Yankees release Ellsbury, DFA Bird & Cortes.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

The Yankees had to set their 40-man roster before the Rule 5 draft and wanted to protect a couple of youngsters from that draft.

In order to do so, they made some moves.

The first was that they released Jacoby Ellsbury. In doing so, they are eating the $21MM he is owed for 2020 and also paying him $5MM for a 2021 buyout. They are eating $26MM and yes, that money for 2020 still will count against the cap. Ellsbury didn’t play at all for the Yankees in 2018 and 2019.

Ellsbury did play for them 2014-2017, with his best year being his first, in 2014 (.271-16-70 with 39 SB, OPS+ 111). So the Yanks got NOTHING from him for the last three years of his contract and had to buy out 2021.

The Yanks also DFA’d Greg Bird and Nestor Cortes, Jr.

Bird hit .261 with 11 HR in 46 games at the end of 2015, filling in for the injured Mark Teixeira but has had trouble with injuries since. He missed all of 2016 due to injury, hit .190 in 48 games in 2017, .199 in 82 games in 2018 and was just 6 for 35 in 10 games in 2019. His big highlight was his HR in Game 3 of the 2017 ALDS off of Andrew Miller that won the game for the Yanks 1-0 and kept them alive in the playoffs that year.

Cortes, Jr. was 5-1, 5.67 for the Yankees in 2019, ERA+ 79, in one start and 32 relief appearances.

The Yanks added Estevan Florial, Deivi Garcia, Luis Gil, Brooks Kriske, Luis Medina, Nick Nelson and Miguel Yajure to the 40-man roster to protect them from the Rule 5 draft.

Florial: 22 on Nov. 25. OF lefty bat. .237-8-38 at High A Tampa in 2019.
Garcia: 20. 5-9, 4.28 combined A+/AA/AAA in 2019. 165 K in 111.1 IP.  21 starts, 5 relief.
Gil: 21. 5-5, 2.72 at A/A+ combined in 2019. 20 starts. 123 K in 96 IP.
Kriske: 25. 3-3, 2.08 at A+/AA combined in 2019. 12 saves. 80 K in 60.2 IP.
Medina: 20. 1-8, 5.47 at A/A+ combined in 2019. 22 starts. 127 K in 103.2 IP.
Nelson: 24 on Dec. 5. 8-3, 2.81 at A+/AA/AAA in 2019. 17 starts, 1 relief. 114 K in 89.2 IP.
Yajure: 21. 9-6, 2.14 at A+/AA in 2019. 20 starts, 4 relief. 133 K in 138.2 IP.

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