Yankees Sign Former Red Sox Outfielder Jacoby Ellsbury
The New York Yankees continue to move forward with their offseason plans by signing former Boston Red Sox free agent centerfielder Jacoby Ellsbury to a 7-year $153M contract that includes an option for an 8th year that could push the total value of the deal to $169M.
Ellsbury will take over centerfield pushing Brett Gardner to left field and Alfonso Soriano over to right. In 2013 Ellsbury appeared in 134 games posting a slash line of .298/.355/.426 with 9 home runs and 92 runs scored. He also stole 52 bases in 56 attempts. He played solid defense and overall had a wRC+ of 113 and a fWAR of 5.8.
It has long been believed that the Yankees were attempting to get beneath the luxury tax threshold but the rotation needs two starting pitchers, the bullpen lacks a proven closer, and the Robinson Cano signing still looms over the team so staying below the threshold will be a difficult task.
Of course, if Alex Rodriguez suspension is upheld his over $20M in AAV will not count toward the payroll giving the Yankees additional wiggle room to fill other needs.