The Yankees signed Jacoby Ellsbury to a massive seven-year, $153 million deal on Tuesday. This deal is larger than the one Carl Crawford signed with the Boston Red Sox before the 2011 season, and is the third largest deal an outfielder has ever received (behind $160 million dollar deals Matt Kemp and Manny Ramirez got). After a season spent watching their outfielders struggle at the plate, especially Ichiro Suzuki to Vernon Wells, the Yankees clearly had to make an upgrade. With Brett Gardner being the only consistent presence in the outfield last year, and Alfonso Soriano's age and worrying all-or-nothing production at the plate, the Yankees certainly made an upgrade by adding Ellsbury.
Ellsbury has played his entire career for Boston where he won two World Series titles. He's a lifetime .297/.350/.439 hitter, and he's stolen more than 50 bases in three out of the four seasons where he's played more than 100 games. Still, the fact that he's only played more than 100 games four times in his seven year career should raise some red flags. The first year was his rookie season when he spent most of the year moving between the major leagues and Triple-A Pawtucket, but the other two (2010 and 2012) were injury-shortened campaigns, meaning there's some risk involved in this signing. Still, Ellsbury has been a good player so far in his career, and he had a great (if unlikely to be repeated) year in 2011, when he had a 150 wRC+ with 32 home runs, 119 RBI and a 9.1 fWAR.
What do you think of the Ellsbury signing? The Yankees seem to be back to their free-spending ways, but is this the best use of their money as they attempt to improve a team that missed the playoffs for just the second time in 19 years? Vote in the poll and sound off in the comments below!