Tuesday, September 14, 2021

Salary Caps and Dead Money: Introducing “The Ellsbury”

Here’s a radical idea to restore balance in the Yankee Universe and make them an enjoyable team to watch again.

It is a little complex so bear with me…

As we all know, the Yankees have a lot of high salaried players that frankly we can’t stand to watch anymore and need to go. (Cough. Chapman. Cough.) 

Keeping them is disheartening for the fans, and for the clubhouse. 

Add players who have great potential but just can't seem to get off the IL and that pretty much sums up the current state of the team. 

Unfortunately, these players make WAY too much money for what they deliver to be easily tradeable. We could do a straight salary dump but our return will be next to nothing so it almost pays to keep them. Almost.  Plus, we need more high end minor leaguers. 

We could sign some top free agents but there's the Yankee Salary Cap uh… Luxury Tax Threshold. Screw that! Who are we kidding, let’s call it what it is… a Salary Cap.  So we're pretty much screwed. 


My solution: The Ellsbury! 

The NFL has what they call Dead Money.  When they cut someone or trade them and pick up some of the tab, the amount they still pay goes against their cap. They call it Dead Money. A cap hit.

I propose that we offer 50% of the salaries on the players we need to get rid of and ask for real prospects in return.  Take the total money that we need to absorb and just pretend that we have a Ghost Player – An Ellsbury.

An Ellsbury is defined as “A sunk cost given to a player who gets paid but will never actually take the field.” Think of the “Ellsbury” as a unit of money.  Say, around 21-25 Million Dollars.  

Where the Yankees have screwed up in the past is, previously the “Ellsbury” all went to one player. I’ll give you a hint, it was Ellsbury.  Before that it was A-Rod.  

The key to my plan is to spread the sunk cost around.

I believe the Yankees can afford two Ellsbury’s and still stay under the cap. 

NOTE: The players that make up the Ellsbury don't have to go to the same team We just aggregate the cost. 

Ellsbury #1

Stanton 15M a year.

That’s a really good deal for that kind of potential.  We pick up 15M towards the Ellsbury and get 15M to sign a replacement plus, we get the player(s) from the trade.  Presumably a couple of top 15 minor leaguers from our trading partner’s farm.

Chapman 8.5M

Fair money for Chapman.  Someone will bite. Again, the benefit is no Chapman and some minor league arms.

Take Stanton’s 15M, add Chapman’s 8.5 and we have our first Ellsbury.


Ellsbury #2

Odor for 6M a year. A perfectly acceptable cost for a utility guy.


Hicks at 5.5M? Signed through 2026! That’s a flyer some team will take.

Severino 7.5M.  A potential ace for the next two years! Wow.

Clint Frazier’s legendary bat speed for 1.1M? A bargain.

Add Joey Gallo for 3M and there is your second Ellsbury.


Cost neutral.  They become someone else's problem. We add to the farm and still have money to spend.  Good deals all around. It's a win-win.



JM said...

Every suggestion any of us make is so un-Yankee-like that it doesn't even make sense to make them. We know that. Of course, because we're reasonable, fairly logical folks, we can't help but look for ways out of this mess. But it's all a waste of time and energy. We know that, too.

Like being a fan, it's something we can't help doing. But, like being a fan, it's something that's pointless with this team. We know that, too, too.

Archangel said...

Until people stop coming to games and buying Yankee merchandise and network ratings collapse, the will not change.
We feed the beast, so there is no incentive to change.
I can't wait to see the season tickets sales for next year. They are just lucky the the Mets are just as dismal so the the fair weather fans aren't flocking over to Shea or whatever its corporate name is now.
We must choke the revenue stream to initiate any meaningful change.

Boone's contract expires after this season

Cashman's contract expires after 2022.

There is always that hope.

The Archangel

C... said...

I wonder what this team would be like with a hard as nails manager that doesn't care about people's feelings. A manager change won't change the injury issue, but it could change the on field habits. We all know on field habits start off the field. Yes, I'm aware that cashman and Co seem to want a "yes man - nice guy". I want to see an old school mean streak, yell at you in front of the cameras guy. This team is far to comfortable.

ZacharyA said...

Yankees DFAed Brooks Kriske. Finally.

Assuming he's gone for good, Kriske leaves with the highest career ERA (15.09) in New York Yankees history (min. 10 IP).

That 2016 draft was rough, eh?

1. Blake Rutherford
Looking like a bust, having a terrible year in AAA for the White Sox
2. Nick Solak
Hot start for the Rangers this year, but hitting .223/.284/.326 in his last 300 PA
3. Nolan Martinez
He's 23 and still in Rookie League. He's thrown just 4 innings in the last two years because of injuries.
4. Nick Nelson
Has a 6.43 ERA in 35 IP in the majors
5. Dom Thompson-Williams
Hitting .184/.254/.311 in AAA for the Mariners
6. Brooks Kriske
Has a 15.09 career ERA

I'm not seeing anyone else in the draft class having much of an impact here or elsewhere. Ugly stuff.

HoraceClarke67 said...

Wow, that some mighty baseball acumen on display, Zach!

HoraceClarke67 said...

Archie, I think it's getting close to that.

To be sure, the Yanks can't actually lose money—despite all the owners' lies, it's just not possible for that to happen the way MLB is set up.

But even HAL must be noticing those tiny, numbed, silent crowds at the Stadium of late. That can't be good for the gate or the TV ratings.

HoraceClarke67 said...

C, I agree that they look lackadaisical and uninspired. But I think these days that you just can't get anywhere with a hard-ass manager. Whattaya gonna say? "Hey, busher, grab some pine! Oh, and here's this week's paycheck for $200,000."

I think it has to be some more subtle approach, the baseball equivalent of whatever Phil Jackson was doing in Chicago. Torre, I thought, was never a good field manager, but he was a terrific clubhouse manager, especially for the Yankees.

We need some of that.

ZacharyA said...

Urshela is hitting .114/.114/.136 in 44 PA since coming off the IL, with 0 HR, 0 BB, and 16 K. There’s no way he healthy, right?

DickAllen said...

Horace, I think a better manager would be best for this team. At very least someone who’s actually got some major league experience. And I think a tough manager would be just the thing. Hell, La Russia seems to be doing well in Chicago and he’s a complete pain in the ass.

And on the original subject: Getting rid of all the dead money wood in exchange for prospects isn’t going to help matters if the guy choosing and guiding development is the same moron who started the mess in the first place.

All the leaders need to go work somewhere else.

Anonymous said...


I agree. As long as Brain is calling the shots there is no hope but I was enjoying trying to rationalize a way to get rid of bad contracts in a way the Front office might understand.

They always waste money anyway.

Plus now we can write, "What do you think the Ellsbury is on this deal?" or How many years into this contract until we will have to Ellsbury?"

Doug K.

Pocono Steve said...

Fiddle dee dee. Maybe Torres can't handle his more "natural" position at 2B either.

Rufus T. Firefly said...

This thread is a comment on the Yankees season.

Did I miss the game thread?

Anonymous said...

This is the defacto thread

Doug K,

HoraceClarke67 said...

Don't look now, but Chapman is actually warming up.


And it's only 7-1.


Rufus T. Firefly said...

Yes, the season is dead to me.

Even Salvatore Romano (which sound like a great recipe) can't inspire.

Rufus T. Firefly said...

I'm confused on the Ellsbury. I though it was a verb. As in "They Ellsburyed the guy, ate his salary and left him on the (cough, cough) disabled (crippled?) list.

HoraceClarke67 said...



Anonymous said...


Yes that's the old use. I'm saying that an Ellsbury is basically dead money paid to a player who never takes the field for you. One Ellsbury equals 25M in dead money.

So if you trade a guy and pay 1/2 his salary to get rid of him that money is a portion of an Ellsbury.

That said, I'm making it up as I go along. Which I am want to do.

Doug K.

Doug K. said...

This game was almost plesant.

Doug K.

Rufus T. Firefly said...

"One Ellsbury equals 25M in dead money."

That clarifies it. Thanks.

Unfortunately, I think the Yankees are in need of dealing 10-20 Ellsbury units off the team.

Or otherwise a couple of Stantons. Depending on the exchange rate.

Rufus T. Firefly said...


An avatar? You are soooo trendy!

Art's Lemon Artificials said...

did. we. win?

HoraceClarke67 said...

The way an Orioles game should always go.

Hey, how do you get an avatar? I can't remember how I got my old one.

Pocono Steve said...

Hoss, go into your profile, click "Edit Profile," and then upload the pic.

TheWinWarblist said...

It's the Orioles. The fucking Orioles. Don't get excited.

HoraceClarke67 said...

Thanks, Pocono Steve!

And no, Warbler, I'm not excited. I just wish we could play the Orioles every day. Or the Twins. Or maybe the Twin Orioles.

Joe Formerlyof Brooklyn said...

Doug K:

I enjoyed reading your fantasies, delineated and specified.

I prefer to have mine focused on Kim Basinger in her prime.

I would specify and delineate what my Kim fantasies involve, but this is a G-rated (most of the time) blog.