Jacoby Ellsbury, Giancarlo Stanton
ESNY Graphic, Getty Images

The New York Yankees tossed Jacoby Ellsbury to the side, which means fans will now unfairly get all over Giancarlo Stanton. 

Allison Case

The similarities are there. You would have to be completely blind to not see them.

Back in the tail end of 2013, the New York Yankees received what they believed to be a steal, snagging Jacoby Ellsbury on a seven-year, $153 million deal from the clutches of free agency. We all know how that turned out.

Ellsbury ended up missing the past two seasons of baseball and played a total of just four seasons in pinstripes before the Bombers finally cut the cord. His career with the Yankees was, in short, a disaster.

Now the Yankees have another long-term contract to contend with: that of Giancarlo Stanton.

When the bomb dropped that the Yankees had the 2017 NL MVP on the line, fans all over rejoiced. Brian Cashman had worked his magic again, sending Starlin Castro and two prospects to bring over the man who slugged 59 home runs one magical season earlier.

The negative? The incredibly hefty contract that remains firmly attached to the beastly righty bat.

Stanton is locked into his contract until he is 39 years old. He’ll become a free agent in 2029. That’s nine more years of Stanton.

If he was at the top of his game, there’s no issue. However, Stanton has a history of injuries and barely played during the 2019 season due to various injuries throughout the year.

So with Ellsbury gone, has Stanton become the next Ellsbury? The guy who misses infinite games due to injuries that may or may not be real, all while making enormous amounts of money just sitting on a remote island?

Believe it all you want, but comparing Giancarlo Stanton to Jacoby Ellsbury is just insane. The similarities are there. Both players played their first full seasons in the Bronx before succumbing to various injuries in their second year.

Between the two, it’s become very clear that Stanton wants to be out there in the Bronx. He even battled through injuries in the postseason simply so he could assist in the postseason run. Plus, he had put in the extra work, whether it was extra time in the batting cages, being the first to the ballfield and beyond.

Stanton may not have been on the field in 2019 but he’s putting in the work to be out there for the rest of his career.

The injuries that Stanton has gone through have been significant and it’s definitely put a bad taste in the mouth of fans and likely Yankees brass. The disappointment over not having that 59-homer guy for his first two seasons in the Bronx has to be through the roof.

But when it comes down to it, Stanton is coming from playing in Miami, a place where maybe one media member interviewed players following a game. He has entered the pressure cooker of the Bronx and the stakes are higher than anyone could ever imagine, even for a guy who has won an MVP.

If we’re also being honest, injuries were the theme of last season. Stanton was not the only one to fall victim. Gary Sanchez, Aaron Hicks and even Aaron Judge fell victim to the 2019 curse in some capacity. The Yankees had some bad luck and perhaps losing Stanton for practically the whole year was the worst of it.

Ellsbury will forever be known as the worst contract in the history of the franchise. Stanton will not be in that conversation. He has bounced back from injuries before and will continue to do so. His career has just started in the Bronx. Give him an opportunity to write his own story instead of labeling him as the next Jacoby Ellsbury.

Injuries will happen and it wouldn’t be the first time that a player can bounce-back with a solid career after. The Bronx is a tough place to play, but Stanton actually seems to want to play here.

This long-term contract situation isn’t ideal, but Giancarlo Stanton has more than enough time to turn it around. Comparisons to Jacoby Ellsbury will always be around but Stanton is not Ellsbury and the Yankees will make it their mission to make sure he won’t ever be.


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