Last month, the Yankees released Jacoby Ellsbury and shortly thereafter news broke that the team . Ellsbury, who signed a seven-year, $153 million deal ahead of the 2014 season, has not played a game since 2017 due to various injuries.
The oft-injured Ellsbury, in the view of the Yankees, seems to have broken part of the collective bargaining agreement that states a player can't get work-related injury care from a provider who is not affiliated with the club. The Yankees didn't authorize Ellsbury to get medical treatment from the Progressive Medical Center in Atlanta. Ellsbury maintains that it was a non-baseball injury and, thus, he didn't need the club's consent for such treatment.
Unsurprisingly, the players' union vowed to fight this decision by the Yankees shortly after it was made. The group took that step Thursday. The Major League Baseball Players Association has filed a grievance on behalf of Ellsbury to recoup the money remaining on the deal, according to a report from the Associated Press. Unless there's a settlement, the grievance will be heard by arbitrator Mark Irvings, the AP reported.
Ellsbury was due $21 million for the 2020 season and there's a $5 million buyout on the $21 million club option for 2021. Ellsbury was somewhat productive, if underwhelming, in 2014 with a 111 OPS+, 39 steals and 3.6 WAR. In the ensuing three seasons, he hit .261/.331/.372 (89 OPS+) while averaging 124 games played and 2.1 WAR per season.
It's hard to imagine anyone signing Ellsbury to anything more than a minor-league deal at this point and it's not clear when, if ever, he could physically return to the field.