As some Yankees fans clamor for Jacoby Ellsbury to be dumped, it’s difficult to believe an outright release will happen anytime soon.
Barring something unforeseen, the only path to righting a wrong — Ellsbury’s massive contract — would be to find a taker on the trade market. If another team had a similar contract to swap, perhaps Yankees general manager Brian Cashman could find answer to an impending outfield logjam.
ESPN’s Buster Olney tried to help by speculating on outsized contracts that could make some sense in an Ellsbury swap — now or later. While names like Jeff Samardzija, Johnny Cueto, Robinson Cano, Jordan Zimmermann and Giancarlo Stanton are intriguing in different ways, one stood out: Detroit Tigers ace Justin Verlander.
Here’s what Olney said about a potential Ellsbury-Verlander swap.
[Verlander] is owed about $68 million for the rest of this year and for the next two seasons, and a lot of teams find Verlander’s contract to be outsized. The Yankees could ask the Tigers to take on Ellsbury and at least a portion of his deal to help make the finances work for them.
Would Ellsbury and a good, not great Yankees prospect for Verlander work for both sides?
If a deal for Sonny Gray or Yu Darvish doesn’t work out, the Yankees could do worse than adding a potential future Hall of Famer just one year removed from a Cy Young-caliber season.
Verlander, 34, owns a 4.50 ERA in 124 innings this season.
By Joe Giglio