Mission Impossible?

I started writing this Saturday. In the interim, this came out which is the same idea essentially. I’m still posting mine because it contains a specific idea.

If I’m Brian Cashman, I am trying to figure out how to send Jacoby Ellsbury somewhere else. The simple truth is that he is currently their fourth-best, healthy, outfielder. When Aaron Hicks is healthy, he will slip to 5th. By next spring, I am pretty sure he will rank even lower than that. This contract is a disaster and an easy way to improve the Yankees is to move past it.

There are three big obstacles in the way of that:

1- The Yankees owe him $68-million between his salary from 2018 through 2020 and his 2021 option buyout.

2- He has a no-trade clause.

3- The Yankees aren’t about to eat $68-million dollars, but trading him for another bad contract doesn’t make sense unless the position is one of need- ie. not the outfield.

Based on that, I think the Yankees should call the Giants and talk about a Jeff Samardzjia-Jacoby Ellsbury trade. Samardzjia is owed $57-million through 2020 and has an ERA north of 5 currently. I assume even with that the Yankees would need to kick money in to at least equalize the contracts, but this is the place I would start. Find a team with a bad pitching contract and see if you can make a deal. Samardzjia has a limited no-trade clause, so that complicates things further, but there are always ways to get around that. If it worked, the Yankees would have a guy who has thrown 200 innings each of the last three seasons and is on pace to do so again. Yes, they are not great innings, but the Yankees could use a starter who can eat up innings right now. And with the certainty that Sabathia and Pineda won’t be back next year, a veteran starter isn’t the worst idea in the world.

It’s worth noting that Ellsbury is on the bench today against a RHP with Frazier in left and Gardner in center. He was benched against the LHP last night, so I suspect the Yankees are trying to “encourage” him to be flexible about his no-trade clause. Let’s see what happens.