Jacoby one Ell of an issue for GM
ORLANDO — Brett Gardner is entrenched in left field. Aaron Hicks is entrenched in center. And Aaron Judge is entrenched in right. So where can we expect to find Jacoby Ellsbury in 2018?
If he’s still with the Yankees, probably on the bench.
So with the Bombers’ outfield set barring injury, it would certainly make sense for both sides to move on. But there is one potential problem: the 34-year-old veteran is due $68.4 million over the next three seasons and has a full no-trade clause.
Brian Cashman said he hasn’t had any discussions with Ellsbury’s agent, Scott Boras, on his future with the club. But that was expected to happen before Cashman departed the GM meetings on Wednesday afternoon.
“Jacoby’s going to come in and compete (for a spot in the spring),” Cashman said Tuesday. “His season kind of got derailed clearly by the concussion (in May). . . It certainly made it look different than what I think he’s capable of. But we ended (the playoffs) with the current setup of Judge in right, Hicks in center and Gardy in left for a reason: they were the best we had. And so I think we would anticipate going in that way again.
“But that doesn’t mean people can’t flip scripts either. And depending on how we use the DH position remains to be seen – it’s so early in this process – and we’ll have and have had people asking about our players and seeing if they can find matches to compel us to consider making any moves, so we’ll see what happens. I’m not saying that specifically with Jacoby Ellsbury, just generally.”
Ellsbury had a .771 OPS before suffering his concussion on May 24, which kept him out for more than a month. Ellsbury struggled upon his return, but eventually rediscovered his form before tailing off again late in the year. He went hitless in nine at-bats during the playoffs.
“But he can still be a viable member as we move forward here — and he will be — unless circumstances develop as far as outside interest as well as their participation,” Cashman said.
Joe Girardi has only one role now since being fired by the Yankees: serving as a member of MLB’s Competition Committee.
“I’m going to stay with it as long as they want me,” Girardi said Tuesday.
He then paused and added, jokingly, with a smile: “That’s kind of what I do.”
Girardi — who managed to record two second-place votes and six third-place votes, finishing fourth in the AL Manger of the Year race — isn’t sure what the future holds, but plans to have some meetings a couple weeks after Thanksgiving. A national broadcasting role is something he’d be interested in.
“A good possibility,” he said. “But I think working for (YES Network) would be kind of strange.”
The Bombers decided to move on from Girardi, according to Brian Cashman, because of his lack of connectivity and ability to communicate with his players.
“I don’t worry about that,” Girardi said when asked about statements that have come out since his ouster. “I’m pretty aware of what happens and goes on in the clubhouse, so I don’t ever worry about that.
“I was a little shocked,” Girardi added. “But (Brian) had his reasons, and he’s the decision-maker. He wanted something different, so I’m not coming back.”
START OF SOMETHING?
Gleyber Torres has a shot at starting for the Yankees on Opening Day.
“We’ll just see how the winter plays out. I think the easy thing to say is Gleyber comes into major league camp and competes but starts at Triple-A, because that’s the safest route,” Cashman said. “But I’m not denying anybody a chance to make the club and push their way into the mix.”
Torres, the infielder who turns 21 in December, is finishing off his rehab from season-ending Tommy John surgery on his left elbow. Despite the injury, Torres finished 2017 as the No. 1 prospect in all of baseball in MLB.com’s rankings.
It sounds like Torres would have a chance specifically at third base. He’d have to unseat Chase Headley.
Torres hit .448 in the spring and then .304 in 22 games at Triple-A Scranton after being promoted from Double-A Trenton before suffering his season-ending injury on June 17 in Buffalo.
Torres tweeted Tuesday: “It’s amazing how the days go by so fast I can’t wait for the next spring.”