There’s nothing that the fan base of the New York Yankees would love to do more than to get rid of Jacoby Ellsbury.
This past weekend, the Yankees put Ellsbury on the bench in favor of the red-hot Clint Frazier; Jacoby Ellsbury eventually came in as a pinch runner, but he’s not the starting center fielder right now.
After hitting .222 in the month of June and .189 in the month of July, the Yankees had no other choice but to shelve the guy who was supposed to be the spark plug of the offense and instead, has become a burden on the offense and the payroll.
The Yankees were right to put Ellsbury on the bench, but if you’d ask them, they’d likely want to get rid of him for good. Clint Frazier is clearly the future and the $21 million Ellsbury makes per season shouldn’t stop them from playing the better player that helps the team win. With Frazier, the Yankees were able to win their first series since mid June, as they took three of four against the Seattle Mariners.
So what do the Yankees do with Mr. Ellsbury, whose taking up a roster spot and isn’t needed? A lot of other media outlets have suggested the possibility of trading Ellsbury to another team for a star with a bad contract that a team would like to get rid of.
Buster Olney of ESPN actually suggested two potential ideas.
The first is the one we’ve discussed in the past because it was an idea floated by Michael Kay of the YES Network; trade Jacoby Ellsbury to the Seattle Mariners and the Yankees re-acquire Robinson Cano.
The Mariners would obviously have to help kick in some money since Cano is signed a little longer. But given the fact that the Mariners may not contend again, Seattle shedding Cano’s deal and taking on Ellsbury’s would make sense. Plus, the Yankees are in a win-now mode and given the fact that Starlin Castro has had trouble staying healthy lately, Cano would help the Yankees.
Honestly, if you asked the Yankees fan base who they would rather have between Cano and Ellsbury, most would probably take Cano eleven times out of 10.
The other trade idea Olney had was to swap Ellsbury to the Detroit Tigers for Justin Verlander; a trade idea that we actually suggested not too long ago here on The Inscriber.
It’s no secret that the Yankees need starting pitching, especially with the injury to Michael Pineda that has put him on the shelf for the season. Another starter to go with CC Sabathia, Luis Severino and Masahiro Tanaka would go a long way.
Having someone with the track record of Justin Verlander could definitely help the Yankees. Plus, if Masahiro Tanaka decides to opt out and pitch elsewhere next season, having Verlander to fall back on definitely eases the blow. It would also ease the blow to have Verlander if CC Sabathia doesn’t come back next year as well.
Now, the one question some would ask; why would the Mariners take back an aging outfielder who has played poorly?
The first is salary cap relief. For Seattle, they would save $3 million a season with their swap and wouldn’t be on hook for Cano’s salary as long as they would for Ellsbury, even if they did help chip in on the deal.
For Detroit, they’d save $7 million by swapping Verlander for Ellsbury.
The other is an opportunity for Ellsbury. He never fit in with the Yankees and currently, he doesn’t fit in. But in Seattle or Detroit, he could be given a chance to be the outfielder he once was for the Boston Red Sox and play with a lot less pressure on him.
Playing in a specious ballpark like Comerica Park could really do wonders for Ellsbury’s skill set. It could also do wonders for him playing in Safeco Field as well; ballparks known for being larger, ballparks. Playing in Yankee Stadium for the last four years hasn’t helped the 33-year-old veteran.
Both ideas would work for the Yankees because it could help fill needs that help them win now and for the next few years. Robinson Cano would give them another power bat; and bring back the one player the Yankees should have never let walk to begin with.
Justin Verlander would give the Yankees that extra arm for the starting rotation that they need.
But more importantly, the Yankees would be free of having Jacoby Ellsbury on the team. That would be the ultimate win for them.