As I’ve reported, the New York Yankees separation from Jacoby Ellsbury was going to get ugly. Well, like the NFLPA represents all of it’s players, the MLBPA is doing the same. The MLBPA officially filed a grievance against the Yankees grievance in an attempt to recoup the money the Yankees are trying to withhold from Ellsbury.
So What Happened Again?
The Yankees argued that Ellsbury received unauthorized treatment from Dr. Viktor Bouquette. We all know that Ellsbury has been besieged by continuous physical setbacks, so he tried alternative avenues.
Bouquette and Ellsbury are arguing that when the Yankees inquired about Ellsbury receiving treatments, that the Yankees never said outright that Ellsbury needed to stop receiving treatments. That and the treatments were for nonbaseball related injuries. The Yankees are arguing that they did say Ellsbury needed to stop and that it was for injuries he sustained related to baseball, which would justify terminating his contract for breach.
What the MLBPA is Doing.
The MLBPA is looking to get Ellsbury back more than the near $50 million that was on Ellsbury’s contract when the Yankees cut him. Unless the Yankees decide to settle the grievance filed by the MLBPA, the case will be heard by arbitrator Mark Irvings, who will be hearing a grievance filed by Kris Bryant against the Chicago Cubs.
If the Yankees are successful and win this case, the $21 million that they would be paying Jacoby Ellsbury would be wiped off the books, which would bring them back into the second tier of the luxury tax. Considering all the financial manipulation the Yankees are engaging in NOW, even after signing Gerrit Cole, they would obviously love wiping out Ellsbury’s contract from their books for next season. It would allow them the flexibility to, let’s say… sign Dellin Betances to a 1 year, $10 million deal (which is what he’s looking for).
I think the Yankees need to just bit a bullet here and look to settle. They’re going to have to pay Ellsbury something. He’s a client of Scott Boras, the guy who represents their new ace. This is so he said, he said, that it’s going to be impossible to prove that Ellsbury violated his contract.