On Wednesday, prior to the Rule 5 Draft protection deadline, the New York Yankees to clear space on the 40-man roster.
The 36-year-old Ellsbury had not played in a game since 2017.
The Yankees had been unable to provide any updates for when, or if, the injured Ellsbury would return to the field in time for the 2020 season, so the decision to move on from the outfielder despite the cost isn’t necessarily unexpected.
The Yankees signed Ellsbury to a seven-year, $153 million deal in December 2013.
He played in 520 games from 2014-17, but hasn’t come close to appearing in a game in the past two seasons.
Ellsbury was set to receive $21 million next season as he’s still under contract for 2020, and the release will also requires a $5 million buyout.
Now, the Yankees are reportedly planning to file a grievance, in an attempt to withhold some of the money they owe Ellsbury.
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