Wednesday, December 04, 2013

Jacoby Ellsbury to the Yankees



So, Ellsbury is going to the Yankees.

And I'm more-or-less indifferent.

I never had any expectation that he'd be back, and the Yankees were always the most likely candidates to overpay him. It makes the Yankees better and the Red Sox worse, at least for the next couple of years, but that's life.

There are a couple of things that I'm not interested in seeing, both of which are visible in headlines at the Globe's site this morning.

"Deal proves Ellsbury a mercenary" - The number of people in this world who would be doing their jobs without financial compensation is not big. At some level, we're all "mercenaries." And it's not like he opted out of a deal for this - he played out his contract, the Red Sox got everything from him they had any right to expect, and now he's got the right to choose the best contract and the best situation for himself. I don't resent him making that choice. The Yankees probably guaranteed him something on the order of 30% more than anyone else would have. There's no way that the Red Sox were going to give him seven years, or that kind of annual value on any contract over three years, so it's a very rational decision for him to make, and it's silly to resent it, and offensive to portray it as some kind of character flaw.

"Ellsbury's departure good news for Sox fans" - That, of course, is obviously hogwash. Ellsbury has been, when healthy, a good-to-great player for the Red Sox, and this transaction makes the Red Sox weaker and the Yankees stronger. That's not even debatable. There's just no level on which this qualifies as "good news" and it's preposterous to suggest it. Now, does that mean that the 2014 Yankees will be better than the 2014 Red Sox? No, though that wouldn't be shocking. There's a lot to be done, still, and we don't know what Jackie Bradley's going to be, or where Carlos Beltran ends up (almost certainly not New York, now) or whether Jacoby is going to collide with Soriano in game 1 and miss half of the year. And, of course, the contract, even if he gets hurt in spring training and never plays a single game for the Yankees, doesn't hamstring the Yankees the way that it would hamstring anyone else - they have no practical limit to their ability to overpay players, so even if he isn't worth what he's getting paid in the last three of years of the deal, as is likely, it doesn't really matter to the Yankees, so that's not really good for Boston, either. No, there just isn't any "good news" here. That's life. C'est la vie...

In any event, the major source of my equanimity, I'm quite certain, is this - the Boston Red Sox have won three of the last ten World Series Championships, including the last one. That was true yesterday, when Jacoby Ellsbury was a free agent, and it's true today, now that he's a Yankee. I can live with that...

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