Jacoby Ellsbury may not be the only former Boston Red Sox player to join their arch-rival Yankees.
Jon Heyman of CBS Sports is reporting that the New York Yankees are now in pursuit of the shortstop, who has been without a home since the off season started. Much of the talk surrounding the Yankees’ Hot Stove season had revolved around whether they would be able to stay below the $189 million Luxury Tax threshold, but with the signing of Japanese right hander Masahiro Tanaka to a 7-year, $155 million deal, the spending limit is much less of a concern.
The Luxury Tax is imparted on teams who have a single-year payroll above $189 million, but there is no penalty for incremental additions to the payroll once the limit is surpassed. There is, however, an increase in percentage to be paid for each consecutive year a team remains above the limit. In order for a team to stop paying the Luxury Tax, they must dip below $189 million for one season.
Stephen Drew, who stayed on the Boston Red Sox World Series team while struggling offensively but excelling defensively, is linked to Draft Pick compensation and had been rumored to return to Boston since nobody had been willing to pay what agent Scott Boras was asking. The Yankees have already surrendered Draft Picks with the signings of Ellsbury, Brian McCann, and Carlos Beltran, further increasing criticism of its already weak farm system.
Drew, who turns 31 in less than two months, was a .253/.333/.443 hitter during his time in Boston, hitting 13 home runs and driving in 67 runs. In the Postseason, in which his defense was invaluable to the Sox, he only hit .111, hitting one home run in Game 6 of the World Series.