The New York Yankees and Seattle Mariners discussed swapping the bad contracts of Jacoby Ellsbury and Robinson Cano, but money got in the way.
Ellsbury missed all of 2018 due to a hip injury, but even when he’s healthy, he’s been a major letdown in New York. The Bombers still owe him $42.2 million through the end of the 2020 season, plus a $5 million buyout for 2021.
According to an article in The Athletic by Ken Rosenthal, Cashman had a chance to dump Ellsbury on the Mariners in exchange for former Yankee Robinson Cano. However, the deal sputtered out when New York asked for a big chunk of change to help pay off the $120 million Cano will make over the next five years.
Cano just turned 36 years old last month. That means whoever is stuck with him in the last year of his deal will be paying $24 million to a guy who’s nearly 41 years old.
No wonder Cashman wanted cash for his trouble.
Despite the money, age, and substance issues, Cano is still a really good hitter. In 2018 he slashed .303/.374/.471 with 10 HR and 50 RBI in half a season.
In contrast, the idea of Ellsbury earning his paycheck is almost laughable. He’s a 35-year-old with a bad hip who never learned to use the Yankee Stadium short porch to his advantage.
But Cashman would’ve had trouble selling Cano for the next five years when he could’ve signed Manny Machado instead. Machado is ten years younger, and his lackadaisical play comes with a much more powerful bat.
Even though the trade fell through, the fact that it was on the table should give Yankees fans hope. It really is possible to move Ellsbury.