The New York Yankees announced Tuesday that outfielder Jacoby Ellsbury underwent left hip surgery to repair a torn labrum and is out for the remainder of the 2018 season.
Update on OF Jacoby Ellsbury: pic.twitter.com/Uw2JSOLfBR— Yankees PR Dept. (@YankeesPR) August 7, 2018
The 34-year-old Ellsbury didn't appear in a single game this year, as he continued to nurse multiple nagging injuries. Ellsbury played 112 games for the Yankees last season and batted .264 with seven home runs and 39 RBI, helping the Pinstripes come within one game of the AL pennant last year.
After helping the Boston Red Sox win the World Series in 2013 (he also won a ring with them in 2007), Ellsbury signed a whopping seven-year contract worth $153 million with the Yankees. However, Ellsbury has been marred by injuries and has had inconsistent production.
Ellsbury is owed a base salary of $21,142,857 through 2020 with a $21 million club option for 2021, per Spotrac.com. Releasing him wouldn't save much money for the Yankees, and they'll have an extremely difficult time finding any takers for that mammoth contract.
The Yankees have been hit hard by injuries this season, with Ellsbury being the latest one. Starting pitcher Jordan Montgomery required Tommy John surgery and is out for the season, while Aaron Judge needed wrist surgery and will be out for several more weeks of action. Star catcher Gary Sanchez was ruled out of action for about a month following a groin injury.
Nonetheless, the Yankees sit at 69-42 and are five games clear of the Seattle Mariners for the top wild card spot, and three up on the Oakland Athletics. With a lethal lineup, formidable rotation and dominant bullpen, the Yankees are built to get through despite the injuries.
Losing a proven playoff performer and good clubhouse presence in Ellsbury undoubtedly hurts the Yankees, but they've played fine without him. They simply have to hope, for his own sake, that Ellsbury can stay healthy and occupy one of the three outfield spots for 2019.