Yankees Sign Jacoby Ellsbury: Contract total and option updates

Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

that's a relief

It had previously been reported that Jacoby Ellsbury's $153 million deal over seven years also included some kind of option for an eighth year that would make the contract worth a total of $163 million when it was all said and done. According to ESPN's Jayson Stark, there appears to be no such option and the deal ends with the seventh year. WRONG. Wrong, wrong, wrong.

The deal already pays him nearly $22 $21 million a year, so it's good to know that the Yankees didn't shell out any more money for their new center fielder. The deal will lock up Ellsbury from his age-30 season through his age-36 season, likely when his game will begin to deteriorate in the field, at the plate and on the base paths, so it's good to know, after all the talk of the Yankees signing old worn down players, that they have managed to lock up Ellsbury and Brian McCann to longterm deals without (hopefully) having to go through their decline years.

Of course, an option year wouldn't be so bad if it contained language similar to McCann's where he would have to be a healthy and productive member of the team for it to vest. Maybe making it contingent on what position he is playing in the outfield by the end of the deal would have made sense, but the 2021 season, the next season the Yankees will be without Jacoby Ellsbury under contract, is a very long time away, so there's no reason to worry about who will be in center field then.

UPDATE:

Now according to Joel Sherman, there is an eighth-year option. The base salary will be $148 million and then there will be a $21 million club option for an eighth year or a $5 million buyout, making the total amount of guaranteed money to be $153 million. If the option is exercised, the contract total would go all the way up to $174 million.

A club option is much better than a vesting option because the Yankees now don't have to worry about how they use their center fielder. His last year would be in 2020, and then they have the ability to keep him in 2021 for $21 million or cut him loose for $5 million.

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