Sayer takes a look at the impact of this signing for the Yankees and the Red Sox.
Fantasy Impact: The New York Yankees have signed Jacoby Ellsbury to a seven-year, $152 million contract.
The Yankees get: A very speedy, albeit injury-prone center fielder that has shown pop, will hit for decent average and is a very good defender. When Ellsbury is healthy I would argue he’s one of the best CF’s in the game.
While 2011 was probably the best season Ellsbury will ever have (32 HR? Definite outlier there), 2013 is a good bet for him moving forward. Ellsbury will continue to top the stolen base charts for at least the next couple of years (unless something happens, of course) and should top 50+ easily next year if he stays healthy. That’s a big if with Ellsbury, as he’s missed 272 games over the past 4 years.
Moving into Yankee Stadium will surely help his HR total though, as left-handed hitters have a better advantage there than in Fenway Park. Again, 32 is expecting way too much, but 10-15 dingers shouldn’t be out of reach. Ellsbury will more than likely bat leadoff for the Yankees, much like he did for the Red Sox and will provide above-average defense wherever he plays. His OPB will help the Yankees out greatly as well, as they ranked 25th in the MLB in OPB and he ranked 17th in the MLB in 2013.
While this deal may bite the Yankees down the road, this deal helps them immensely for the next couple of years. This signing, along with the Brian McCann deal, proves that the Yankees will still do whatever they can to put out a competitive team.
Fantasy Players Impacted: The Yankees have a pretty cramped outfield with Ellsbury, Brett Gardner, Ichiro Suzuki, Vernon Wells and Alfonso Soriano, meaning someone will more than likely be shipped out before the 2014 season starts. Wells could be the odd man out, but with his horrible contract I doubt there is a taker for what he brings. Whoever will be hitting 2-3-4 in the lineup should surely benefit from having Ellsbury on base so often, and should expect a rise in their RBI total. I would take a bet that McCann, Soriano and Mark Teixeira (if Cano doesn’t return) will all reap the rewards of having Ellsbury batting in front of them.
For the Red Sox, this means losing a very valuable leadoff man. Shane Victorino will likely slot into the leadoff spot, which is a place he hasn’t succeeded in the past. He has hit just .265 average with an OBP of .323 batting 1st, compared to a .290 average with an OBP of .369 when he bats 2nd,. Ellsbury leaving does however open up a spot for Jackie Bradley Jr. to prove he belongs on the Red Sox team.
The off-season is still young though, so the Red Sox or Yankees could still sign/make deals to change their outlook.
Fantasy Players this helps, in order
Jacoby Ellsbury – Moving to the Yankees should help him in the HR category.
Jackie Bradley Jr. – He has to prove he can hit before he’s a sure thing, but he can slot in at CF to replace Ellsbury.
The Yankees 2-3-4 hitters – They will like having Ellsbury on-base so often. Expect RBIs for whoever fills these positions.
Fantasy Players hurt by this deal
Shane Victorino – If he has to bat leadoff his numbers will surely fall. If not, then he could still put up similar numbers to 2013.
The Red Sox 2-3-4 hitters – Not having Ellsbury in front of them to bat will make their RBI totals fall.
Vernon Wells – Little playing time will be expected for Wells, as there are four competent outfielders in front of him in the lineup. Unless he plays backup at 1B to Teixeira, he will more than likely sit most games.
Final note: Red Sox fans calling Ellsbury a “trader” made me chuckle.
By Jamie Sayer
The latest fantasy takes on player movements:
[shareaholic app="share_buttons" id="18699940"] [shareaholic app="recommendations" id="18699948"]