Ellsbury cut by Yankees; big contract dispute
Madras High School graduate Jacoby Ellsbury, 36, was cut from the New York Yankees Nov. 20, and now the Yankees, who still owe Ellsbury $26 million are accusing Ellsbury of unauthorized medical treatment.
The Yankees sent a letter to the Major League Baseball Players Association notifying the union that they intend to convert Ellsbury's guaranteed contract to a nonguaranteed contract.
That would clear the Yankees of Ellsbury's $21 million salary for 2020, as well as a $5 million buyout of a $21 million team option for 2021. It was also reported that the Yankees could look to recover some of the $127 million they already paid to the Madras native.
Ellsbury has not played since 2017, as he has dealt with a variety of injuries, such as a bad back, hip surgery, and plantar fasciitis. The Yankees were reimbursed 75% of $42 million Ellsbury was paid in the 2018 and 2019 seasons, even though Ellsbury did not play in any games.
The Yankees are saying Ellsbury, who has been treated by Dr. Viktor Bouquette, of Progressive Medical Center in Atlanta, was being treated without the team's permission.
Dr. Bouquette also said the Yankees reached out to him in May asking for a signed statement saying the clinic would not treat Ellsbury with any substances on the league's banned list. Bouquette denied using any banned substances to treat Ellsbury, saying his clinic does not prescribe performance-enhancing drugs for any reason.
Bouquette also claims Ellsbury was not treated for any sports-related injury and Ellsbury was already injured before beginning treatment with Bouquette. Bouquette also said that the treatment did not conflict with or impair Ellsbury's injury rehabilitation.
It is also reported that the players association will defend any action taken against Ellsbury or his contract.
Over four seasons with the Yankees, Ellsbury hit .264 with 39 homers, 198 RBIs and 102 stolen bases in 520 games. He was an All-American at Oregon State and spent his first seven years with the Boston Red Sox, helping them win the World Series in 2007 and 2013.
He led the league in steals in 2008, 2009 and 2013, and made an all-star game appearance in 2011. During his time with Boston, he had a .297 career average, 65 homers, 314 RBIs and 241 steals.
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