Pending a physical, Jacoby Ellsbury has agreed to a seven-year, $153 million contract with the Yankees. Boston fans knew that Ellsbury probably wasn’t going to stay, but why New York? The Yankees worked quickly to sign Ellsbury, and they were pretty quiet about it. It looks like they are going for speed and defense at the top of the order, and that is a good move by them.
Last year, they looked particularly old and once their only speed threat Brett Gardner went down for the season, that was it. This move shows that they are very much looking to build towards a much more competitive year in 2014.
It just is painful to see Ellsbury headed towards New York. It feels like Jonathan Papelbon all over again where he had no intention of staying, turned down any and all contract extensions and left for the first big contract that he saw. Papelbon definitely appears to be regretting that decision.
My question is that if Ellsbury felt uncomfortable playing in Boston, how is New York going to be any better? Now he has to live up to the huge contract that he got. That might be a lot of pressure for a player that isn’t really the most outgoing person in the world. Could this be the Yankees’ version of Carl Crawford?
We will have to see. In the meantime, Jackie Bradley Jr. will now be the starting center fielder for the Red Sox in 2014. He’s just as good defensively, but not quite as fast. Ellsbury is probably shaving off his beard for his Yankees press conference even as you read this.