NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — He may not be part of the team anymore, but the Jacoby Ellsbury saga is far from over in the Bronx.
According to reports, the Yankees are planning to not pay the oft-injured Ellsbury the remaining $26 million due under his contract, contending he violated the terms of his seven-year megadeal by getting unauthorized medical treatment.
General Manager Brian Cashman has sent a letter to Ellsbury and his agent, Scott Boras, informing them the team converted his contract to a non-guaranteed deal, a person familiar with the decision told The Associated Press on Friday. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the team had not made any public statements.
Ellsbury has not played since 2017 and was released by the Yankees on Wednesday.
According to the person who spoke with the AP, the Yankees said he was treated by Dr. Viktor Bouquette of Progressive Medical Center in Atlanta without the team’s permission.
Ellsbury is owed more than $26.2 million as part of his $153 million contract. More than $21.1 million was owed for the final guaranteed season plus a $5 million buyout of a $21 million team option for 2021. If Ellsbury is not paid, nearly $21.9 million would come off the Yankees’ luxury-tax payroll in 2020.
The players’ association can file a grievance challenging the conversion of the contract to non-guaranteed. Cashman and Boras did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
Now 36, Ellsbury hit .264 with 39 homers, 198 RBI, and 102 stolen bases in 520 games in six seasons with the Yankees. He injured a muscle in his right side early during spring training in 2018, developed a bad back and had surgery that Aug. 6 to repair a torn labrum in his left hip. He experienced plantar fasciitis in his right foot during his rehab program before spring training this year.
Even if healthy, New York has long since moved past needing the disappointing outfielder — who projects to have some combination of Aaron Judge, Giancarlo Stanton, Clint Frazier, Mike Tauchman, and possibly free agent Brett Gardner in their outfield next season.
Center fielder Aaron Hicks will likely be out until midway point of the season with elbow surgery.
(© Copyright 2019 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)