Tuesday, November 15, 2016
Posted by el duque at 7:28 AM
We will have Jacoby Ellsbury for the entirety of Trump's first term.
By then, his legs will be peanut brittle, his boyish face will resemble Abe Vigoda, he'll be a slow-footed DH, and we will fondly remember Aaron Hicks. Ellsbury represents the horrible, long-term A-Rod-style contract that we signed, while we were in the process of lamenting horrible, long-term A-Rod-style contracts. Four more years. Eighty-four million more dollars. Trump might scuttle Obamacare in one afternoon. With the Yankee batting order, there's no such thing as "Repeal and Replace." We're stuck.
Listen: I don't enjoy ripping Yankee players. Ellsbury tries hard; I'll give him that. But almost everything I've read this winter - all the bullshit rumors being propagated by the click-obsessed Yankiverse - involves trading Brett Gardner for a plate of clams... because we're lashed to Ellsbury like Ahab to Moby (and I'm not referring to the nineties alt-rocker.) We have to trade Gardy, a lifelong Yankee, because of Ellsbury's contract. Even today, when I think of the guy, I see him in a Redsock jersey. If 15 years from now, they vote him into the Hall of Fame, would he even wear a Yankee cap?
Sorry there... I lapsed into today's Ellsbury-bashing frenzy after reading a report that Boston is still looking beyond 2017. This week, their latest GM - (imagine that? a team that holds its front office accountable!) - is stepping back from signing a Jose Bautista and/or Edwin Encarnacion because a) they don't want to lose their top draft pick and b) they don't want to clog their arteries with horrible, long term A-Rod-style contracts. Thus, they might sign Carlos Beltran for a year or two.
We can't stop Boston from being smart. All we can do is try to do the same. I've wavered about signing Encarnacion - it's so tempting to imagine him batting third - but reasons a) and b) both apply to the Yankees, as well. Are we going to give another five or seven-year deal to a player clearly approaching the twilight of his career? Jeez, I hope not. Because here's the truth, all you "clicks" out there: Boston is by far the favorite in 2017. If they add a pitcher or two, or Joe Kelly finally breaks out, or Yoan Moncada... - GAHHHHHHH! - well, they could win the AL East by 20 games. In everything we do, we must play the long haul. We must - and it sickens me to write this - try to be like Boston.
I've said this before: Brian McCann must go. We can't spend $17 million on a backup catcher and/or DH who hits .220. And we can't go another year with Ellsbury and Gardner - the twins of tenuousness - batting 1-2. It would nice to see Ellsbury go. But like the reality of America's election, for better or worse, we are stuck with what we've done. The only question is whether we have learned.