Yankees Release Outfielder Jacoby Ellsbury

The New York Yankees are one of the wealthiest teams in professional sports. They make an enormous amount of money from local TV and radio revenue. That is one of the biggest advantages of playing in the biggest city in the United States. However, the team has not always spent their money very wisely. They have made some very bad free agent signings over the years. The worst of these signings was probably Jacoby Ellsbury. He was the center fielder for the Boston Red Sox. He had a brilliant 2011 season when he was nearly the most valuable player in the American League.

Jacoby Ellsbury became a free agent and the Yankees handed him a contract that would pay him $153 million over a period of seven years. It was one of the richest contracts that the Yankees had ever given to a player. To say that Ellsbury did not live up to expectations would be a huge understatement. The reality is that he became one of the biggest free agent busts in baseball history. As great as Ellsbury was in 2011, that season was an anomaly. He never came close to putting up those numbers ever again.

With the exception of his magical 2011 season, Ellsbury was never a great player even when he was totally healthy. During his time with the Yankees, Ellsbury was rarely healthy. In fact, he had not played in a game since the 2017 season. The Yankees recently announced that they had officially released Ellsbury from his contract because they needed his spot on the roster. The Yankees still owed him his $21 million salary for the 2020 season and an additional $5 million for buying out his contract. The contract was a complete disaster in every possible way.

A new wrinkle has been added to the Ellsbury saga. It seems that the Yankees are going to try to avoid paying the remaining $26 million that they owe him. Their excuse is that Ellsbury did not use doctors that were approved by the Yankees during his rehab from several injuries. Ellsbury will obviously file a grievance in an attempt to get all of his money. It could be several months until it is determined if the Yankees will have to pay some or all of the remaining $26 million. The Ellsbury contract with the Yankees will live in infamy. The team got nothing for their money.