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The New York Yankees and Jacoby Ellsbury quietly settled their contract dispute at least one year ago and avoided a grievance hearing, reports the New York Post. The settlement terms are unknown, though the payment was low enough to prevent the Yankees from exceeding the $248 million second competitive balance tax threshold in 2020 ($248 million prior to proration).

In Nov. 2019 the Yankees released Ellsbury and withheld the $26 million remaining on his contract, claiming he used an outside rehab facility without their permission. The $26 million covered Ellsbury's salary in 2020, the final guaranteed season on his seven-year free agent contract, as well as a buyout of his 2021 club option. The MLBPA filed a grievance on Ellsbury's behalf. 

Here is the relevant part of the 2017-21 collective bargaining agreement:

"Any treatment a Player receives for a Work-Related Injury by a health care provider who is not affiliated with the Club must be authorized by the Club in advance of the treatment in accordance with Regulation 2 of the (Uniform Players Contract)."

Ellsbury was hampered by injuries throughout his tenure with the Yankees, and he did not play at all in 2018 or 2019. He eventually underwent surgery to repair a torn hip labrum in Aug. 2018, and his recovery from the procedure is what led to the contract dispute.

After signing his seven-year, $153 million contract, Ellsbury played only 520 of 972 possible games before being released, or 53 percent. Now 38, Ellsbury authored a .264/.330/.386 batting line with the Yankees. The case can be made he is the worst free agent signing in franchise history.

The Chicago Cubs reportedly had interest in Ellsbury in spring training 2020. He has not played or even signed with a new team since being released by the Yankees.

Prior to joining the Yankees, Ellsbury spent even seasons with the rival Boston Red Sox, most notably finishing second in the AL MVP voting in 2011.