June 22, 2021

The Daily Chop: Surprise names hit the open market (Talking Chop)

The Yankees released two Major League players on Wednesday, cutting ties with outfielder Jacoby Ellsbury and first baseman Greg Bird. Both players had battled bouts with injury and ineffectiveness, but the decision to release seem far-fetched, especially given the $21 million owed to Ellsbury in 2020.

While the Yankees can undoubtedly carry the burden of a sunk cost, Ellsbury has long been a hindrance to their outfield plans. The club inked him to a 7-year, $153 million deal following the 2013 season, and has since seen his career plummet as compared to the player he was during his time with the Red Sox. Ellsbury was one of the more sought-after free agents of the decade following a monstrous 2013 campaign in Boston, but this time hits the market as a broken 36-year-old who will likely be fighting to fill a reserve role in 2020.

As for Greg Bird, plantar fasciitis limited the 27-year-old to just ten games in 2019. His inability to stay healthy has clearly worn the Yankees thin with regards to his place in New York, and Bird’s release could be a sign that his health is even worse than expected at the moment. The Yankees are ripe with offensive firepower, and having an…

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