Wild Day for Sox: Ellsbury to Yanks, A.J. to Boston
Boston Red Sox's Jacoby Ellsbury, right, argues a strikeout call with home plate umpire Bruce Dreckman during the first inning of a baseball game against the Toronto Blue Jays at Fenway Park, Friday, June 28, 2013, in Boston. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)
FILE - This 2013 file photo shows A.J. Pierzynski of the Texas Rangers baseball team. A person with knowledge of the negotiations says free-agent catcher Pierzynski is closing in on a one-year contract with the Boston Red Sox. The deal would be pending a physical. The person spoke on condition of anonymity Tuesday, Dec. 3, 2013, because the team hadn't finalized the agreement. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel, File)
New York — Free agent outfielder Jacoby Ellsbury, fresh off winning the World Series with Boston, reached agreement with the rival New York Yankees on a seven-year contract worth about $153 million, a person familiar with the negotiations said Tuesday night.
Ellsbury is the second major free-agent addition in the Yankees’ offseason rebuilding. He was to take a physical in New York on Wednesday, the person said, speaking on condition of anonymity because no statements were authorized.
The Yankees also had been negotiating with Shin-Soo Choo, who like Ellsbury is represented by agent Scott Boras.
Earlier Tuesday, New York finalized an $85 million, five-year contract with All-Star catcher Brian McCann.
There is a long history of stars moving from Beantown to the Big Apple during their careers. Babe Ruth was the most famous, and Roger Clemens (with a stop in Toronto), Wade Boggs and Johnny Damon followed.
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.
Ellsbury’s deal includes a $21 million 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 move would raise the Yankees’ luxury tax payroll to $138 million for 10 players. The Yankees hope to get under the $189 million tax threshold next season, which includes about $177 million for salaries for the 40-man roster.
New York also has been speaking with the agents for Robinson Cano, their All-Star second baseman. The Yankees, who rebuffed his request for a 10-year deal worth more than $300 million, believe he has been in talks with the Seattle Mariners.
Ellsbury won a pair of World Series titles with the Red Sox and was an All-Star in 2011.
McCann, a seven-time All-Star, is to be introduced at a news conference Thursday at Yankee Stadium.
He receives $17 million in each of the next five seasons, and the Yankees have a $15 million option for 2019 with no buyout. The option becomes McCann’s if he has at least 1,000 plate appearances combined in 2017 and 2018, has at least 90 starts at catcher in 2018 and does not end the 2018 season on the disabled list.
His deal includes a full no-trade provision, meaning he cannot be dealt without his consent.
McCann, who turns 30 in February, hit .256 with 20 homers and 57 RBIs in 102 games this year, when he missed the first month following offseason surgery on his right shoulder. He has a .277 average in nine big league seasons with 176 homers and 661 RBIs.
Following the departure of Russell Martin last offseason, Yankees catchers combined for a .213 average, eight homers and 43 RBIs, according to STATS, down from .220, 22 and 64 in 2012.
“We feel we have made a significant improvement to a key position, while adding a high-character presence to our clubhouse,” Yankees managing general partner Hal Steinbrenner said in a statement. “Our work this offseason has just begun, but we feel this is an important step towards what will be an exciting and rewarding 2014 season for our fans.”
Sox Add Catcher
Boston — Free-agent catcher A.J. Pierzynski has agreed to a one-year contract with the Red Sox, a person with knowledge of the negotiations said Tuesday.
The deal would be pending a physical. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the team hadn’t finalized the agreement.
The lefty-hitting Pierzynski and righty David Ross, the backup, both will be 37 next season. With catching prospects Christian Vazquez and Blake Swihart making their way up the system, the Red Sox were reluctant to give a multiyear deal to free agent Jarrod Saltalamacchia, their starter the past three seasons.
Pierzynski hit .272 with 17 homers and 70 RBIs last season, his only one with the Texas Rangers. He walked just 11 times, and doesn’t fit the Red Sox’ preference for patient hitters who work the count. In 2012, he had 27 homers and 28 walks, both career highs.
He spent the previous eight years with the Chicago White Sox, playing in at least 128 games each season, and appeared in all four games when they swept Houston in the 2005 World Series. A two-time All-Star, Pierzynski has a .283 career average with 172 homers and 800 RBIs.
Saltalamacchia, a switch-hitter, batted .273 with 15 homers and 65 RBIs last season, his highest average since becoming Boston’s starting catcher. But he struck out 139 times in 121 games in each of the past two seasons.
Ross started four of the six games in Boston’s World Series victory over the St. Louis Cardinals. Saltalamacchia went 0 for 6 in the two Series games he played and 6 for 32 (.188) in the postseason.
Sox Lose Salty to Marlins
Jarrod Saltalamacchia is going from the World Series champions to a team that lost 100 games.
Saltalamacchia has agreed to a $21 million, three-year deal with the Miami Marlins, two people familiar with the negotiations said Tuesday.
Saltalamacchia started the past three seasons for the Red Sox, who were reluctant to offer him a multiyear deal. The switch-hitter batted a career-high .273 with 15 homers, 40 doubles and 65 RBIs last season. He hit .188 in the postseason and was benched during the World Series.
three-year deal in 2011 and was traded a year ago.
Saltalamacchia grew up in West Palm Beach, Fla., not far from the Marlins’ spring training complex in Jupiter. He’s a career .246 hitter with 73 homers in 595 games.