Tuesday, December 3, 2013

BREAKING: Yankees sign Jacoby Ellsbury

Multiple sources are reporting that the Yankees have indeed agreed to a context with center fielder Jacoby Ellsbury. The contract will exceed Carl Crawford's 7/142 contract that he signed with the Red Sox after 2010. Ellsbury's contract will be worth $153 million over seven years with an option for an eighth year that could bring the total to $169 million. That would make the contract MLB's ninth largest contract in history. Ellsbury is only a physical away from officially becoming a Yankee, with the press conference for him and McCann coming on the same day, Thursday.

The Yankees are also in serious discussions for another Boras client, Shin-Soo Choo. However, Ellsbury was their top target. The Cano contract is still on the table, and the Yankees must be sending their free agent second baseman a message with their enormous Ellsbury contract. According to Yankee officials, the contract to Cano is still on the table, but the time in which he has to accept the deal is closing. He may end up on a team like the Seattle Mariners who have the money to spend. However, his numbers will take a hit if he is the sole hitter in the Mariners lineup. Rewind to the way pitchers pitched around Cano in 2013 with no other real threats in the depleted lineup.

With Ellsbury now a Yankee, the team has a dynamic top of the lineup in Ellsbury, Jeter and possibly Gardner. I can't help but think though, that Gardner is on the trading block. However, upon the agreement with Ellsbury the Yankees clearly stated that they have no intentions to trade Gardner, who will be on the last year of his deal with the Yankees in 2014. With Carlos Beltran in deep discussions with the Royals, the Yankees seem to have given up on the aging outfielder, who is looking for a three year pact. The Yankees have contingency plans if discussions do not pan out with Robinson Cano, as they have publicly stated that there is an offer on the table for free agent second baseman Omar Infante.

With the signing of Ellsbury, the Yankees could have a scary lineup in 2014:

Brett Gardner LF
Derek Jeter SS
Jacoby Ellsbury CF
Alfonso Soriano RF
Mark Teixeira 1B
Brian McCann C
DH ?
2B ?

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