New York Yankees Are Here to Play

By Mike Cifarelli
Jacoby Ellsbury
Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

Coming into the offseason, it was unclear what the New York Yankees would do. However, those questions have been answered, and it’s clear the Yankees are well, back to being the Yankees.

Big contracts are nothing new to New York, but the team played it quiet last year. However, this year started off differently. After signing Brian McCann to a five-year deal and with Robinson Cano hanging in the balance, the Yankees’ money seemed to be dwindling.

That said, waiting for Cano to make a decision isn’t something the Yankees are willing to do. They were tied to names like Carlos Beltran and Shin-Shoo Choo, but nabbing Jacoby Ellsbury came out of the blue.

Ellsbury has been popping a lot of champagne bottles lately, and now he has another reason to thanks to a seven-year deal worth $153 million. Not to mention, that deal comes with a nice no-trade clause. That wasn’t it for the Yankees though, as Kelly Johnson has also agreed to a one-year deal worth just under $5 million.

If you think the Yankees don’t care about the salary cap anymore, you should guess again. The Yankees have one major thing going for them, and that’s Alex Rodriguez most likely coming off the books. Rodriguez would give the Yankees nearly an extra $30 million. What this means is that the Yankees aren’t done. Rumors have suggested the Yankees still want Cano back and could sign a pitcher.

How the Yankees go about getting that pitcher could be interesting. With Ellsbury, the Yankees could potentially trade Brett Gardner. There have been rumors the Yankees have interest in Brett Anderson of the Oakland Athletics. However, the team did just trade for Craig Gentry. Also, for the Yankees to give Gardner up for a pitcher who has battled many injuries would be ill-advised.

Matt Garza and Ervin Santana could be targets. Still needing bullpen help, Grant Balfour has also been linked to the team.

The Ellsbury deal has been met with some head-scratching. The fact that Ellsbury got so much while the Yankees are playing it so strict with Cano is interesting. Ellsbury is probably getting way too much money, but his previous injuries shouldn’t have kept him from getting a long-term deal.

Johnson can be the replacement at second, but he is expected to play plenty of third base. Brendan Ryan was also re-signed by the Yankees to add depth at shortstop, allowing Derek Jeter to have plenty of rest.

Follow me on Twitter: @Mike_Cif

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