MLB hot stove: Yankees release $153 million bust Jacoby Ellsbury, who has not played since 2017 ALCS


Jacoby Ellsbury’s time with the New York Yankees is over. Wednesday night, the Yankees announced they have released Ellsbury to clear space on the 40-man roster prior to the Rule 5 Draft protection deadline. New York added seven prospects to the 40-man roster and needed to open spots.

The Yankees signed Ellsbury to a seven-year, $153 million contract in December 2013 and he turned in a strong 2014 season, hitting .271/.328/.419 with 16 home runs and 39 stolen bases at a time when league-wide offensive numbers are much lower than they were in 2019. It has all been downhill since then, however.

From 2015-17, Ellsbury hit .261/.331/.372 overall and missed time with injuries in each season. He has not played since the 2017 ALCS — he was used a pinch-runner that series — due to a variety of injuries, including hip surgery. Last month GM Brian Cashman was vague when asked about Ellsbury’s availability for 2020.

“It’s hard to say based on how things have played out,” Cashman said at the time. “Right now, he’s not someone in a position health-wise where I can answer anything in the affirmative.”

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