However, Kuty’s source said the Dbacks didn’t have “strong interest” in Ellsbury. Within those talks, the Yankees inquired about Patrick Corbin and Brandon Drury, according to Joel Sherman of the New York Post.
Ellsbury has a full no-trade clause and is due $63 million over the final three years of his seven-year, $153 million contract he signed in 2014. The 31-year-old, who will make $21 million this year, also has a $5 million buyout for the 2021 season.
After playing for the rival Red Sox from 2007-13, Ellsbury was the Yankees' starting center fielder from 2014 until this year. He lost his starting spot three times to Aaron Hicks, Clint Frazier and Brett Gardner due to a mix of dismal play and injuries. Ellsbury finished 2017 with seven home runs, 39 RBI and 22 stolen bases while slashing .264/.348/.402 in 112 games.
The Yankees have five outfielders right now in Ellsbury, Gardner, Hicks, Aaron Judge and newly acquired Giancarlo Stanton, so Ellsbury is last in the pecking order. Since acquiring Stanton, the Yankees have been looking to shed payroll to get under the $197 million luxury tax threshold. They dealt third baseman Chase Headley, who was owed $13 million, to the Padres, so trying to get Ellsbury’s high-priced contract off their books is clearly important.