The gift that keeps on disappointing, that would be the seven-year, $153 million contract the New York Yankees signed Jacoby Ellsbury to prior to the 2014 season. Ellsbury hasn’t even touched the field once this season and it was announced that he underwent hip surgery that will end his campaign before he even gets a chance to help the Yankees at all this season. Ellsbury has struggled to stay healthy over all five years of the contract, but this season has been the one with the biggest headache.
What would Jacoby Ellsbury provided to the New York Yankees if he were healthy?
If not for his season-long stint on the disabled list, Ellsbury could have well been off the team via a release or a trade. If this were not the case, he would have provided some key outfield depth, which now would be huge with Aaron Judge currently on the DL.
Ellsbury would have been able to replace Judge while he is recovering from his injury and provide the Yankees with an extra bat in the lineup. Ellsbury hit at a reasonable line last year, hitting at a .264 average, .348 OBP, and .750 OPS, so he could have been a key bench player and extra bat that could provide some big hits in the middle to end of the lineup.
Should MLB teams say goodbye to long-term contracts?
With long-term contracts with players such as A-Rod and Ellsbury coming back to bite the Yankees and other teams, with injuries, steroids, underachieving, and more coming into play, teams should really consider not looking to sign players to any longer than 5-6 seasons. Most of the time, when a player is signed to a long-term deal, they achieve to the level they are expected to during the first few seasons, but towards the end of their deals, they start to get older and not perform at the same level.
Even players as great as Mike Trout should not be signed to such a long and expensive deal like Ellsbury’s. No one knows what can happen as the years in contract move along, and you can’t predict it, just like anything else in baseball. It is pretty clear that Trout will be great for years to come, but you never know if he will suffer a bad injury, decline, or something of that nature. That is why teams shouldn’t sign players to long-term deals, no matter how sure-fire talent they are. They could always extend them during their deals so they don’t lose them to free agency if they don’t see any decline in their talent.
If the Yankees find a desperate enough team during the offseason, willing to take on most if not all of Ellsbury’s remaining two years of his contract, they will most certainly move him.
He has been a terrible migraine headache during all his contract years, even when he was healthy. He never performed to what the Yankees valued him at, and never came near the level of talent he performed at while playing for Boston during his peak years. There is nothing more frustrating for a team having to pay a player that isn’t performing to that degree, or even not playing at all, as is the case this season.
The Yankees will look to move on from him as soon as they can and forget about the horrendous and nightmarish contract he has been signed to.