NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – To say that the signing of Jacoby Ellsbury hasn’t worked out for the Yankees might be the biggest understatement in the franchise’s history.
The oft-injured outfielder is entering the sixth year in what’s become a disastrous 7-year, $153 million contract for New York. After missing at least 50 games in two of his first four years in pinstripes, Ellsbury sat out the entire 2018 season with a plethora of injuries – ending with hip surgery for a torn labrum.
Despite all his woes, one team is reportedly interested in trading for the 34-year-old.
According to ESPN’s Buster Olney, the San Francisco Giants have discussed the idea of talking to the Yankees about a swap of bad contracts.
The names said to be on the table coming back to New York include injured starter Johnny Cueto, who is under contract for three more seasons with an option for a fourth.
The downside to acquiring Cueto is that the veteran righty is expected to miss the entire 2019 season recovering from Tommy John surgery. There’s also the $63 million he’s owed through 2021.
The upside in acquiring the former ace is, if healthy in 2020, Cueto would immediately step in to replace the retiring CC Sabathia in an otherwise set Yankees rotation. Cueto, who turns 33 on Feb. 15, is also a battle-tested playoff competitor who helped Kansas City win the 2015 World Series over the Mets. Before injuries limited him in 2017, the right-hander posted three straight seasons with 200 innings pitched.
If you’re asking why Jacoby Ellsbury is even on the Giants’ radar, their underwhelming outfield currently includes Chris Shaw, Mac Williamson, Steven Duggar, and Austin Slater.
At this point for New York, there is no downside to trading Ellsbury.
General manager Brian Cashman brought the Boston star in to be a rock at the top of the Yankees lineup in 2014; but he’s only turned into an albatross for the suddenly payroll-conscious front office.
The possibility of shedding the $47 million still owed to the team’s fifth outfielder while acquiring some much needed pitching depth would be a win-win for New York. It would also close the book on one of worst mistakes in Cashman’s long tenure as GM.