Ellsbury to New York, Part One: Yanks overpaid

Ellsbury to New York, Part One: Yanks overpaid
December 4, 2013, 6:15 am
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The first of five thoughts, after a most busy day, about the fallout from Jacoby Ellsbury leaving the Red Sox to sign a seven-year, $153 million deal with the New York Yankees.

Thought One: The fact that a major Scott Boras client signed a deal of this magnitude almost a week before the start of the winter meetings should tell you something: the Yankees overpaid in a big way.

Typically, Boras holds his guys out until later into December, sometimes well into January (think: Prince Fielder). Boras likes the tension to build and for teams to begin bidding against one another, often with the help of an illusory "mystery team."

Boras is, of course, very good at what he does. And what he does extremely well is assess the market and find the best (read: biggest) deal for his clients.

Boras is most in his element during the winter meetings, picking one strategic moment to stand in a hotel lobby, surrounded by reporters, and declare how much interest his stable of players are attracting.

Getting Ellsbury signed this early in the offseason, without the benefit of ginning up some business at the winter meetings, suggests that the Yankees paid more than anyone was going to pay a few weeks or a month from now.

It's possible that the Yankees made an aggressive bid this early to, in part, put a scare into free-agent infielder Robinson Cano. It's also possible that the Yankees let Boras know that the offer wouldn't be on the table for long. Take it in 24 hours, or it's gone.

Boras took it. On December 3.

That suggests the Yankees already went higher than anyone else was going to bid.