Friday, January 19, 2018

Why Would Jacoby Ellsbury Want To Stay A Yankee?

On the surface it's a silly question...

Why would Jacoby Ellsbury want to stay a Yankee?

I'm sure there are plenty of players in the Majors that would never, and have never, wanted to be a Yankee. But I'd bet those players are few and far between. The Yankees are the most storied franchise in Major League Baseball, and quite possibly the most storied franchise in all of sports. From Babe Ruth to Derek Jeter, from Murderer's Row to The Core Five (yes "FIVE"), from the Bleacher Creatures to The Judge's Chambers, being able to say "I'm a New York Yankee" comes with immense pride.

But the question remains... Why would Jacoby Ellsbury want to stay a Yankee?

It's not greed, because no matter where he plays he's going to get all of the money owed him. Contracts in Major League Baseball are guaranteed. Ellsbury will receive every penny of the $153 million deal he signed back on December 13th of 2013.

So what's the deal?

Well, my guess is that he just really likes being a Yankee, and that's something that should be cheered... not booed. But that's exactly what I expect to happen this season, because not waiving his no-trade clause is likely going to keep the Yankees from adding Yu Darvish.

Yu Darvish would turn the Yankees from a good bet to contend for the World Series to arguably the favorite. Luis Severino, Masahiro Tanaka, Sonny Gray, Jordan Montgomery, and CC Sabathia make for a very good starting rotation. Place Darvish in there and "holy cow!" A great batting lineup, a great bullpen, and a great starting rotation. Even the biggest Yankee Hater would have to admit the Yankees would be nearly impossible to stop.

I suppose if Cashman and Company decide to stick with the kids at second and third base, and trade away a less expensive piece like Adam Warren, they could afford to sign Yu Darvish and still have around $5 million for mid-season trades and/or pick-ups. But I find that highly unlikely. It's just not enough of a cushion, because the team is clearly going for it all this season, and there's a good chance a mid-season pick-up will be needed, and the last thing management will want to worry about at that point is the cost.

Plus, past experience, and I understand that going by past experience is difficult because the Yankees of today are not at all like the Yankees of a few years ago, tells us that at least one of those infield spots will be filled by a veteran. I think it's very possible that Todd Frazier returns to the Yankees on a team-friendly deal. However, said deal won't be so "team-friendly" that Darvish could still be squeezed in.

To put things bluntly, Jacoby Ellsbury could keep the Yankees from being a better team in 2017 and beyond. And in doing so he's very likely tohear it from the boo-birds at Yankee Stadium.

Should he be booed? I don't think so, but the fact is he will be. And it kind of surprises me that he'd be willing to put up with that instead of going somewhere that he's actually wanted. Should such a place exist.


  1. Thank you for calling them the “core FIVE”!!! Thank you!!! Bernie was just as important to the dynasty as anyone else. He was the cleanup hitter for crying out loud!! Everyone seems to forget that.

    1. Not on this site Rich, although we were calling them the "Core four + one".

  2. Bryan, you done, done a fine job...again!

  3. Make no mistake about it, almost every player in baseball wants to play for the Yankees. It is the history, facilities, staff and managenents desire to win it all. That is not match anywhere else in baseball.

    Wouldn't you want to play for the YANKEES?


Sorry for the Capatcha... Blame the Russians :)