Monday, December 12, 2016


(Sept. 21, 2016 - Source: Mike Carlson/Getty Images North America)
Oh there's a name we haven't talked about in a long time! Oh right....that's because there really isn't any good news to share.

There have been so many positive moves made by the Yankees since the trade deadline last season but as we head into 2017 there is one big negative that I wish I could just erase. No matter where you rank him, Jacoby Ellsbury is one of the worst signings in franchise history. I call him my $153 million disappointment. It would be nice to see him somehow turn things around in the last four years of his contract but the Yankees didn't get the most for their money in the first three years so since it didn't happen earlier.....why would it now? Or ever?

(Sept. 12, 2016 - Source: Rich Schultz/Getty Images North America)
When I think about what $153 milllion should buy the Yankees I have a lot of different ideas, and Ellsbury the "average at best" player is not it. The contract looked like a huge mistake from the very beginning but I at least hoped that the speed of Ellsbury and Brett Gardner would be the ultimate table setting team and would steal a ton of bases.....and boy was I wrong.

2013 tricked us all. The 52 out of 56 successful stolen base attempts are a thing of the past. He was supposed to be the Yankees "speed guy" but he has either forgotten how to do that again or he just refuses to try. As much as I want to believe that he wants to do it....I just don't. Joe Girardi has always let him control his own running game on the bases. He has never held him back. I don't know if he has no drive or if he just has no confidence in himself anymore. In his first three seasons on the team his stolen base attempts and failures have only progressively become worse.

(Sept. 1, 2016 - Source: Patrick Smith/Getty Images North America)
If Ellsbury just isn't going to be the "speed guy" he could at least be the guy that can produce and keep a starting job, but even that hasn't happened. Ellsbury is a career .286 hitter, but in three years with the Yankees he is a .264 hitter and has been an expensive bench warmer at some pretty important times.

When Ellsbury was benched during the 2015 wild card game I was upset for a very brief point in time. In a one game do or die scenario against a lefty the Yankees needed every right handed bat they could get...and then as I thought about it I changed my mind about Girardi being crazy. Suddenly, I wasn't upset about a .257 hitter with no speed sitting on the bench.

(Sept. 30, 2016 - Source: Jim McIsaac/Getty Images North America)
And then this season we saw a crucial game for a wild card berth against the Baltimore Orioles come around and Ellsbury was sitting on the bench again. The Yankees had to face Wade Miley on the mound, a lefty but one who was struggling against just about everyone. Instead of putting in Ellsbury, an experienced veteran Girardi gave the start to Aaron Judge and Rob Refsnyder, who had not started for the Yankees in nearly a month! The writing has been on the wall now for a long time.

(May 20, 2016 - Source: Stephen Lam/Getty Images North America)
So as impossible as this scenario is if I could ask for Santa to bring me one Yankee gift this year it would be to get rid of this bad Ellsbury contract. I don't know how it happens and quite frankly I don't care how it does happens I just don't think I can tolerate four more years of this. We have way too many kids who can step in and actually produce instead of keeping the bench warm. If Santa could make that happen I would be one very happy camper.

 --Jeana Bellezza
BYB Managing Editor
Follow me on Twitter: @NYPrincessJ

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