The Yankees are not planning to pay outfielder Jacoby Ellsbury for the 2020 season after releasing him this week, according to MLB Network's Jon Heyman.
New York cut Ellsbury on Wednesday night ahead of the team's deadline to set its 40-man roster. The high-priced outfielder, who is owed $26 million, has not played since the 2017 American League Championship Series because of multiple injuries.
Heyman's report comes after the New York Post alleged the Yankees were filing a grievance against Ellsbury in an attempt to recoup part of that $26 million. The Post reported that the Yankees were taking action because Ellsbury "used an outside facility to rehab injuries that kept him off the field for the past two seasons." According to Heyman, Ellsbury would instead be the one to file a grievance to recover the money withheld by the club.
According to the New York Times' James Wagner, the MLB Players Association was informed of the Yankees' decision Friday.
"The Players Association will vigorously defend any action taken against Jacoby or his contract and is investigating potential contract violations by his employer," the MLBPA said in a statement. "Until further notice, we will have no comment."
New York is set to eat the remaining money on Ellsbury's seven-year, $153 million deal. He was under contract for more than $21 million in 2020 and had a $5 million buyout for the 2021 season.
After a successful stint with the Red Sox to begin his career, Ellsbury joined the Yankees in 2014, but played in only 520 total games, missing the entirety of both the 2018 and 2019 seasons.
The move to release Ellsbury, 36, came after injuries plagued New York's outfield in the 2019 season. Left fielder Giancarlo Stanton struggled with multiple injuries throughout the season and was limited to only 18 games, while Aaron Judge missed two months with an oblique strain. Center fielder Aaron Hicks is currently undergoing rehab and will likely miss the beginning of the 2020 season due to Tommy John surgery on his right elbow.