jacoby ellsbury[It was such a ridiculously active day already today that I figured I was in the clear to go play some tennis and get a milkshake. No dice. Curse you, unusually-active pre-Winter Meetings baseball offseason!]

Ah, remember that time the New York Yankees sat out the big ticket items? That was a nice one year.

According to multiple reports, the Yankees have grabbed their next big name of the offseason (having already signed Brian McCann), and it’s Jacoby Ellsbury, formerly of the Red Sox. He gets seven years and $153 million, according to Mark Feinsand. It’s the kind of absurd – but explicable – deal we expected to see this offseason, and it’s only fitting that the Yankees would usher it in. The Yankees just paid for Ellsbury almost 90% of the amount they’re offering to Robinson Cano. Ridiculous.

The Cubs had long been mentioned as a stealth candidate on Ellsbury, but, as I said all along, the only way it could happen is if he went a couple months without finding a serious nine-figure suitor, and then the Cubs nabbed him on the cheap in February. Thankfully for my own credibility, I made sure to always append those comments with some variation of “but I don’t think that’ll actually happen.” And here we are, with Ellsbury getting the kind of absurdly large contract that I figured he would get … and hoped he would get from a team not named the Cubs. I am perfectly comfortable with how this played out.

As for the Yankees, their quest to stay under the $189 million luxury tax cap is apparently not imperiled by this signing (plus McCann). They reportedly plan to still try and re-sign Robinson Cano and a starting pitcher. Clearly they know that MLB is gifting them some $25 million in luxury cap space in the form of an Alex Rodriguez suspension, and, sadly, signing Cano after Ellsbury doesn’t make nabbing Tanaka dicey. Really rough math here (courtesy of Cot’s contracts, a calculator, and quick arbitration guesses), but I’ve got the Yankees at about $135 million in payroll after signing McCann. Ellsbury puts them at $152 million, and Cano would put them around $180 million. An ARod suspension brings them down to $155 million. Miscellaneous other moves (and the expenses tied to payroll that every team has) probably bring that back up to about $165 to $170 million. Still plenty of room to grab Tanaka and stay under the $189 million mark. Again, this is real quick and dirty stuff, so I’m open to being corrected on the math (or if I missed a big chunk of money somewhere).

  • Tony S.

    Renck then Heyman, Morneau to Rox, 2/13

  • Brian Peters

    Hey Hey!!! Mike Quade found himself a job as a ROVING INSTRUCTOR for the Yankees. He will be reunited with Jim Hendry. Boy, isn’t that sad…a former Cubs manager and a former GM who went on to NY just so they can be demoted.

    • JulioZuleta

      I bet he’s excited to work with “Jacoby-y Ellsbury-y”

      • Tony S.

        Taco-by Bell-sbury, from the ad campaign a few years back

    • TOOT

      “Mike Quade found himself a job as a ROVING INSTRUCTOR for the Yankees”

      Sad thig is, he might be making more as a ROVING INSTRUCTOR in NY than a manager in Chicago.

  • Frank

    The Yankees are becoming the dumping ground for ex Cubs. Don’t forget there pitching coach. Maybe if their farm system had anybody worth a snot, they could trade for Shark.

    • TOOT

      The fact of the matter really is the Yanks have aquired an unbelievable amount of baseball tallent from the Cubs in the form of management.

      • Eric

        That’s just silly.

      • demz

        lol, k.

  • Kevin B

    Frank I agree, they would go for Shark but they have little in the farm that would interest the Cubs.

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  • Brains

    A terrible contract – I’ll agree with everyone here on that. So why I am I still depressed about how ineffective our FO is? I’m sure we made an offer, for like 2 years 16m. Maybe we can shift to the minors and become a .500 quality AAA team?

    • Tony S.


    • DarthHater

      “Maybe we can shift to the minors and become a .500 quality AAA team?”

      Keep drinkin’ that koolaid, man.

    • Eric

      Comments like these indicate that you just don’t follow baseball all that closely. It’s December 4th.

      • Fishin Phil

        The sky is falling, buy your BN hardhat now!

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      “A terrible contract – I’ll agree with everyone here on that. So why I am I still depressed about how ineffective our FO is?”

      This pretty much sums your position up. It’s a study in predisposition.

      • Brains

        that’s a pretty insightful observation! but it’s not a mere disposition, it’s also an intuitive response to the contours of possible outcomes.

        • wilbur

          it’s also an intuitive response to the contours of possible outcomes.

          sounds like sabremetrics

  • Nathan Thurm

    Painfully clear that Ricketts isn’t going to spend on payroll. My question becomes how long before Theo Epstein says screw this, I’m outta here.

    • Tony S.

      That may be an interesting question. That article from April about the finances linked to earlier, Theo’s very clear that he expects the money to be there “when we’re ready” or some such. Now, if that money’s NOT there in a year or two? I think wonder boy will 100% be looking for a different job.

      • Tony S.

        And I should have been more clear–I wouldn’t blame him in the slightest.

    • Pat

      I doubt he leaves because of it, but if this prospect gamble doesn’t pay off and he is ever let go/allowed to leave I would image it surfaces as a reason he couldn’t get it done.

  • Die hard

    This signing is going to end badly for Yankees as his strengths of defense and speed to decline rapidly given age

    • Eric

      Totally agree. In my mind, Ellsbury shouldn’t have been seriously offered more than a 4 year contract. Those wheels don’t last forever.

    • brickhouse

      No evidence that speed players decline rapidly – he can hold his value through the length of his contract

      • Chad

        depends if by rapidly you mean over the next 7 or 8 years, then yes his speed will decline by the time he is 38 compared to when he is 30

  • Walter Sobchak

    We should be on the horn with the Angels to see what works to get Trumbo at leaset if not both him and Kendrick. The convo starts with Shark and Russell and thats just for Trumbo, maybe a throw in with that from the angels

    • Chad

      Why in the world would the cubs want to do that? Angels would be winning big with that one.

  • Chad

    I just can’t get over how bad I think this deal is for the Yankees. I’m so glad the cubs did not do this. 7/153 with an option for the 8th year and a NTC. I hate NTC (all of us should after the Dempster debacle). I think this is the big hold up in the Samardzija negotiations as well. I don’t ever want to see the cubs give out a NTC or a partial NTC again.

    • Edwin

      A NTC makes sense for this deal. Unless the Yankees plan on trading Ellsbury in the first 4 years, he’ll get 10/5 rights anyway, and it probably helped negotiate down the money just a bit. For that matter, I believe Dempster had 10/5 rights as well.

      • Chad

        Valid point. Use Soriano as an example then. I still don’t like NTC, they just don’t work for me.

        • Tony S.

          …. Sori also had 10/5 rights.

          (Sorry, had to)

    • Blackhawks1963

      You’re looking at this all wrong. The Yankees operate in a manner where they know, and plan for, the fact that this big mega money contracts will wind up being so-so investments near the end of the contract. With Ellsbury, they probably expect to get 4 or 5 years of excellent production followed by injury plagued or not very good production the remaining years. Same as with the contracts they dished out for Texiera and Sabathia.

      But that NEVER stops the Yankees from chasing new shiny objects and moving on. Hence why that organization has won 7 World Series Championships since the Steinbrenner family bought the team in 1974. They know they overpayed for Ellsbury, but don’t really give a rip. And they can have that arrogant approach because they have a $3 billion dollar TV deal, a packed stadium and are consisently among the global leaders in sports merchandising sales.

      • wilbur

        yeah, but we’re getting a jumbotron, an archway and a see through sign!!!

        “and a samardzjia in a pear tree”

        • DarthHater

          Twelve prospects whiffing…

          • Tony S.

            Eleven bull$#*+ timelines…

  • Gcheezpuff

    Has anyone started the Edwin Jackson for Brett Gardner rumor yet? If not I’d like to get it going.

    • David

      With the status current of the rebuild, I’d do that deal right now.

    • C. Steadman

      it’d be a nice addition, they do have a crouded OF with Sori, Gardner, Ichiro and now Ellsbury…also a young Zoilo Almonte waiting in the wings

  • Voice of Reason

    Thank god ellsbury signed.

    The BN faithful can stop spinning its wheels hoping that ellsbury would be signed by the cubbies!

  • Isaac

    Jacoby Ellsbury is 30
    Carl Crawford was 28

    Jacoby Ellsbury has one career season (relatively full season(s)) of an OPS over .800
    Carl Crawford had five at the time of his signing

    Jacoby Ellsbury has one career season of double-digit HR’s
    Carl Crawford had five at the time of his signing

    Jacoby Ellsbury has led the league in steals four times
    Carl Crawford had led the league five times at the time of his signing

    Jacoby Ellsbury has eclipsed .300 twice
    Carl Crawford had eclipsed it five times before his signing

    Jacoby Ellsbury has led the league in triples one time
    Carl Crawford had led the league in triples four times at the time of his signing

    Jacoby Ellsbury has eclipsed 100 R’s once
    Carl Crawford had done it three times at the time of his signing

    For everyone justifying the signing by stating “Jacoby Ellsbury is not Carl Crawford”, they are right…just in all of the wrong ways.

  • Funn Dave

    WTF. It’s kind of absurd how much action happened in baseball yesterday.

  • Aaron

    The cost of doing business seems to be increasing for the Cubs and all other teams, at a greater rate than calculated just three seasons ago. I’m not sure how this affects the team’s rebuilding efforts, namely if it pushes the “Cubs being a competitive team” back a year or two.

  • Aaron

    I believe the Ricketts family were hoping for some city and state monies to rehab Wrigley Field. As we all know that was shot down fairly quickly and effectively. Just look at what the city of Mesa did by approving use of public funds for a $99 million outlay of public money for the Cubs new spring training stadium complex.

    Those additional monies to defray some of the costs of the Wrigley Field remodel over the next three years is having a negative affect on the major league team, which will continue for another 2 seasons. It is a shame that the new owners didn’t have the wealth or financial means to do the remodel and improve the major league team at the same time. But, I do understand the financial constraints in their situation. The rooftop owners aren’t making things any easier for the Ricketts family.

  • Deez

    Why is everyone contending this as a “bad Contract?”
    This is a good contract for Ellsbury & Boras.
    I couldn’t believe the Yanks were a suitor for Ellsbury.
    Personally, it shows how good of an agent Scott Boras is & how crazy Cano was to leave him.
    Regardless of what you think of him, Boras gets extraordinary results for his clients.
    If Bryant ever becomes “That Dude,” we’d better lock him up early.

  • waffle


    for the cubs, who would you rather have? Cano or Ellsbury?

    For me it would be Cano. What if that is how the FO feels and this signing suits them just fine? Improves their chances at Cano?

    • Mike F

      You seriously think they are entertaining Cano?

  • cub1