The MLB transaction wire was burning yesterday, as it was the deadline for teams to add players to the 40 man roster in advance of the Rule 5 draft. Along with players being added, many teams had to drop players from the 40 man roster to create roster spots, and there were some notable names among those who were designated for assignment yesterday.
Probably the biggest name of yesterday’s 40 man roster casualties wasn’t designated for assignment, but was actually released — Jacoby Ellsbury of the New York Yankees. The 36 year old outfielder was one of the Yankees prized additions in the 2013-14 offseason, when they poached him from the rival Red Sox on a seven year, $153 million deal. Ellsbury gave the Yankees 9.8 bWAR as their primary center fielder from 2014-17, then missed all of 2018 and 2019 due to injuries. The Yankees, seeing little chance of Ellsbury contributing, opted to eat the $21 million due to him in 2020 and the $5 million buyout of his 2021 option rather than have him occupy a 40 man roster spot all offseason.