The New York Yankees are close to recouping a great deal of money with their grievance against Jacoby Ellsbury -- at least, if things go their way. They reportedly don't plan to pay a cent of the $26 million that they owe to the former star outfielder, citing a number of previously unreported concerns, like...steroid suspicions? What?
And while that might help them enter the offseason with much deeper pockets, their vendetta against him could end up scaring away prospective free agents that would otherwise be interested in signing with the team.
All it does is send the message that they dispose of their free agents once they're injured and no longer have any use for them. After all, it wasn't too long ago that the seven-year, $153 million deal that he signed was viewed as the prize of the offseason.
Now more than ever, free agents are looking for security. Players and teams are at odds about market values, the length of deals, and guarantees of their contracts.
The way the Yankees are treating Ellsbury, though, suggests that they have little care for the financial security of the contracts they give out. Because of the burden that came attached to him, they didn't allow him to sniff the field for several years, and now are looking to dissolve a large chunk of guaranteed money.
The question going through the mind of every player searching for a massive payday heading into 2020 is simple: is this how they would treat me if I suffered a severe injury, too?
Sure, the Yankees are making the financially smart decision by trying to avoid shelling out $26 million in dead money. But in doing so, they're hampering their ability to bring in the key free agents they desperately need to make another run at the World Series.