MLB Rumors: Trading Jacoby Ellsbury for Robinson Cano Still Makes Sense

The New York Yankees may try to trade Jacoby Ellsbury this off-season, which makes sense.

By the time October rolled around, the Yankees regulated their once starting center fielder into a $153 million pinch runner. They made Aaron Hicks the left fielder and Brett Gardner took over as the starting center fielder. The Yankees also have Clint Frazier looming as well.

When the Yankees signed Ellsbury to the seven-year, $153 million deal before the 2014 season, many questioned the move since the Yankees already had Brett Gardner, as their games are very similar. Four seasons later, Jacoby Ellsbury might go down as one of the worst free agent signings in team history. And now, the Yankees may look to move him.

Jon Heyman of Fan Rag Sports and WFAN New York reported that the Seattle Mariners are likely the favorites to make a deal with the Yankees and could make one this winter.

It makes sense for Seattle to consider Ellsbury given the fact that his game is tailored towards the bigger ballpark at Safeco Field. It also makes sense for Jacoby Ellsbury to go to the Mariners since he lives in Oregon full-time in the off-season.

This isn’t the first time Jacoby Ellsbury’s name has been linked to Seattle, as many other people around baseball have suggested a specific trade involving Ellsbury to Seattle. It’s Ellsbury going to the Mariners with Robinson Cano going back to the Yankees.

The trade was suggested before the 2016 season by Michael Kay of the YES Network. It was again suggested by Buster Olney of ESPN at the trade deadline with Ellsbury struggling and benched from the starting lineup. And we are suggesting it now, although we have an addition to add to it.

Send Ellsbury along with Starlin Castro to the Mariners for Cano.

Why add Starlin Castro to this trade proposal? He’s not going to long for New York considering Gleyber Torres is eventually getting called up in the future. With Cano, you can keep him at second and then once Torres makes his way into the major leagues, the Yankees can either transition Cano to the DH spot, or, if Torres isn’t cut out for second, they can try Torres at third base. Before his injury in 2017, the Yankees had Torres playing regularly at third base down at Class-AAA Scranton.

Sure, Castro is a nice addition to the Yankees lineup. But he’s not nearly as good of a player as Cano and ultimately, the Yankees should have never let Cano walk out the door, to begin with.

Granted, the Yankees didn’t want to give Cano 10 years. And they were right to not offer 10 years. An eight-year, $200 million deal would have gotten things settled between Cano and the Yankees. But the Yankees played contract chicken with Cano and lost.

They also lost when they overpaid for Jacoby Ellsbury instead of taking that money and geared it towards keeping Cano long-term. This trade would fix that issue.

It’s clear that Jacoby Ellsbury never fit in with the Yankees. He’s not the player they were expecting when he came over from the Boston Red Sox. And now it’s clear that he doesn’t even fit into their future plans. So a trade out of New York makes sense for him.

On the flip side, Robinson Cano never really fit in with Mariners either. He’s been on the record saying he misses New York and wished he never left. He’s also never made the playoffs either and has told his inner circle that he’d accept a trade back to the Yankees if the opportunity ever presented itself.

The trade would also give the Yankees, a win-now franchise who was one game away from the World Series, another legitimate slugger and overall great player back in the lineup; one who came up through the system just like Aaron Judge, Gary Sanchez, and Greg Bird have.

Some might ask why would Seattle do this and trade Cano for Ellsbury and Castro? It would shed Cano’s deal from their payroll for two shorter deals in Jacoby Ellsbury, whose signed for three more years and Starlin Castro, whose signed for two more. It might not be the ideal thing for Seattle and their fan base, but they aren’t winning with Cano and soon, they’re going to need to look to re-shuffle things. Trading Cano back to New York would be the ideal solution for both parties once Seattle starts to go into re-build mode.

Since some think Jacoby Ellsbury could be Seattle bound, here would be the Yankees chance to make this deal finally happen and re-acquire the one player that they shouldn’t have let walk in Robinson Cano.


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