Squawker Jon called me last night to tell me that the Yankees signed Jacoby Ellsbury and he was positively gleeful when he told me that Ellsbury's contract was even more than Carl Crawford's -- $153 million over seven years!
He was the only one happy in the Subway Squawkers partnership about the signing. I, on the other hand, was more than annoyed that Brian Cashman made yet another of his dopey deals. And it is a quintessential Cashman deal, isn't it? Too many years, and too much money, for a good but injury-ridden player who was a Boston Red Sox and a Scott Boras client. Good grief. Maybe Cashman hopes to be the new "elf" in Boston fan site Surviving Grady's Ellsbury and Elf feature! (And Ellsbury is being called Obi-Wan Jacoby by Boston Dirt Dogs!)
You know, I just want to bang my head against the wall every time Brian (Fredo) Cashman and the idiot Yankee ownership decides to make a big splash like this. The thing is, none of them have ever learned a thing from past mistakes. It never occurs to any of them that the thing to do to ensure future success would be to 1) rebuild and grow their own new core of young stars, and 2) raid the Red Sox or the Cardinals or the Rays for their front office experts -- those teams seem to know what they are doing when it comes to picking young players. Instead, everybody in Yankeeland gets to keep their jobs, while deciding to mortgage the future -- again -- on a player who has arguably already peaked.
Not to mention that much of Ellsbury's value is due to his speed -- there is a reason he is a top pick in fantasy baseball. How fast do you think Jacoby will be at 35, 36, and 37, when he's still making $22 million a year? Did the Yankees not learn from A-Rod, Mark Teixeira, etc. as to what is is like when a player is on the down side of thirty, but still making big coin? Stupid question -- they NEVER learn.
At least Teixeira and A-Rod, though, had some very healthy productive years before getting old (and Tex is still only 33; he just seems really old!) Ellsbury, on the other hand, has a history of injury -- in his last four seasons, he played in 18, 158, 74, and 134 games. Yes, even in his contract year, he still missed close to 30 games due to injury. What do you think he's going to be like in three years?
I said in the headline that the Ellsbury situation is the baseball equivalent of a payday loan. Let me explain. Much like a person with a lot of credit card debt, the Yankees have a lot of money on the books in which they are paying for past purchases. But instead of taking the steps to clear out that debt, and not make any more ridiculous expenses, they are the MLB equivalent of somebody who finances a 2010 Dodge Charger with a payday loan (with interest rates through the roof) when they already have 50K in credit card debt. And when that car inevitably breaks down, they will still need to pay for it. All because they thought they would look "cool" tooling around in it.
Listen, Yankee fans -- there is a reason much of Red Sox Nation is chortling over this deal. It's not a good one!