New York Yankees: Will Jacoby Ellsbury Cost Them A World Series? [Opinion]

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The New York Yankees are making major moves this offseason but their past is coming back to haunt them. Outfielder Jacoby Ellsbury has decided he wants to stay a member of the Yankees and not waive his NTC, and who can really blame him? Ellsbury is set to make $68 million over the next three years and in his mind according to, he’s an important piece to the Yankees winning the World Series.

Truth be told, Ellsbury could very well be the missing link but it won’t come from his production or lack thereof at the plate. The only way Ellsbury can help the Yankees win a World Series is by allowing Brian Cashman to trade him.

This offseason, the Yankees swung for the fences. After pulling off a major deal for Miami Marlins’ slugger Giancarlo Stanton, the Yankees are now turning their attention to the pitching staff. MLB rumors are buzzing with a possible deal for Gerrit Cole who should bolster the staff, especially with CC Sabathia singing a new $10 million deal this weekend.

There are also reports about a possible trade with the Arizona Diamondbacks for pitcher Zack Greinke. The holdup with that is, you guessed it, Ellsbury. Greinke has a huge contract and while the Yankees are willing to take that on, Ellsbury has already taken his stance. While Brian Cashman is doing everything he can to push the Yankees over that threshold, a stubborn player has the team by the collar. But why?

With the offseason moves, the Yankees outfield is loaded with Stanton, Aaron Hicks, Aaron Judge, and Brett Gardner. Ellsbury had to see the writing on the wall once the Stanton deal went through and now he’s acting like a kid without Christmas presents. What Gardner may see is a spot in the outfield with Stanton’s injury history, but the Yankees have an answer for that with Clint Frazier. It’s not so much so that the Yankees can’t use another outfielder, it’s the point that Ellsbury, according to Sports Reference, has not provided the stolen bases he was brought in to get.

As one of the highest paid Yankees, Ellsbury lost his job the honest way by failing to produce. If he wishes to point the finger at someone, then he needs to look in the mirror. This childish act that he’s doing is only hurting himself in the long run. So what if Cashman wants to move him, maybe a change of scenery is better for both parties. Who knows where Ellsbury could end up. The Chicago Cubs, Houston Astros, or the Los Angeles Dodgers could be a destination or he could end up in Philadelphia being the main attraction on that team.

But winning is important even if that means playing in roughly 100 games this season. However, when you think about it, maybe that’s exactly what he wants. Ellsbury might be afraid of the Alex Rodriguez factor. A highly paid talent who has trouble leading a team. By refusing to leave and fading into the shadows of Aaron Judge and Stanton, no pressure will be on Ellsbury. But, if he leaves, then the same raised eyebrows when he attracted in NY will continue to haunt him.

Ellsbury is playing it safe, however, for the Yankees, they need him to take one for the team and leave.