Jon Heyman of MLB Network reported that Ellsbury might then file a grievance, as the Yankees would decline to pay the veteran because of the alleged use of doctors not authorized by the team:
Ellsbury—who has not played since 2017 because of injuries—is owed a $21 million salary for 2020 and a $5 million buyout on his $21 million option for 2021.
New York released Ellsbury on Wednesday, putting an end to the outfielder's time in the Bronx. He signed a seven-year, $153 million contract as a free agent in December 2013.
An All-Star and MVP candidate during his time with the Boston Red Sox, Ellsbury never lived up to his contract with the Yankees. He remained a contributor when healthy, slashing .264/.330/.386 in four seasons in pinstripes.
Despite having a 32-home run season (2011) with Boston on his resume, Ellsbury's power was limited at the hitter-friendly Yankee Stadium. He hit double-digit dingers just once in New York, going deep 16 times in 2014, and had 39 homers in 520 games with the Yankees.
He topped 50 stolen bases three times with the Red Sox; he had 102 total stolen bases with the Yankees.
Unfortunately for New York, injuries took their toll on Ellsbury. He was sidelined for the entirety of the 2018 and 2019 campaigns. In 2018, he suffered an oblique injury during spring training and later had back issues. He underwent hip surgery to repair a torn labrum in August 2018.
Though that procedure had a recovery timetable of six months, he was never able to get healthy enough to return to the field this past season.
Ellsbury appeared in more than 112 games for the Yankees just twice in six years. He topped out at 149 games in his first year with the club in 2014.
As New York looked to clear up 40-man roster spots this week, Ellsbury became the odd man out. The club has the likes of Aaron Judge, Giancarlo Stanton, Aaron Hicks (who will miss the start of next season because of Tommy John surgery) and Clint Frazier for the outfield.