ARLINGTON, Texas — Let’s start this momentous transaction with a hot take. Worst contracts in Yankees history:
1. Kei Igawa
2. Carl Pavano
3. Jacoby Ellsbury
At least Ellsbury actually provided value during his first four seasons in pinstripes before turning into a human punch line. The two pitchers, signed two years apart in the 2000s, provided only belly laughs.
No bronze medal, however, for the Yankees and Ellsbury, who officially divorced Wednesday when the Yankees, lacking insurance on the seventh and final year of Ellsbury’s $153 million deal, therefore decided it made no sense to keep him. The Yankees ate $26 million (a $21 million salary for 2020 and a $5 million buyout on a $21 million team option for 2021) in order to free up space on their 40-man roster, and it would be a big surprise for the injury-prone Ellsbury, who hasn’t played since the 2017 American League Championship Series, to ever play in the majors again.
No, Ellsbury’s legacy should be a lesson the Yankees already have deployed yet haven’t come close to perfecting: Beware of shiny objects without examining them closely.
The Yankees signed Ellsbury, it sure appeared, in December 2013…