• Jacoby Ellsbury

    Posted by on December 3rd, 2013 · Comments (27)

    I just heard the news at 10 PM.

    Jacoby Ellsbury? My first reaction was to laugh out loud.

    The guy has basically had two great years, over the last six seasons.

    At the least, this has to mean than Cano and Granderson are goners. And, you know me: Always look at the bright side.

    Comments on Jacoby Ellsbury

    1. December 3rd, 2013 | 11:11 pm

      My FB reaction to the deal: Jacoby Ellsbury? Dude always reminded me of Jiminy Cricket. $150 million for seven years? Holy Steve Kemp, Batman.

    2. Sweet Lou
      December 3rd, 2013 | 11:24 pm

      Steve L. wrote:

      Jiminy Cricket.

      LOL!! I don’t like this move at all, especially with Ellsbury’s injury history.

    3. EHawk
      December 3rd, 2013 | 11:58 pm

      I don’t like the move either but you know what maybe it will work out…I mean it was predicted that Ellsbury would sign for 7 years and 150 mil this offseason so Yanks paid just about the going price. He is a proven player in a big / high pressure market and the last Red Sox CF we had came over we won a World Series with! Damon performed well during his time with the Yanks so lets hope history repeats itself with Ellsbury!

    4. Evan3457
      December 4th, 2013 | 12:15 am

      Bizarre.

      Too many years, too much money. With his injury history, this might tolerable for about 3 years, and then the bottom will drop out.

      Maybe they’re going to a $300 million payroll starting next year, but this hamstrings them just as the Teixeira/Sabathia/A-Rod contracts disappear.

      Hey, look, anything can “work”, but based on the player’s recent history and value at the time the contract is signed (and that’s the ONLY way to judge it) this signing appears to be a long-term mistake.

      =============================
      On the other hand, he is a lifetime .300 hitter in the post-season, and that’s what’s important.
      =============================
      Dave Cameron’s take at Fangraphs:

      http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/yankees-sign-jacoby-ellsbury-bet-on-speed-aging-well/

    5. McMillan
      December 4th, 2013 | 1:11 am

      Evan3457 wrote:

      On the other hand, he is a lifetime .300 hitter in the post-season, and that’s what’s important.

      On the other hand, if Ellsbury has one good postseason series in a year in which a world championship is won, then that justifies this contract – isn’t that the nonsensical rationalization behind the Burnett contract?

      At least we know that Ellsbury has had success in a market such as Boston or New York, and has also been able to contribute more to postseason offenses than Granderson, Martin, Rodriguez, Swisher, Teixeira, etc…

      Another great move by The Checkbook G.M.: $110 million-per-year now committed to McCann, Rodriguez, Sabathia, Teixeira, and Ellsbury alone through 2016. Or was this a Trost move? When is Trost going to sign some starting pitching? Bartolo Colon might not be available much longer…

    6. December 4th, 2013 | 1:13 am

      The club has no direction at all, it just does things. Why invest baseball resources in this manner.

    7. Evan3457
      December 4th, 2013 | 1:44 am

      McMillan wrote:

      Evan3457 wrote:
      On the other hand, he is a lifetime .300 hitter in the post-season, and that’s what’s important.
      On the other hand, if Ellsbury has one good postseason series in a year in which a world championship is won, then that justifies this contract – isn’t that the nonsensical rationalization behind the Burnett contract?

      No, the claim that I ever said it “justifies” the contract is a nonsensical strawman. On the other hand, flags fly forever.

      At least we know that Ellsbury has had success in a market such as Boston or New York, and has also been able to contribute more to postseason offenses than Granderson, Martin, Rodriguez, Swisher, Teixeira, etc…

      A-Rod had a better post-season in 2009 than Ellsbury’s ever had. Including 2013. And, in spite of his many post-season flops, A-Rod’s post-season OPS is still higher than Ellsbury’s. Teixeira’s post-season record, before he signed with the Yanks was better than Ellsbury’s. It was only one series, but it the only post-season experience he had before they signed him.

      Another great move by The Checkbook G.M.

      I do believe I said it looks like a mistake. What are you arguing about?

      Or was this a Trost move?

      I don’t know who’s responsible for it. Maybe they’re all behind this one.

      When is Trost going to sign some starting pitching?

      Some time before March. Duh.

    8. Evan3457
      December 4th, 2013 | 1:48 am

      Joseph Maloney wrote:

      The club has no direction at all, it just does things. Why invest baseball resources in this manner.

      The direction is what I’ve said it is.
      The team’s corporate philosophy is that they will never take a down year to set things up for the future. So they buy sure things, instead of risking the future on prospects. It’s the reason for the Granderson deal, for both Vazquez deals. They want the sure thing, only the sure thing isn’t always a sure thing.

      It was the same in the 1980′s, and they didn’t win a title in the 1980′s. Same philosophy, and it may well result in the same treadmill.

    9. #15
      December 4th, 2013 | 7:52 am

      I suspect Cano will blink, and blink hard, and blink soon. No way he wants to be 4000 miles from the DR, and 3000 miles from his comfort zone, Monument Park and that friendly right field porch. I think he’s looking at a picture of Chone Figgins sitting on the bench in Seattle with his head in his hands. He knows that if he stays in NYC he’s on an arc to the HOF… maybe, maybe not in Seattle. Barring a grab by LA, Robbie will not want to leave the glamour venue. He’s embraced the celebrity lifestyle… just ask his agent… and he knows that bright light fades quickly in the shadow of Mt. Rainier. If Cano blinks, and with McCann’s bat and the improvement of Tex vs Overbay, our offense will have much more punch than last year.

      Now….with respect to Ellsbury… We just got better and the Botox lost a key player. We could be a terrorizing team on the base paths with Gardy and Ellsbury. That’s where baseball is going now that PED’s are getting squeezed. Teams will spend more for speed, OBP, line drive contact hitters, pitching and defense. Would I have preferred him in a 3-4 year deal for 75-80 million? Sure. Do I care if they overspend their money to make us better? Not really, as long as they don’t bankrupt the team and recreate the 1966-1975 era.

    10. December 4th, 2013 | 8:35 am

      Is this Brian Cashman’s signing, or, did the front office pull another Soriano?

      Also, whatever happened to Heathcott and Mason Williams? Or, is the plan to let Gardner walk and replace him with one of them?

    11. December 4th, 2013 | 8:39 am

      #15 wrote:

      Now….with respect to Ellsbury… We just got better and the Botox lost a key player. We could be a terrorizing team on the base paths with Gardy and Ellsbury.

      Maybe in road games where the team bats first. At home, they may never get to hit…because our starting pitchers may never get out of the first inning…

      …seriously, what is the Yankees starting rotation right now? Lost it CC, Only a fool would trust me Nova, and the great Michael Pineda? And, please, don’t tell me Kuroda is coming back. Even if he is, he’s really old and melted like a cheap birthday cake candle last year.

    12. Scout
      December 4th, 2013 | 9:02 am

      This move simply repeats the same, outdated model that has left the team hampered by roster inflexibility for the past several years. The Yankees continue to overpay for players’ decline years. When healthy, Ellsbury is a terrific player. But he is often injured, and injury problems worsen as players age. If the Yankees are fortunate they will get 3-4 good years from him. Then he’ll deteriorate, and we’ll be looking at another Ichiro. Unless the Yankees intend to disregard their self-imposed salary camp, this signing will tie their hands well into the future.

      Other teams have gotten smarter about how to spend their money. Buy out several free agent years for a young player, and let him walk as he reaches the end of his prime. To make tha towrk, however, the organization has to be able to generate its own front-line talent. And we all know how well the Cashman-led Yankee farm system does that.

    13. Evan3457
      December 4th, 2013 | 9:20 am

      Steve L. wrote:

      Is this Brian Cashman’s signing, or, did the front office pull another Soriano?
      Also, whatever happened to Heathcott and Mason Williams? Or, is the plan to let Gardner walk and replace him with one of them?

      I believe that a slot will open up in right field in 2015 as well, but 3 non-slugging starting outfielders might be a bit much. Yeah, Gardner’s probably a goner when he reaches free agency. The fact that they’re moving him back to left to accomodate Ellsbury says something about that.

    14. Evan3457
      December 4th, 2013 | 9:22 am

      Scout wrote:

      This move simply repeats the same, outdated model that has left the team hampered by roster inflexibility for the past several years. Unless the Yankees intend to disregard their self-imposed salary camp, this signing will tie their hands well into the future.

      The self-imposed salary cap, if it does indeed hold, is a one-year thing to get the reduction to 17%. The payroll balloons for 2015, whether players like Pineda, Banuelos, Heathcott, Williams, and others break through or not.

    15. Evan3457
      December 4th, 2013 | 9:24 am

      Off topic…I’m not terribly impresseed with Kelly Johnson as a replacement for Robinson Cano. As a one-year (or less) stopgap for Rodriguez, OK. But if I were the Yanks, I’d still try to get Infante for 2-3 years.

    16. Evan3457
      December 4th, 2013 | 9:25 am

      Maybe they’re signing Johnson to “scare” Cano into taking their offer.
      That shouldn’t work.

    17. MJ Recanati
      December 4th, 2013 | 2:44 pm

      Evan3457 wrote:

      Maybe they’re signing Johnson to “scare” Cano into taking their offer. That shouldn’t work.

      I think it’s less a “scare” tactic and more a hedge on Cano’s departure and Rodriguez’s possible suspension. Cano won’t be coerced into signing a deal he doesn’t want to sign on December 4th. It’s far too early in the off-season for that to happen.

    18. Mr. October
      December 4th, 2013 | 8:01 pm

      Jiminy Ellsbury.

      Does waswatching.com have its own Captain Janks?

      A caller on Mike Francesa’s radio program this afternoon referred to Cashman as “Wile E.” When Francesa asked the caller to repeat himself, the caller replied, “Wile. E. Coyote… Cashman – The Super Genius.”

      Francesa responded, “I did not know that was his nickname,” and ended the call.

    19. McMillan
      December 4th, 2013 | 9:28 pm

      Evan3457 wrote:

      The team’s corporate philosophy is that they will never take a down year to set things up for the future. So they buy sure things, instead of risking the future on prospects. It’s the reason for the Granderson deal, for both Vazquez deals.

      Not quite.

      Evan3457 wrote:

      It was the same in the 1980′s, and they didn’t win a title in the 1980′s. Same philosophy, and it may well result in the same treadmill.

      No it wasn’t.

      In 1980-81, the organization had “championship-caliber” teams. The 1982 season was a failed experimentation with the team’s “DNA.” The 1983 team returned to contention with its 1980-81 core still in place. And the 1984-1989 teams were undermined, to some extent, by George Steinbrenner’s participation in collusion in not signing free agents.

      This is an invalid comparison in terms of any “philosophy.”

      The 1980-89 teams did not win primarily because the front office had seven G.M. changes – the team did not fail to win a title because of a “corporate philosophy” – it failed to win a title because of incompetence and instability in the front office.

      The 2004-13 teams did not won more than 1 A.L. Championship for the last 10 years, because of incompetence and stability in the front office – that’s been the problem this decade – the stability – not a “corportate philosophy.” $2.0 Billion in payroll should have produced more than 1 A.L. Championship in the last decade – unless the team is under the general mismanagement of a Murray Cook, or a Brian Cashman.

      And the Ellsbury contract is another example of this. “Duh.”

      Evan3457 wrote:

      Some time before March. Duh.

      Oh, that’s right – the team is going to get to the postseason behind the offense of Ellsbury, McCann, Soriano, and Teixeira, and once in the postseason, the team only has to “get hot,” or lucky, against the best teams in M.L.B. for three-to-four consecutive weeks with a rotation Cashman put together behind Sabathia and Nova by Mar., 2014, because baseball is less than 30% pitching, and the postseason is 100% luck. Of course. Duh.

      #15 wrote:

      Do I care if they overspend their money to make us better?

      No. But one should care that they overspend their money to field teams that can’t win in October after October, while the “Botox” are spending a lot less money building and re-building world championship teams in the same division. Boston offered Ellsbury 6/$120 million, but Cashman comes in with 8/$169 million, or the third highest contract for an outfielder in history…

    20. McMillan
      December 4th, 2013 | 10:55 pm

      Evan3457 wrote:

      A-Rod had a better post-season in 2009 than Ellsbury’s ever had.

      I wonder how that happened?

    21. Evan3457
      December 4th, 2013 | 11:40 pm

      McMillan wrote:

      Evan3457 wrote:
      The team’s corporate philosophy is that they will never take a down year to set things up for the future. So they buy sure things, instead of risking the future on prospects. It’s the reason for the Granderson deal, for both Vazquez deals.
      Not quite.

      Yeah, pretty much quite.

      It was the same in the 1980′s, and they didn’t win a title in the 1980′s. Same philosophy, and it may well result in the same treadmill.

      No it wasn’t.

      Yeah, it was.

      In 1980-81, the organization had “championship-caliber” teams.

      And yet, they still lost at some point in the post-season. Why, it’s almost as if the post-season were a crapshoot, or something.

      The 1982 season was a failed experimentation with the team’s “DNA.” The 1983 team returned to contention with its 1980-81 core still in place.

      The 1983 team was as many as 10 games out of 1st with about two weeks left in the season, and was not in any real way a contender after the Orioles swept them in a doubleheader on September 10th, pushing them 6 games back.

      And the 1984-1989 teams were undermined, to some extent, by George Steinbrenner’s participation in collusion in not signing free agents.

      To some extent, but not totally.
      The collusion did not begin until the offseason of 1985-1986. In 1984, they were out of the race by mid-May, so fast was the Tigers’ start. In 1985, they were 7 games out with 12 to play. Their late charge kept them in the race until the last weekend of the season, but their pitching was unable to complete the comeback, as Joe Cowley got beaten by a complete game by Doyle Alexander on the last Saturday of the season to eliminate them. The 1985 was their best team of the era.

      In the offseasons of 1985-1986 and 1986-1987, they didn’t sign any big-ticket free agents. In 1987-1988, they signed both Jack Clark and John Candelaria. So the Yankees’ collusion lasted just 2 years, not 6.

      This is an invalid comparison in terms of any “philosophy.”
      The 1980-89 teams did not win primarily because the front office had seven G.M. changes – the team did not fail to win a title because of a “corporate philosophy” – it failed to win a title because of incompetence and instability in the front office.

      Incompetence? Sure. George was in charge. Instability? Not at all. George was in charge, and everyone knew it, no matter who was GM.

      George would never take a year off from trying to win it all to rebuild. That was his philosophy, and, over 8 years, it ran the team into the ground. One by one, the players that Gabe Paul assembled got old and declined, and prospects that could’ve helped the rebuilding had been traded away for more proven, but declining veterans: Drabek for Rhoden, Buhner for Phelps, McGriff (and Collins) for Murray, Deshaies for Joe Niekro, Otis Nixon for Toby Harrah.

      One GM traded for both Buhner and Drabek (Murray Cook) and another GM (Clyde King, George’s crony) traded away Deshaies, Drabek in the same year. Another crony(Lou Piniella) was ostensibly the GM when Buhner was traded.

      Then as now, the philosophy was the same. The team will not gamble on unproven rookies when it can buy proven veterans, or trade prospects for them. This only stopped when the Yankees and George hit rock bottom in 1990, when George was suspended. With contention not a possibility, the Yankees were finally permitted to rebuild from the bottom up.

      The 2004-13 teams did not won more than 1 A.L. Championship for the last 10 years, because of incompetence and stability in the front office – that’s been the problem this decade – the stability – not a “corportate philosophy.”

      The great team built by Micheal and Watson declined just as the one built by Paul declined. The competition, both within and without the division, got a lot smarter and tougher, and rule changes have been made to prevent the Yankees’ monetary weapon from dominating.

      Michael was also fortunate to have been handed four of the Core five; the only one actually acquired by him was Jeter. George made motions toward trading several of them, but Michael was smart enough to evade those disasters. If you think another GM, any other GM, is going to be lucky and good enough to simultaneously assemble 2 Hall of Fame prospects and 3 near Hall of Fame prospects in the farm system, you’re going to be waiting a long, long time.

      This period, if not the same as the collusion period, is very similar, except that with more money than ever flooding the game, the top free agents are doing very well. Also, the players signed on to the current system, so they’re be no grievances about it. But once again, as with 1986-1987, the top players in the game are no longer available to the Yankees as free agents, at least until they reach their post-prime years.

      $2.0 Billion in payroll should have produced more than 1 A.L. Championship in the last decade – unless the team is under the general mismanagement of a Murray Cook, or a Brian Cashman.

      There is no reason to believe this.
      In the same time period, the top spending teams in the NL, in order:
      Phillies, $124 million a year, 2 pennants, 1 title (155 million per year in the last 5 years, 0 pennants, 0 titles)
      Mets, $116 million a year, 0 pennants, 0 titles.
      Dodgers $114 million a year, 0 pennants, 0 titles.
      Cubs, $112 million a year, 0 pennants, 0 titles.
      You have to get to the 5th and 6th teams in spending, the Giants and Cards, before you get to more than one title.

      And the Ellsbury contract is another example of this. “Duh.”

      Right, and it will meet with the same fate, long-term. Unless they get lucky. More money, but the same philosophy, same fate.

      Oh, that’s right – the team is going to get to the postseason behind the offense of Ellsbury, McCann, Soriano, and Teixeira, and once in the postseason, the team only has to “get hot,” or lucky, against the best teams in M.L.B. for three-to-four consecutive weeks with a rotation Cashman put together behind Sabathia and Nova by Mar., 2014,

      At this point in 2008, neither Sabathia nor Burnett had been signed, and the Yankees rotation was Chamberlain/Hughes/Kennedy/no 4th or 5th starter. Let’s see what they come up with on the pitching side. As I’ve said, whatever happens will happen before March. Double duh right back atcha.

      because baseball is less than 30% pitching, and the postseason is 100% luck. Of course. Duh.

      More strawman from Sybil the Straw King.

      #15 wrote:
      Do I care if they overspend their money to make us better?
      No. But one should care that they overspend their money to field teams that can’t win in October after October, while the “Botox” are spending a lot less money building and re-building world championship teams in the same division. Boston offered Ellsbury 6/$120 million, but Cashman comes in with 8/$169 million, or the third highest contract for an outfielder in history…

      Market value. Yanks had to offer an additional year, and 2 million more per year to get Ellsbury to just ship. That’s how a free market works.

    22. Evan3457
      December 4th, 2013 | 11:44 pm

      McMillan wrote:

      Evan3457 wrote:
      A-Rod had a better post-season in 2009 than Ellsbury’s ever had.
      I wonder how that happened?

      1. Maybe Ellsbury should try steroids. Maybe that’s how HIS 2011 happened.
      2. Same way Ortiz’ 2013 happened?
      3. Assuming he was taking all the way along, why didn’t it happen other post-seasons?
      4. He’s has some good post-season series other than 2009. A look at his post-season record shows he’s had 6 good/excellent post-season series, 6 bad/horrible series, and a couple of mediocre series.

    23. December 5th, 2013 | 1:13 am

      24 hours later I’m still in shock over this deal. Ellsbury is an upgrade, but at this price it makes no sense. Taking the price tag into account, and considering all the warning labels (injury history, recent experiences with long term deals etc…), this might be the worst signing by the Yanks in team history. If the team was considering this why not go out and make an offer to Granderson ( the team would save close to a hundred million, and really how much of a difference would it make).

    24. Mr. October
      December 5th, 2013 | 9:03 pm

      Joseph Maloney wrote:

      24 hours later I’m still in shock over this deal. Ellsbury is an upgrade, but at this price it makes no sense.

      Eight years, and $169 million with an option, for an outfielder that has reached double digits in home runs in his career only once.

      Joseph Maloney wrote:

      Taking the price tag into account, and considering all the warning labels (injury history, recent experiences with long term deals etc…), this might be the worst signing by the Yanks in team history.

      Igawa is still probably the worse; although if a M.L.B. G.M. ever does manage to put together a contract worse than Igawa’s, it will be Cashman.

      Joseph Maloney wrote:

      If the team was considering this why not go out and make an offer to Granderson ( the team would save close to a hundred million, and really how much of a difference would it make).

      Ellsbury’s 2013 numbers are not much better than Gardner’s 2013 numbers, with the exception of stolen bases.

    25. McMillan
      December 5th, 2013 | 9:59 pm

      Evan3457 wrote:

      And yet, they still lost at some point in the post-season. Why, it’s almost as if the post-season were a crapshoot, or something.

      You really don’t know what you’re talking about.

      In 1980, for example, Kansas City won every regular season series against the Yankees; the team had a record of 8-4 against the Yankees, and matched up well against them in terms of personnel. Only someone without an understanding of this game would say that the postseason is a crapshoot because the 1980 Royals, with 97 wins, defeated the 1980 Yankees, with 103 wins, in a best-of-five postseason series.

      The Royals won 97 games and matched up better against the Yankees – the team should have been expected to win, and did win. Yankee Killer Gura, and Leonard, Splittorff, and Quisenberry dominated the series.

      I know why you keep bringing this nonsense up, because two years ago you wrote the following:

      Evan3457 wrote:

      I’m thinking about it.

      What it tells me is that Billy Beane is right; the post-season is a crapshoot.

      http://waswatching.com/2011/10/28/congrats-to-the-st-louis-cardinals/

      St. Louis has since won its fourth league championship, and Boston it’s third world championship, while Billy Beane has continued to fail to win two consecutive postseason series, with his $40-60 million teams, since 2000. The one thing Beane continues to do correctly is building his teams around starting pitching. Keep flailing.

      Evan3457 wrote:

      In the offseasons of 1985-1986 and 1986-1987, they didn’t sign any big-ticket free agents. In 1987-1988, they signed both Jack Clark and John Candelaria. So the Yankees’ collusion lasted just 2 years, not 6.

      Nonsense. The impact of not signing players such as Morris, for example, was significant well beyond 1986-87. The 1987-89 teams were very different teams without one of the top starting pitchers of the decade in the rotation, and any other players that might have been acquired otherwise; the “collusion” did not “last just 2 years.”

      Evan3457 wrote:

      The great team built by Micheal and Watson declined just as the one built by Paul declined. The competition, both within and without the division, got a lot smarter and tougher, and rule changes have been made to prevent the Yankees’ monetary weapon from dominating.

      Nonsense. Gene Michael does not spell his name “Micheal,” Watson does not deserve as much credit for “building” the 1996-2001 championship teams as people are generally willing to give him, and the rest of this post is b.s.

      Evan3457 wrote:

      Then as now, the philosophy was the same.

      Wrong. And your comparison with the 1980s is absurd.

    26. Kamieniecki
      December 5th, 2013 | 10:07 pm

      Evan3457 wrote:

      Market value. Yanks had to offer an additional year, and 2 million more per year to get Ellsbury to just ship. That’s how a free market works.

      RIDICULOUS. Jiminy Ellsbury’s contract was “market value?” Boston wasn’t willing to go more than 5 years for $100 million…

    27. Sweet Lou
      December 5th, 2013 | 10:36 pm

      Mr. October wrote:

      Igawa is still probably the worse; although if a M.L.B. G.M. ever does manage to put together a contract worse than Igawa’s, it will be Cashman.

      Funny how the same name always comes up in any discussion of one of the worst contracts in team history: “Cashman.”

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