Sin Nombre says:

        I have to agree with this. If Cano is insulted by 7/$175M, then that’s his problem. “How in good conscience is Cano going to sign”– seriously, Cano is facing a moral crisis here? If he can do better in Washington/Seattle, fine. If he is willing to take less to leave town, then I, in actual good conscience, cannot root for him as a fan. I don’t want him if he has to be bribed to hold his nose and be part of my team.

  28. UncleArgyle says:

    I’m not the biggest fan of the signing, but this Ellsbury hate is a little ridiculous. He’s an elite defensive player, an elite base stealer and leadoff hitter. Plainly Ellsbury is just a really good baseball player, and the Yankees were in short supply of good baseball players last year. I’m curious to see how the rest of the offseason unfolds. Gardner potentially becomes a very interesting trade chip.

  29. OldYanksFan says:

    By the by, any guesses as to whether this is a Cashman signing or a FO signing? This doesn’t seem like Cashman’s style.

    • Rick says:

      I disagree. Cashman’s style is that you never hear about the player’s he’s truly interested in until the agreement is announced.

    • Robinson Tilapia says:

      I think it sounds like Cashman through and through. You feel better about the deal once you start looking through Fangraphs, etc. Devil seems to be in the details.

      Again, this is how I felt about Javy Vazquez, Part Deux.

  30. Rick says:

    I’m also not sure the Yankees messed up with the Cano negotiations here. Can Cano, with a straight face, really look at the team and say he’s $100M better than Ellsbury? I think they signed Ellsbury for a fair price and in turn set a realistic bar for Cano. Cano cannot seriously ask for $250M. He’s better than Ellsbury, but not $80M better.

    • Robinson Tilapia says:

      He’s more than $18 million better.

      • Rick says:

        Sure, but the Yankees obviously weren’t putting their best offer on the table first. Despite what we hear in the media, I think the team is comfortable giving Robbie 210 or 220. It’s still far enough away from the 300 Cano was allegedly seeking.

        • Jim Is A (Bored) Peckerhead says:

          On your side. Can’t imagine the Yankees saying no if 8/210 is the lowest Robbie will go.

        • Robinson Tilapia says:

          If that’s true, then there’s little to worry about until the next time they panic about having to pay some sort of tax they’d rather save on.

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

          I still think we land at 8/200 with either a 9th year option that is somewhat tough to achieve and/or load the 8 years with bonuses for MVP finishes and the like so he has a chance to earn another 1-2/year.

        • Chris Z. says:

          I could ask for 500 mill. Just because the team talked me down doesn’t mean they won anything.

  31. Matt DiBari says:

    On number five, I’ll say the same thing I say every year. We don’t need a “right handed batter”. We need someone that can hit lefties. If that person happens to be left handed, so be it. A right handed human being for the sake of it led to the Ben Francisco era.

  32. nycsportzfan says:

    Ellsbury is my kinda player. Hard contact hitter who can play defense, steal bags, and has a fantastic swing, tailor made for yankee stadium. His power will go up and down through his 7yr deal similar to Johnny Damon, as we’ll see em hit 20 a couple times, probably 13-15 once or twice, and then a couple 7-10 hr yrs. Thats fine, because his defense and BA and SB, and runs scored are gonna make his 10-20hr seasons as mostly bonus. Hes a all around baseball player on a franchise that has not gone that way with alot of there contracts in recent times, with the focus mostly always being on power first. I’m excited to watch a guy who can beat you many diffrent ways.

    • Robinson Tilapia says:

      I like him. Don’t get me wrong.

      What I don’t like is the contract and the potential context of it.

      • nycsportzfan says:

        Ya, its tough to be on board the 7yrs thing. Oh well, hopefully we’ll win a title or 2, and then in 3-4 yrs from now, we’ll restock when Tex and CC are gone, and then 3-4 yrs from then, we’ll restock when Ells and whoever else comes is gone, and so on and so fourth. And hopefully along the way, a Gary Sanchez and Ian Clarkin or whoever ends up being next youngsters in place of Robbie to be face of the franchise.

        That 7yr thing is tough to look at though, i here that.

  33. Rick says:

    As an aside: Mike have you ever thought about switching the comments section to Disqus?

  34. thenamestsam says:

    I think ultimately the Stienbrothers learned last year that their dad did what he did for a reason and that ultimately being THE YANKEES is more profitable in the long run than trying to pinch what are effectively pennies to them in the short run. And as a fan, I couldn’t care less whether the payroll is $50M or $150M or $250M if they’re standing on the field celebrating a title next year, so I’m very glad that we seem to be back to using by far our biggest advantage as the weapon it should be.

    That said, if they had $150M burning a hole in their pocket this isn’t necessarily how I would have liked to see them spend it. It looks like an overpay, and definitely comes with your standard big FA contract disclaimer that the back half is virtually certain to be painful.

    So bottom line, assuming they’re going to continue spending big this is very good news in a macro, direction of the franchise sense, but pretty mediocre in a micro, was this the right guy sense (If they’re still trying to pull 189 and this is instead of Robbie then it’s obviously a disaster, and the less said about that the better).

    • Jim Is A (Bored) Peckerhead says:

      All of this.

      I’m a tad more positive on Ellsbury than you, but pretty much everything you just said is all that needs to be said.

    • mt says:

      Very well said – McCann and Ellbury at these levels without also having Cano and some better starting pitching makes little sense to me.

    • YankeeParrothead says:

      Any of us who were fans through the 80′s remember the wild overspending on players who weren’t worth it to the tune of not only no world series but few post season appearances. So this notion that spending the way George did was the right approach is just wrong. We won in the 70′s when Gabe Paul made shrewd trades to get the players we needed and adding a few well chosen Free Agents. In the 90′s we won by growing talent in the minors and adding a few well chosen Free Agents.

      I am taking a wait and see attitude towards this signing and the whole off season. IF Ellsbury can stay healthy, I think it will help. I also don’t think this contract will have any effect on signing Cano. When the merry-go-round stops and we see what team we have in spring training I will make a judgement on how well we have or have not done. Personally I don’t care how much the Yanks spend since I don’t have to write the check.

  35. OldYanksFan says:

    “It seems like the Yankees decided to spend as if A-Rod is getting banned for the year and if he doesn’t, oh well, then they’ll go over the limit.”

    This may be true, but if they are gonna trash the $189m, I don’t want a $198m payroll. Go balls-to-the-wall, spend $220m+, and bring home the bacon in October.

    • Jim Is A (Bored) Peckerhead says:

      Sign Tanaka, Garza, Beltran, Kuroda, Cano, and whoever else wants to ride the World Series train next year!

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

        I have a feeling this comment will seem eerily prescient before all is said and done.

        • Jim Is A (Bored) Peckerhead says:

          As long as the world series part is the prescient part, I’m pretty OK with anything that came before it :)

    • BrianMcCannon (formerly HateMclouth) says:

      Since we gave up the first pick with McCann might as well sign everyone you can, no? Like Mike said better to splurge during one offseason.

  36. mt says:

    Mike,

    RAB should do a new poll given Ellsbury signing (assuming $189 million is not a factor) – 1) what should Yankees pay Cano now? 2) what is the level Yanks must pay Cano for Cano to end his FA an sign with Yanks and 3) what will Cano feel comfortable signing with another team ?

    Also I guess one other way Ellsbury deal may make more sense is if they trade Gardner for a starting pitcher.

  37. cashjr says:

    Let’s remember all of this is a market. I’m sure another team or two was willing to go pretty high on Ellsbury too. For the yanks to get him they had to pay the most. Well of course the same will be true for Robbie. Yanks have so far been willing to pay him the most as their initial offer is still the highest he has received. Once other offers come in then we’ll see if the yanks will raise theirs a bit. If someone comes in at $250M then seeya, but if someone comes in at 180 or 190 then maybe the yanks will raise their offer. I wouldn’t be against going $200M for 10 years if that what it takes. To me that’s not too much different than 7 years at $175M.

  38. Bo says:

    Everything you said, Mike.

  39. BrianMcCannon (formerly HateMclouth) says:

    My take on it is, if we’re going to blow past the cap, then dishing out a good chunk of money for Ellsbury isn’t the worst thing in the world.

    You make a good point with #3. Cano is a far better player and if Ellsbury got this nice contract, Cano should be getting a good deal more. Still though, I can’t see Jay Z letting his first client wind up in Seattle.

    I’m already looking forward to Opening Day.

  40. This Year says:

    I have not been through all the posts, and I agree with you Mike on the signing. But what about this from nomaas? Would like to hear your comment if you have a chance.

    In 2013, he hit .298/.355/.426 (113 wRC+) with a major league leading 52 SBs in 56 attempts (a whopping 93% success rate). His WAR of 5.8 was 13th-best in MLB, only a touch behind Robinson Cano’s 6.0.
    Over the last 3 seasons, he’s been the 10th-most valuable player in MLB, despite only playing 74 games in 2012 (freak shoulder injury). Additionally, he’s only two seasons removed from a superstar season, in which he hit .321/.376/.552 (150 wRC+) with 39 SBs, good for an incredible MLB-leading WAR of 9.1.

  41. LarryM Fl says:

    I’m not as negative as Mike. I watch the Yankees against the Red Sox as we all do. Ellsbury is a dominate factor in the field and at the plate. He is not going to hit 20 HRs. for us but the doubles and triples should set the table for this lineup for a quick run just like a HR.

    My only thoughts bordering on negative are the length of the contract and the pay scale. Ellsbury is right up their as a total player with game changing ability. He will make opposing teams pay for his speed. I guess to get a player of his caliber and to play with Cano’s head and agents. It was a good move. All the moves made have sent a message to Cano. We are building a winner, the money is running out and 7/175 is still a great contract or 8/200 in Seattle. The Yankees should have a WS crown before Seattle. If Arod is suspended for the year. The Yankees will have one hell of a team at least on paper and marquee appeal. I prefer winning teams with or without name appeal.

    If the Yankees were considering 2years and about 30 million for Beltran than I guess the last two years should not be so difficult with Ellsbury. There is always need for a player with ability who has done well on a consistent basis.

    • Vincent Vega says:

      I wouldn’t be surprised one bit to see him hit 20 hrs.

      • Havok9120 says:

        Yeah, Mike’s point aside (and it is a good one), would it really shock anyone if YSIII turns him into a 15-20 homer/year guy? It isn’t as if the short porch is the only reason the place gives up so many HRs.

  42. Ed says:

    When they signed McCann, I started thinking that they weren’t going through with the $189M plan. I don’t have a problem with McCann, but I just felt that with the number of holes they had, catcher didn’t make sense to upgrade. They don’t have enough money to fill all the holes with good players. They have catching depth in the high minors, but not much at other positions, so it just seemed like catcher was the obvious place to skimp.

    Now after signing Ellsbury to this much money, I feel like they’re just going all in and are going to sign everyone they can. I can’t see how you can justify spending this much on Ellsbury unless you’re going to continue going big and sign Cano and multiple pitchers. At that point, I don’t see how you stay under $189M.

    This whole thing reminds me a little of the 2008 season. We had Abreu, Giambi, Mussina, Pavano and I think a few other decent sized contracts coming off the books. Cashman kept talking about how they didn’t need to spend over $200M, and they’d cut back the payroll a bit. We all thought they were done after signing CC & Burnett. It was a good team, and the payroll was under $200M for the first time in years. Then out of nowhere came the Teixiera signing, giving them their highest payroll ever.

    As for the Ellsbury signing by itself, I’m not a fan. I feel like it only makes sense if you think he’ll stay healthy, and that his performance falls on the high end of his projections. I think you have to really buy into defensive stats too, and hope that’s a skill that ages well.

  43. Jim Is A (Bored) Peckerhead says:

    I’ll just leave this hear as a counterpoint to the negative side of the discussion.

    http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs.....ging-well/

    Take it for what it is. Believe it if you want. Ignore if it you so desire.

    • Robinson Tilapia says:

      You have authority and anger issues. Has anyone ever told you that? Peckerhead.

      • Caballo Sin Nombre says:

        There is no “authority” associated with this site, so unless you know him in some other context, you have no evidence for this. And chiding him at all for merely citing a contrary analysis is misplaced.

        Perhaps someone has delusions of grandeur here?

        • Robinson Tilapia says:

          You misunderstood my sarcasm here.

          Jim is actually the only person on this board (other than a friend of mine who I learned later has lurked on here) who I’ve met in person.

        • Jim Is A (Bored) Peckerhead says:

          It was a joke based on my exchange with Ryan above :)

  44. Rich says:

    Looking ahead this is a really good signing. We have no outfielders under contract after next year. I’ll take Ellsbury over signing free agent Gardner to an expensive contract. And just maybe they have plans to trade Gardner this winter for a capable third baseman or pitcher. Be patient…

  45. Batsman says:

    The Yankees got themselves a bona-fide leadoff hitter who can hit for average and get on base. In the League today, there are leadoff hitters and there are leadoff hitters, Ellsbury is the latter.

    On the 7th year of the contract Ellsbury is going to 36 years old for 83.33% of the season, because his Birthday is in September.

    The $150+ player comment, well….that’s just the way MLB economics are. You have to get used to it. Axisa, you made a big stinkin deal on the Yankees not retaining Swisher and Martin, now we got an above average hitter and YOU’RE COMPLAINING?

    As for Cano, you want the Yankees to budge over the 7 years and potentially field a 37 year old 2nd baseman? To do that, the question needs to be asked “Is Cano Jeter-like?” Derek Jeter, just isn’t a future Hall of Famer and Yankee Legend, but he is also a WINNER. Is Robinson Cano a winner? Jeter has a marketable brand. Whereas with Cano, he can’t even speak English.

    You obviously value power, but if history teaches us anything….POWER means very little if the player can’t make contact with the ball over 27% of the time. Ellsbury can do it at 30%. Power isn’t a matter of will, it’s a matter of SCIENCE that can get a hit ball over the fence. The Yankees had all the POWER in the world for the past 10 seasons….only netted them 1 World Series. Axisa, you seriously want that trend to continue based on the false premise that power numbers will equal offensive success?

    • Robinson Tilapia says:

      They’re going need more power than what they’ve got right now. Without Robbie in that lineup…..yipes. That’s not good.

      Maybe Mark Reynolds isn’t a bad idea after all.

      Also, fuck you very much for the English crack. Robbie bathes in money and you capitalize “science” on an internet board.

  46. Darren says:

    They should stop fucking around and sign Robbie for 8 years/ $210mm.

    Robbie is a Top 5 player, Ellsbury is Top 50.

    If they miss out on Cano because of this, Ellsbury can expect to be shit on by the fans. Oh wait, the new Yankee Stadium is a fucking abomination and nobody’s gonna notice anything anyway.

  47. Mickey Scheister says:

    My crystal ball says this Ellsbury deal could be a play on if Cano bails, the Yanks trade Gardner plus a C prospect for Phillips and sign a remaining OF FA with (hopefully) more power.

  48. Rick says:

    The Red Sox, according to sources close to negotiations, were willing to offer Ellsbury a six-year deal, with the dollars somewhere in the vicinity of $120 million

    The Red Sox valued him nearly identical to the Yankees. As with most free agent signings, teams willing to put in the extra year (and take on the heightened risk) usually wind up with the player.

    • Robinson Tilapia says:

      I’d wager someone else was in play. This whole “market was developing quickly” makes me feel like it was more than Sox versus Yanks.

      Then again, getting those teams pitted against each other could be a winning strategy.

  49. The Other Sam says:

    It’s an upgrade with a decent player. Call me an ignorant or fake fan, but if it gets them closer to a WS, I’m gonna like watching it.

    Maybe it’s an overpay, but they all are. And if it’s not my money and 189 is out the window who cares? They’re still in on Cano, just not at any cost – same as before.

    If it’s the principle of the thing, he’s not worth that much…well, like I said they’re all overpaid.

  50. Jason says:

    This was an expensive way to say to Cano “300MM?? F.U.!”

    • john says:

      Nah, i think it’s fu to the MLB owners for continuing their “big market” vendetta against the Yanks. They came up with all these incentives for the Yanks to reduce payroll under 189 and we played along while the other teams went apeshit with new TV money, but broke the camels back with all the Tanaka obstruction.
      Now (hopefully) we just tell the other teams to just go f themselves and shoot for the 300m payroll mark. the tax money is just a hill of beans…

  51. umbrelladoc says:

    The way this makes the most sense is to conceptualize Ellsbury as the long term replacement for Jeter, not Cano or Gardner.

    • Darren says:

      Ellsbury’s moving to SS and transforming himself into a first ballot Hall of Famer? Cool!

      • Robinson Tilapia says:

        He already has a gift basket waiting for you, Darren.

        • Darren says:

          I love gift baskets, seriously. But only the ones that have meat and cheese. Not just fruit. But yeah, a good basket with some salami, cheese, maybe some dark chocolate, some fancy fruit (kiwis, perchance). Mmmmm.

          And don’t forget the smoked almonds. I’d bang Otis Nixon for a bucket of smoked almonds!

          PS- Per your salmon comment about Robbie and the Mariners, did you see Granderson’s comments about the sit down with Sandy Alderson? Curtis was like, hey, it was nice to enjoy some salmon. Maybe that IS why Robbie’s gonna go to Seattle.

    • Mike HC says:

      You are right in a way. Along with our entire outfield having one year left on their deal, our two top of the order hitters, Gardner and Jeter, also could be out the door next year.

  52. Cuso says:

    Amazingly, I’m in lockstep on all 5 observations – that never happens.

  53. Bruce says:

    Mike, I put a check mark next to all of your points. You are spot on as far as I’m concerned. To boot, Ellsbury is a whiny prima dona. He’s the best player I’ve ever hated to have the Yankees sign. We need his cancer like we need to extend A-Rod’s contract for five more years.

    • Mr. Roth says:

      “To boot, Ellsbury is a whiny prima dona…..We need his cancer like we need to extend A-Rod’s contract for five more years.”

      You’re certainly entitled to your opinion, but what evidence is there that he’s a whiny prima donna? Maybe comparing him to Alex is a bit excessive?

      • Bruce says:

        Ellsbury is well known for being a prima donna. He’s not well liked in his clubhouse. I am surrounded by Red Sox fans. They’re all high-fiving each other that the Yankees signed him for seven years. Don’t get me wrong, they like his bat and his glove, but they’re sick of him. Comparison to Alex is fair, except Ellsbury probably stopped doping after 2011.

  54. HectorLopez says:

    The Highest paid second baseman in baseball ( not named Cano) currently is paid 15 mil (Ian Kinsler) second highest gets 13.75 (Griity Pedroia). So Cano is worth 10 million a year more than # 2. I don’t think so, this absurd notion that offering a guy 25 mil for six or seven years is an insult is laughable. Mike thinks cano would be rightfully be insulted at any offer below 200 mil. They can still sign Cano is they choose but this notion that they are being less than fair with him is nuts. Paying someone 60 percent more than anyone else that plays the same position is more than fair.

    • nyyankfan7 says:

      I agree with you completely but we can’t say that and be ok with the Ellsbury signing because he is essentially getting paid 60% more than whatever outfielder you consider to be the next best to him. Don’t get me wrong, I think Ellsbury is good and I think he will help the Yankees but it blows my mind that he just got the 3rd highest paid contract for an OF in history.

  55. OldYanksFan says:

    OK…. We know about Big/Long contracts from ARod, CC and Teix… not to mentions MANY others (Pujols, Crawford, Zito, Soriano, etc). So in this vane, how do we rate the Yankees signings of McCann, Ellsbury and (soon to be) Cano?

    • nyyankfan7 says:

      Can’t really compare them. McCann is signed through his age 35 season, Ellsbury through age 37 and if they don’t budge on Cano it will be somewhere between 37 and 39.

      Yes catchers deteriorate by that age but hopefully with Sanchez coming he will be able to split time and still be able contribute at 1B / DH. No he won’t contribute $17 mil worth at age 35 but they are paying a premium to have one of the best hitting catchers for the next 3 years and hopefully 4.

      Ellsbury’s value is in his legs and yes speed tends to go but not always. Ichiro stole 40+ bases at age 36 and 37. Ellsbury is also a good hitter who doesn’t rely on infield singles like Ichiro so I hope his .300 average is still obtainable in his later years whereas Ichiro’s isn’t b/c he doesn’t get as many infield singles as he once did.

      Cano….who knows. Cano is one of the best hitters in the game and possibly the best ever at his position. Could he stay one of the best hitters in the game through age 39? Sure it’s possible. Is he going to regress? Most likely. Will he stay at 2B through 39? Doubtful, but we’ve been saying that about Jeter for what? 4 seasons? Personally I don’t care if he stays at 2B as long he can still hit.

      Long contracts are absolutely huge gambles that almost never pay out. However, I am happy that we locked these guys up for years under age 40 and not through age 42 or 43 like Arod or Poopholes. I’m also glad we did it with position players and not pitchers like Zito where if their skills suck you have absolutely no choice but to let them pitch and accept a loss 85% of the time.

  56. Dr. Grenaldine says:

    This is a prescription that the doctor would not give.

    Pitching! Pitching is the cure to the ailments! Somebody toss them a few pills!

    Meanwhile, the Red Sox add more grit in Pierzynski on the cheap.

    If I were Russian, one word could sum up this deal: Stinkovich.

    • Mr. Roth says:

      Pitching and hitting win baseball games. You can’t win if you can’t hit, and the Yankees couldn’t hit last year.

      We absolutely need pitching too, but they play in an extreme hitters park. It’s kind of silly to play half your games in a hitters park, but not have all that many hitters (who are good at hitting) on the roster.

    • Dr. Gregg Stevenson DDS says:

      In my opinion as America’s most trusted dentist, I’ll have to agree with my medical colleague Dr. Grenaldine, The Yankees need pitching like America needs good dental hygiene, A LOT!

      They can’t just brush away the chance at getting someone like Tanaka to spend all that money on a guy as durable as a piece of floss in Ellsbury.

      Pitching wins championships!

      My diagnosis, stinky deal.

      • Dr. Grenaldine says:

        I always say there needs to be more good doctors out there. Perhaps if Ellsbury paid us some of his millions, he wouldn’t be hurt so often. But I digress.

        The Yankees seem to be flatlining this winter and it’s all because they don’t have the defibrilator known as pitching.

        Sincerely,
        Doc Grenaldine

    • Havok9120 says:

      And what pitching, exactly, do you want them in on that they aren’t? Who is available on the market worth a major contract?

  57. magilla gorilla says:

    Anyone think that this was a Hal deal done without Cashman’s assent?

    • Robinson Tilapia says:

      Feels like the opposite to me.

      • Dr. Grenaldine says:

        “I feel like we’ve got Carl Crawford in Brett Gardner, except [Gardner] costs more than $100 million less, with less experience.” – Brian Cashman after Carl Crawford signed with the Red Sox

  58. Dan says:

    Instead of signing cano for 25 million sign choo for 17-18 AAV 6/7 years and infante for 7-8 AAV 4 years and then next year you sign a shortstop when hardy, Ramirez, lowrie are all free agents while Gardner soriano and Ichiro all come off the books

  59. Frank says:

    Mike: What does his career spray chart for Yankee Stadium look like?

  60. jsbrendog says:

    I WANT ALL THE HAM

  61. D says:

    I could see Cano remaining for 7 years x $25M a year = $175M and Beltran signing for just two years x $13M a year = $26M to bat in this best starting nine in MLB on paper:

    Gardner LF L $4M
    Jeter 3B R $12M
    Ellsbury CF L $22M
    Beltran RF S $13M
    Cano 2B L $25M
    Teixiera 1B S $22.5M
    Soriano DH R $5M
    McCann C L $17M
    Ryan SS R $2M

    The total cost of the starting nine is $122.5M.

    The bench is Cervelli (C) $1M, Reynolds (1B/3B)$4M, Johnson (2B/SS) $3M, and Suzuki (OF) $6.5M. Wells ($2.4M) is traded. The total cost of the bench is $14.5M for a total cost of the non-pitchers and Sabathia ($23M) of $160M, $184.25M with $15.25M Kuroda, $5M Robertson, $3M Nova, $500K Phelps, and $500K Warren.

    The Yanks go with Sabathia/Kuroda/Nova/Phelps/Warren rotation to start 2014 (Nuno/Pineda/Banuelos/Huff/Marshall is the AAA rotation.)

    The bullpen is filled out like this:

    Logan $3.5M
    Free agent $1.5M
    Kelley $1.5M
    Betances $500K
    Clairborne $500K
    Cabral $500K

    $8M total + $184.25M = $192.25M, $189M if they can get a team to take Ichiro and half his 2014 salary ($192.25M – 3.25M.)

  62. Brian Cashman is watching says:

    How does the Ellsbury deal in any way impact negotiations with Cano? The mantra of the offseason has been “wait until another team makes an offer.” Suddenly that changed? Cano’s value is whatever the highest bidder will pay. Until we hear differently, the highest bidder is New York at seven years and $165 million. They should up the offer simply because they paid another player $150 million? That’s how New York signed Alex Rodriguez, and no one liked that deal.

    The Ellsbury signing is not popular. That’s fine, may even agree. However, the notion that this impacts negotiations with Cano is not based on fact; rather, its just an emotional attack on the Ellsbury deal. Cano is worth whatever the top bidder is willing to pay, and if no other team wants to pay more than $175 million, then he’s not worth more than $175 million. Worry about increasing the offer when another team actually makes an offer.

  63. Reggie C. says:

    Here’s hoping Ellsbury can at least (and I repeat AT LEAST) replicate a Kenny Lofton type post age 30 career! Still not worth at AAV but a Lofton type aging wouldnt make me hate the deal three years in…

  64. JT says:

    This really underscores the philosophical and practical difference between how the Red Sox and Yankees are run. The Sox know enough not to give out contracts like these — and are able to lock up their talent without paying huge premiums.

  65. hogsmog says:

    Yeah I am not really down with this. 7 years to a 30 year-old with a game based on speed and an OPS less than 800 at age 29? I mean, he’s a good player, but I would have been much more a fan of throwing McCann-size money at him and seeing if it sticks.

  66. Dean says:

    If the Yanks really go all in and re-sign Cano and Kuroda as well as signing Tanaka then the Yanks will have signed the best catcher on the market, best outfielder on the market, best free agent on the market and best starting pitcher on the market.

  67. pacman says:

    Agree on all points. Not an elite player at all. Terrible contract IMO. Like the signing but not for that money. That money goes to a Cano, a power hitter, elite prospect…
    Cano will be signed IMO. If they can give Ells this much, they have it for Cano.
    Love McCann/cervelli at C, 1b Texi, 2b ??? Cano SS Jeter Ryan 3b??arude
    OF: gardy, ells, sori, ichiro? wells?
    Infante needs to be signed. As well as Reynolds. If Johnson signs good…
    SP: Need Tanaka and another SP?? CC, Nova, Kuroda?
    RP: Blafour?? Robertson, Kelley, and ???

    Lots to get done.
    BUT Agree…Crazy contract for a good but not elite player.
    They BETTER get Cano DONE!!!!

  68. Rossdfarian says:

    I agree with Mike and hate this signing.
    If he doesn’t fail the physical, please tell me he didn’t get a no-trade clause! Maybe, if he goes .280/.360/.390 for a couple of seasons with over 200 runs and 100 sb (total for 2 years) we can send him someplace else?

    By the way … All the Vernon Wells hate is getting old. The Yankees took a shot at catching lightning in a bottle and not affecting the 2014 payroll. For a little while, it looked like it might work. He filled a need and didn’t cost much. Let it go.

    • Bryan says:

      390 slugging? Seriously? His career avg is 439. EVEN if he does not match his output from last year, you seriously think he is a 390 slugging player over the long run?????

  69. dalelama says:

    This really sucks. I guess my 4 ranking in the confidence has been inflated. They can’t let cano go now, can they?

  70. Jedile says:

    Prediction:
    Ellsbury Doughboy hits 17HRs w/ .321AVG while swiping 55 bags and easily scoring 100runs.

    • nycsportzfan says:

      Also will end up with 185-200hits

      • Jedile says:

        Yep. I want to try and like this signing as much as possible, mainly because we have to live with it for quite a while. I was more happy when we signed Damon though. But we should hope the Doughboy does better than our expectations.

        Though I guess I like him better than Choo. Still would rather have Cano. As long as we get Tanaka I’m happy.

        • Mike says:

          Except we will be signing him to 3x the total value and almost 2x the annual value of Damon’s contract.

        • qwerty says:

          I wasn’t, Damon was too old to receive the kind of contract that he did. You don’t give a 33 year old player who plays horrible centerfield an expensive 4 year contract.

  71. Bryan says:

    I like the deal. Easily the best of the three big OF FA’s and we have the money to spend. Why the hell not.

  72. BFDeal says:

    But does this improve our grit standings?

  73. Dars says:

    McAnn and Ellsbury without Cano is addition by substraction.
    Leaves us in the same place. You took Granderson and Cano away and added McAnn and Ellsbury. I don’t see how we are better?

    • U R Not OK says:

      Cano has consistently hit in the range of 25-30 homers. Granderson has performed well above what he should have those two years. He should have also been in the 25-30 homer ranger.

      That said, McCann and Ellsbury combined should be good for 45-50 total, therefore, filling in those gaps quite well and while filling two positions of need and while looking forward and realizing there is no one remotely close to being available to sign.

      Mason Williams, Tyler Austin, Heathcott and Gardner are trade candidates at this point and all have varying degrees of value in this market.

  74. Eddard says:

    I LOVE this deal. It hurts the Sox and helps us, it gives us a winning ballplayer with a championship pedigree and it’s insurance for Robbie Cano not re-signing. How could you not love this deal? OF will be the best in baseball with Jacoby, Alphonso and Brett.

    • Mike says:

      We don’t have enough players with Championship pedigrees? We did win one in 2009.

      Seems like an overpay to me. I’d much rather have overpaid for Cano instead. The Red Sox were all too willing to let him go after learning their lesson with Crawford.

  75. SDB says:

    I wonder if this makes staying in the Bronx a more attractive proposition for Cano. McCann and Ellsbury are 2 of the top FAs this year, and it’s clear the Yankees are grabbing them with an intent to win, not just to save money and put warm bodies in positions.

    Gotta wonder just how much Cano wants another ring. If he wants to add to the one from 2009, then suddenly the Yankees look like a much more attractive team now than Seattle or Texas, as there’s an offensive lineup coming together.

  76. mike says:

    Logically – if Gardner is “close to” Ellsbury, and figuring Ellsbury would have gotten a like-contract from someone else…where will all the nay-sayers to this deal be next off-season when Gardner is a FA and there is no one else on the market, allowing Gardner to ask for the moon?

    My deal would be to trade Gardner for pitching at this point – the Yanks aren’t going to extend him next year, so whomever gets Gardner will get a really good player with the trade, and get a pick when he signs somewhere in the off season.

    Trade Gardner for Ogondo/Lewis on texas, maybe throw in Phelps to seal the deal. Both guys have tremendous upside but have injury concerns….but its a deal which could really change the Yanks staff. Then, sign Beltran.

  77. U R Not OK says:

    Can’t win with the mob. Everyone is clamoring for younger players and they go out and sign one and few like it, however, the alternatives were Granderson who will cost in the range of $50mm or more and doesn’t do much else than hit for power, which likely won’t continue, Beltran who is very attractive, but 37 and something is going to “pop” on that end. It seems inevitable and that also would likely cost in the range of $50mm. Choo? Very inflated as well and has very poor split. Truth be told, we all know little on him. What else? I’m pretty sure that Gardner is on the move in a trade.

    So if the Yanks sign Ellsbury and become incredibly better and trade Gardner, Phelps and one mid level prospect for Anderson, that’s pretty good, no?

    I think people are getting too caught up in the business aspect of the Cano signing and that he is showing some bad colors throughout this process.

    Ellsbury, McCann, Johnson, Ryan, these guys are baseball players. Cano is more of a God given talent, but the man’s head is up his ass right now and I think it’s sending a very bad message to the Yanks.

    I for one, support Cashman and the Yanks deals to date. It’s ironic, because I had previously been very critical of Ellsbury and McCann, but having seen the menu and now getting idea of the Yanks plan, there is a lot that I am liking.

    Oh, yeah, and for 429th time, ICHIRO IS NOT GOING ANYWHERE PEOPLE! Good lord I’ve heard 4785 times over the last 12 hours or well, who’s playing RF and we’ll move Soriano there. Ah, no, Soriano pretty much is their LF’r is Gardner is traded and if not, pretty much their full time DH. Ichiro is their RF’r in 2014. End o story. Seriouly. The guy is a superstar regardless of his current production and age.

    • Darren says:

      Ryan is more of a baseball player than Cano? Because he fucking sucks at hitting? Ellsbury’s speed is less of a god given talent than Cano’s arm?

      Please explain yourself in as many words as you need.

    • DSFC says:

      The guy is a superstar!

      • DSFC says:

        doh….accidently submitted too quickly – he’s a superstar who can’t hit much anymore and has a sub-.300 OBP, but bah gawd he’s a superstar!!!

        Ichiro MUST go.

    • lou says:

      I really hope Gardner is traded. I will do the jig of all jigs…….behind closed doors of course.

      I really do hope they trade Gardner so we can finally end all the discussions on how he’s going to be the next Henderson or what’s wrong with Gardner he’s good. I simply put can’t stand Gardner he’s a dime a dozen ball player. Pleaseeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee be gone soon

  78. Jim Cavanaugh says:

    All this money spent, still got to sign Cano … How the hell are we gonna find 400 innings worth of pitching ?

  79. Jay says:

    PLEASE FAIL HIM ON THE PHYSICAL!!!!!

  80. Improbable Island Guy on Another Computer says:

    Basically, this is a fine, not great but fine, deal IF they get Cano, and only then. If not it’s a horribly awful deal that will cripple the franchise for several years like a less extreme version of the A-Rod monstrosity.

  81. U R Not OK says:

    Oh and another thought…sometimes its best to shake things up: See Detroit and the A’s and Red Sox of 2013. Sometimes rebalancing the “entire” roster is necessary. Yeah, Cano is an awesome player, but maybe he just doesn’t fit the Yanks future mold of “team” as much as other players do.

  82. Dave M says:

    “Ellsbury is not the kind of hitter who can really take advantage of the short right field porch though. He’s a classic speedster, hitting the ball on the ground and using his legs. He also does most of his hitting the opposite way to left:”

    Now,yes that is true. Just wait until K-Long gets ahold of him and turns him into a 30 HR .220 pull hitter.

  83. HTD says:

    Something to consider:

    Ellsbury’s 2 big injuries the past couple of years have been very fluky. The first happened because Beltre kneed him in the ribs, and then the second happened when Brignac landed on his shoulder. It’s not like Ellsbury has chronic knee problems or something like that. I think the injury-prone label is a bit unwarranted.

  84. Andrew Brotherton says:

    According to Jon Heyman there is no 8th yr option for Jacoby Ellsbury

  85. Chris Z. says:

    We haven’t heard from A-Rod in a few days. All this Yankee news has got to have him itching to get back in the headlines. How much longer before he says or does something?

  86. TheRealGreg says:

    If it’s true that the Red Sox were going to offer him 6/$120 well then the price is put back into perspective.

  87. NoMaas says:

    To everyone saying Smellsbury can’t stay healthy, someone on fan graphs made the following point:

    “Adrian Beltre knees him in the ribs, breaking them, and Reid Brignac lands on his shoulder, dislocating it.These two injuries account for approximately 220 of his 250 missed games over the last 4 seasons. I’m not sure “injury prone” is fair, it’s not like he’s pulling hamstrings or battling bad knees.”

    • Dirty Water says:

      He gets hurt every year stealing bases. He missed 28 games last year largely due to the stress that stealing 50 bases puts on your body. Now that he’s 30 do you actually think that stress on his body is somehow going to stop leading to injuries? It’s not like 28 games is insignificant.

  88. TheRealGreg says:

    I still don’t like it, but it’s starting to make a bit more sense than it did last night. You can trade Gardner for pitching, because frankly I have been down on Gardner for the last 2 years (Insert joke here)

    If the Sox price is true, then the contract begins to make sense. I think there are more moves to come.

    • Mike says:

      It sounds like ESPN is saying “sources” were giving those figures and they aren’t sure that Boston was willing to offer it.

      • Jim Is A (Bored) Peckerhead says:

        So…sources talk about the Yankees, it’s always true.

        Sources talk about the Sox, not true.

        I see.

  89. bobmac says:

    Maybe Jay-Z can play second….in Seattle.

  90. Silvio says:

    So, whom do the Sox get to replace JE? Grandy?

  91. Fin says:

    Ive seen the Cashman quote regarding Crawford compared to Gardner thrown around a lot. I think at the time Cash said that it was a fair comparison in that the Yankees thought they had that type of player at the time in Gardner. It hasn’t worked out that way as Gardner just hasn’t become an elite base stealer/runner, which is pretty mind boggling given his speed.

    Reading fan graphs, 1 poster had a very good point about Els power. After his 31 Hr season he was hurt and had shoulder surgery. That sapped his power for awhile but it began to come back towards the end of last year and maybe the Yankees signed a guy who will hit between 20-30 hrs a year.

    I’m certainly not for this contract but I have come down off the ledge a bit after the initial shock of the years and money. There is definite value in Els and possibly some upside in his power by being further removed from surgery and playing in YS.

  92. Fan Base says:

    great, RAB hates our new CFer for 7 years; more for Mike to complain, blame things on and worry about.

    Yanks may overpay – as usual, who likes sitting in line? – but the strategy here is classic – strong up the middle, nail down a core of clubhouse leaders (who can thrive in NY) entering their prime, but here comes a new contemporary offensive profile too. All in one off season, aren’t we lucky — not to have to wait.

    Let’s see this play out. Should be fun.

    Here’s to the new guys.

  93. Farewell Mo says:

    Nice analysis Mike, pretty much spot on with how I feel.

    If they do indeed resign Cano and get a couple of good arms, I’ll feel a lot better about the move since it’s their money, not mine but I can’t help but feel that this signing makes resigning Cano a bit less likely for a few reasons

  94. The Thumb says:

    I think the Yankees would have been much better throwing a McCann type contract at Choo and seeing if he bites. His power would play very well in YS3, especially for a lead off hitter. Granted, his platoon splits are gross but he still puts up above a .390 OBP yearly and that’s something I don’t see declining too much. Also, even if he does wind up as a platoon hitter towards the end of the contract he’s still on the strong side. Choo could have easily put up something like 100/27/80/.285/23

  95. Dale Mohorcic says:

    EEK

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  96. Holy Ghost says:

    The more I think about this deal, the less I like it.

    Ellsbury is pretty injury prone and Outfielders don’t become less injury prone after turning 30. Their legs tend to burn out in their 30′s too and there’s not much to Ellsbury’s game once his speed begins to decline. He reached his ceiling in 2011 and I really doubt he will get anywhere near that kind of production again.

    • Jim Is A (Bored) Peckerhead says:

      How is Ellsbury injury prone? He had one real injury and a fluke collision. Is he prone to collide with other players?

      • Holy Ghost says:

        How many seasons has he played more than 140 games?

        Even if his past injuries are mostly freak injuries, he’s 30 and his peak production is likely behind him.

  97. Bryan says:

    Crap, pinstriped bible is stating the new posting system has been approved. Just the max bid amount is up for questioning.

    http://www.pinstripealley.com/.....ee-yankees

    If it is something like 20 million, it could end up hurting the Yanks as a lot more teams could end up getting involved.

  98. Joe D. says:

    “…Cano’s the far superior player…”

    2013 WAR
    Cano 6.0
    Ellsbury 5.8

    2011-2013 WAR
    Cano 19.0
    Ellsbury 16.3

    Age Next Season
    Cano 31
    Ellsbury 30

  99. qwerty says:

    And people wonder why I’ve been advocating a trade for Peter Bourjos for two years. *shakes head*

  100. rogue says:

    I love this signing. More speed, more defense, and less waiting for Sterling’s HR calls. It’s a better brand of baseball. I live in the Boston area, and there was initial loathing over Victorino’s contract. We know how that turned out.

    Speed and Defense is a more exciting and better brand of baseball than being HR-centric. Speed and D is what wins in the playoffs.

    For that reason, I love to see an OF of Gardner/Elsbury/Ichiro. That would be the best defensive OF in MLB.

    For the first time since 2010, I’m looking forward to a new season of Yankees baseball. As for Cano, see ya. Don’t let the door hit you on the way out. He and Jay-Z are just using the Mariners to jack up the price for the Dodgers. Cano want’s to rub elbows with the celebs. New York is out and that leaves LA.

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