Tuesday, July 25, 2017

The Yankees Could Take On THIS Contract AND Move Jacoby Ellsbury?

What the New York Yankees have on their hands is a $153 million fourth outfielder and bench player. While in years past I wouldn’t have personally blinked an eye at that because I was far from concerned with the austerity and the budget side of things when it came to my favorite team but this year it seems different. I see the end game here. I see the fact that the Yankees can spend one season being fiscally responsible before going back to the “Greedy Pinstripes” that the team was when they bought up the free agent market before the 2009 season thus spawning The Greedy Pinstripes blog and mindset. With that in mind I got thinking if the Yankees could possibly take on a bad or hefty contract that is possibly shorter in nature while somehow also shedding themselves of the Jacoby Ellsbury contract in the same move. Is it possible? Keep reading.

Before we get into the “who” the Yankees would be trading for let’s take a quick second and delve into “what” the Yankees are trading. Ellsbury is owed $21.2 million in 2017 (obviously a prorated amount since more than half the season has passed) as well as $21.2 million in each of the 2018, 2019 and 2020 season with an option and $5 million buyout option for the 2021 season. That’s $77 million the Yankees would be trying to move and officially four years on a deal. If the Yankees are going to move that they are going to have to take on a comparable contract so with that in mind I looked at not only comparable contracts but useful players with comparable contracts as well. Keep in mind that likely none of these players alone will lead the Yankees to a World Series but I truly think all of them could at least be useful down the stretch and for the remainder of the season.

The San Francisco Giants are presumably in sell mode and the team has a couple of pitchers that will presumably be moved before the deadline. Jeff Samardzija and Johnny Cueto were added to the club a couple offseasons back with the intention of San Francisco heading back to the World Series but that plan never came to fruition for Brian Sabaen and company leading to the possible sell off of these contracts here in 2017. Samardzija has three years left on his deal worth $59.4 million while Cueto has an opt-out clause that would allow him to walk away from his four-years and nearly $100 million left on his deal on the table. According to Jon Heyman the Giants will lose Cueto to the opt-out clause this offseason regardless of how the right-hander pitches. That’s a big risk for the Yankees to take though just because Heyman and his “sources” say so though likely leading to a non-deal for the Yankees here. The team wants to shed salary and years, not gain a ton of it with a pair of pitchers at or above the 5.00 ERA mark in 2017 in a historically pitching friendly ballpark.

The Detroit Tigers also have a pair of pitchers that could and will likely be dealt before the deadline in 2017 in Jordan Zimmerman and Justin Verlander. Zimmerman is owed nearly $81 million for this season and the next three seasons while Verlander is owed $68 million for the remainder of 2017 and two seasons beyond this season. Neither Verlander nor Zimmerman has pitched well in a pitcher friendly environment out in Detroit and both pitchers would absolutely scare the life out of me inside Yankee Stadium. No thanks and no thank you.

Speaking of scaring the life out of people, the final potential trade the Yankees could make to shed some salary takes the team to the Deep South to Marlins Park in Miami. Yes I do realize that it is highly unlikely and borderline foolish for anyone to think the Yankees could pull off a deal involving Giancarlo Stanton for many reasons but now is the time to dream for the fans. Dream on this, dream on the idea of having Stanton, Aaron Judge and Gary Sanchez in the middle of the Yankees lineup for the next 10-15 years or longer. The Marlins’ hands will be tied for the most part with the team now up for sale by owner Jeffrey Loria but the only way the team is going to make any significant moves in my opinion is to shed some salary. That salary belongs to Giancarlo after he signed a monster 13-year deal worth $325 million, $300 million of that Stanton is still owed more or less. Taking back the salary of Jacoby Ellsbury is a drop in the bucket for Miami while the trade is potentially organization changing for both clubs. It isn’t likely to happen in my opinion but man is it nice to dream about having an outfield of Stanton, Judge and Clint Frazier going forward.

Keep in mind that if the Yankees don’t move Ellsbury before the July 31st trading deadline that it doesn’t mean that the team can’t and won’t move him. There aren’t many teams or presumably any teams who would flat out claim him off waivers and risk being stuck with that entire contract so it seems very likely that the Yankees outfielder could clear waivers allowing him to be traded to any of the other 29 MLB teams. I’d say stay tuned but we have another month and a week before this one potentially works itself out. Stay tuned anyway though. 

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