Jacoby Ellsbury
MLB New York Yankees Sports

New York Yankees Need to Dump Jacoby Ellsbury to Keep Clint Frazier


Remember when Jacoby Ellsbury was supposed to be the everyday center fielder for the New York Yankees that sparked the offense? Currently, he’s become the Yankees $153 million problem.

This past weekend in Seattle, Joe Girardi implied that he is putting Ellsbury on the bench to keep rookie outfielder Clint Frazier in the lineup, as he stated that he’s playing the hotter hand.

Here’s the thing, Joe Girardi should play Clint Frazier every day because he’s earned it. He hitting .304 with three home runs and nine RBI in his short time in the major leagues. The balls that Frazier are hitting lately are jumping off his bat and he’s breathing even more energy into the lineup.

So here’s the problem. Yankees general manager Brian Cashman has said that once Aaron Hicks returns from the disabled list, Frazier is likely to be sent back down to the minor leagues. Sending Clint Frazier down at this point would do the team and Clint Frazier a severe injustice considering he’s done nothing to deserve a demotion back to the minors.

So what do the Yankees do? They could try to move Brett Gardner, as his contract is an easier one to trade. But Brett Gardner is still productive, so moving him isn’t ideal. They could also try to deal Hicks once he returns, but he’s a switch hitting outfielder who’s played very well, so that’s not ideal either.

The only other solution is the most obvious one, although it’s the most difficult. The Yankees need to get rid of Jacoby Ellsbury. The Yankees, as of right now, are paying Ellsbury to be a $153 million pinch runner, which is what he was over the last few games and in the series against the Seattle Mariners.

Why is Ellsbury on the bench? In the month of June, he’s hitting .222. In the month of July, he’s hitting .189 and has dropped his average on the season to .249. In that time, no home runs, three RBI and just three steals. Those numbers wouldn’t even be good enough to start in Class-AAA Scranton, much less make $21 million a season to be a member of the Yankees.

So do the Yankees trade Ellsbury? It would be easier to do if he weren’t hitting so poorly. Nobody is taking on Ellsbury’s salary with him hitting that badly. Not even in a potential trade of bad contracts, so forget the Ellsbury for Justin Verlander idea we had a few weeks ago and forget the Ellsbury for Robinson Cano idea that we also talked about. None of that is happening when Ellsbury is hitting .189 in the month of July.

The Yankees may have no other choice other than to designate him for assignment and eat the remainder of the contract. It’s a lot of money to pay for Jacoby Ellsbury to go away and play elsewhere; the Yankees owe $84 million over the next three-plus seasons until the 2020 season. That’s a lot of money to owe a player who isn’t helping the current situation. The Boston Red Sox recently did it with Pablo Sandoval, as they paid him $67 million for him to go away when they designated him for assignment.

The Yankees may have no other choice but to take that route as well with Jacoby Ellsbury.

In hindsight, the Yankees never sign Ellsbury to this albatross of a deal and instead, swallow their pride to re-sign Robinson Cano. But now, they’re stuck with Jacoby Ellsbury’s deal on their books and even worse, they’re stuck with him taking up a roster spot.

So when Aaron Hicks does come back, the Yankees need to make the tough choice. And it shouldn’t involve sending Clint Frazier back to the minor leagues.

It should be how to get rid of Jacoby Ellsbury for good. Because he’s become a useless player on the Yankees.


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Doug Rush
Doug Rush is a 13-year professional journalist who found his way to the Inscriber Digital Magazine in September of 2016. Before graduating college, his first ever job in the industry was with the Asbury Park Press in 2004 covering high school sports. After graduating from Ocean County College in 2007 and Ramapo College of New Jersey in 2009, he became a featured writer for Bleacher Report, covering both the New York Yankees and New York Giants from June of 2009 until his departure in 2013. In March of 2013, he joined Sports Media 101, where he was a featured writer for Giants 101 and the lead writer and editor for Yankees 101 and Knicks 101. He served there until leaving in July of 2016. Rush is current members of the Pro Football Writers Association of America and the Internet Baseball Writers Association of America.

One thought on “New York Yankees Need to Dump Jacoby Ellsbury to Keep Clint Frazier”

  1. Choosing to let Cano go was not a matter of pride; it was a prudent move by a club trying to avoid ARod like contracts. They made Robbie one hell of an offer, but Seattle beat it, in part because they were looking to “send a message” as much as they were trying to land a second baseman. What I don’t understand is how the Yankees could steer clear of that potential pothole, only to double down on McCann and Ellsbury. Then again, they were just one year removed from the Great Youkilis debacle, so maybe I shouldn’t be shocked.

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