Yankees Forcing Ellsbury To File Grievance To Collect Pay

Team Claims Outfielder Used Unapproved Doctors

Ryan Chatelain
November 22, 2019 - 3:34 pm

The divorce between the Yankees and Jacoby Ellsbury is growing ugly.

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According to WFAN baseball insider Jon Heyman, the Yankees don't plan to pay Ellsbury, whom they released Wednesday, the $26 million he is due, arguing the 36-year-old outfielder's use of unapproved doctors to treat injuries voids guarantees in his contract.

The New York Post first reported the Yankees were trying to recoup some of the money owed to Ellsbury by filing a grievance. But according to Heyman, the Yankees simply won't pay Ellsbury, forcing him to be the one who files a grievance. If the two sides cannot reach a settlement, the case would go to an independent arbitrator. 

Ellsbury has not played since 2017, missing the past two seasons with oblique, back and hip injuries. He was owed $21 million for the 2020 season as well as a $5 million buyout for the Yankees not picking up his 2021 option.

Jacoby Ellsbury

The Yankees signed Ellsbury to a seven-year, $153 million contract before the 2014 season but never got their money's worth out of the former Red Sox All-Star, as he hit .264 with 39 home runs over the four seasons when he did suit up.

Ellsbury, meanwhile, is preparing to return to the field in 2020, a source close to him told MLB.com