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Yankees willing to pay ‘at least half’ of Jacoby Ellsbury’s salary

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Jon Heyman reports that the Yankees are willing to pay “at least half” of Jacoby Ellsbury‘s contract in order to unload him.

That’s a lot of money, but given that Ellsbury is owed $21.142 million per year through 2020 with a $5 million buyout for this $21 million club option for 2021, he’d still be owed far more than his production currently supports. To wit: the 34-year-old outfielder has hit a meager .261/.331/.372 over the last three seasons with 63 stolen bases.

His contract, to which the Yankees signed him following the 2013 season, when he was 30 years-old, stands as one of baseball’s worst deals these days. And is likely on the back of the mind of all of baseball’s GMs as they contemplate free agent deals this offseason.

Diamondbacks sign Kris Medlen and Antonio Bastardo to minor-league deals

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Bob Nightengale of USA Today reports that the Arizona Diamondbacks have signed pitchers Kris Medlen and Antonio Bastardo to minor-league deals. Medlen will make $1.1 million if he breaks camp with the Snakes. Bastardo will earn at $1.5 million if he makes the team.

Medlen hasn’t pitched in the bigs since 2016 and hasn’t pitched effectively in the bigs since 2013 due to multiple Tommy John surgeries and, more recently, shoulder ailments. Last year he put up a 4.95 ERA in 20 games in the Braves’ minor league system. If he’s healthy he could be a depth guy for the Dbacks in the event one of their big league starters go down.

Bastardo pitched in nine games, ineffectively, for the Pirates before being released last season. He didn’t catch on anywhere else after that so, hey, I guess he’s fresh?