The chances that the New York Yankees trade Jacoby Ellsbury seem to be at an all-time high, as the San Francisco Giants reportedly contacted about a trade according to ESPN’s Buster Olney.
Should a potential deal be reached, it would most likely be a swap of bad contracts. Johnny Cueto had been mentioned as a possibility in a trade.
Ellsbury is set to make a little over $21 million a year through 2020 with a $21 million option for 2021 that includes a $5 million buyout.
Cueto is likely going to be out for all of 2019 due to Tommy John surgery. With Cueto set to make over $21 million through 2021 and a $22 million option for 2022, whatever team he is on will make some money back as long as he’s out. The fact that Cueto will probably be out for a year shouldn’t be much of a deterrent given that Ellsbury just missed all of 2018 with a hip injury.
If this deal is made, it has the chance to be a win-win situation for both teams. For the Giants, they would add some much needed depth in the outfield should Ellsbury stay healthy. By acquiring Cueto, the Yankees would get a starting pitcher that has been solid when he’s been healthy. While he isn’t expected to contribute in 2019, Cueto would help improve the Yankees rotation in 2020.
Another potential deal where the Yankees and Giants can swap relatively even contracts is if the Yankees traded Ellsbury for Jeff Samardzija.
Samardzija is set to make $18 million a year through 2020 and he would fill a more immediate need as the Yankees look to add depth to their starting rotation with some concerns over CC Sabathia’s health.