Last month, we learned that the Yankees were attempting to withhold money owed to recently-dismissed outfielder Jacoby Ellsbury because the oft-injured veteran sought medical attention from an outside facility. The Yankees owe Ellsbury a bit more than $21.1 million for the 2020 season plus a $5 million buyout for his 2021 club option. The doctor Ellsbury saw, Dr. Viktor Bouquette, said last month that he received approval from the Yankees for Ellsbury’s treatment for a non-work-related injury.
The Major League Baseball Players Association has filed a grievance on Ellsbury’s behalf against the Yankees, The Athletic’s Lindsey Adler reports. The matter can eventually be resolved via settlement or through arbitration.
As Craig mentioned several weeks ago, it is likely that both sides come to an agreement on a settlement, in which case the Yankees would recoup some but not all of Ellsbury’s remaining salary.
In the meantime, Ellsbury is a free agent. The 36-year-old hasn’t played since the end of the 2017 season, his third consecutive disappointing season with the Yankees.
Japanese League commissioner Atsushi Saito announced that Japan’s professional baseball season will open on June 19. Teams can being practice games on June 2. There will be no fans. Indeed, the league has not yet even begun to seriously discuss a plan for fans to begin attending games, though that may happen eventually.
The season will begin three months after its originally scheduled opening day of March 20. It will be 120 games long. Teams in each six-team league — the Central League and Pacific League — will play 24 games against each league opponent. There will be no interleague play and no all-star game.
The announcement came in the wake of a national state of emergency being lifted for both Tokyo and the island of Hokkaido. The rest of the country emerged from the state of emergency earlier this month. This will allow the Japanese leagues to follow leagues in South Korea and Taiwan which have been playing for several weeks.
In the United States, Major League Baseball is hoping to resume spring training in mid June before launching a shortened regular season in early July. That plan is contingent on the league and the players’ union coming to an agreement on both financial arrangements and safety protocols for a 2020 season. Negotiations on both are ongoing. Major League Baseball will, reportedly, make a formal proposal about player compensation tomorrow.