Yankees make it official with Ellsbury and Kuroda
NEW YORK (AP) — The New York Yankees made it official Saturday, announcing the completion of a seven-year deal with free-agent outfielder Jacoby Ellsbury and a one-year contract for returning starter Hiroki Kuroda.
The busy Bronx Bombers have been undergoing a pricey roster overhaul after missing the playoffs for only the second time in 19 years.
Ellsbury, fresh off winning the World Series with Boston, agreed to a $153 million deal with New York on Tuesday. The contract includes a $21 million team option for the 2021 season, with a $5 million buyout. If the option is exercised, the deal would be worth $169 million over eight years.
The Yankees will hold an introductory news conference for Ellsbury at Yankee Stadium on Friday.
Ellsbury, who turned 30 in September, led the majors with 52 stolen bases despite being hobbled late in the season by a broken right foot. The lefty-hitting leadoff man batted .298 with nine homers and 53 RBIs, and the short right-field porch at Yankee Stadium should boost his power numbers.
He joins a crowded outfield that will include Carlos Beltran, who agreed to a three-year, $45 million contract, according to two people familiar with the deal, on Friday. Beltran’s agreement came hours after All-Star second baseman Robinson Cano decided to leave for Seattle.
Outfielders Alfonso Soriano, Brett Gardner, Ichiro Suzuki and Vernon Wells are all expected to return. Curtis Granderson, though, left for a deal with the crosstown Mets.
Kuroda also agreed Friday to a one-year deal, worth $16 million, to come back and fill one of three holes in the rotation behind CC Sabathia and Ivan Nova.
Kuroda, who turns 39 in February, got off to a strong start last season before fading down the stretch. He finished 11-13 with a 3.31 ERA in 32 starts covering 201 1-3 innings.
The deal includes bonuses of $250,000 for pitching 190 and 210 innings.
New York introduced new catcher Brian McCann at a news conference Thursday. He signed an $85 million, five-year contract.
When Beltran’s deal is finalized, the Yankees will have committed about $172 million to 13 players for their 2014 luxury-tax payroll.
That would leave them with approximately $5 million to spend if they intend to stay under the $189 million threshold, which includes all players on the 40-man roster and $11 million to $12 million for benefits.
It appears unlikely New York would remain under the threshold unless Alex Rodriguez is suspended for most of the season, which would relieve the Yankees of much of his $25 million salary.