Yankees Worst Free Agent Signings Number 2
Rich – Jacoby Ellsbury is my choice for the second worst free agent signing in Yankees history. While Ellsbury has at least played in 111 games or more per season in New York (which is why he’s number two and not number one), it was the amount of money the Yankees spent (seven-years, $153 million) that makes this a bad signing. The Yankees already had a player on the roster that could do everything that Ellsbury could do, but that player was younger, did it better and was cheaper. I am of course talking about Brett Gardner. It baffled my mind that the Yankees would spend all that money on something they already had, but a worse version of. Also, it was apparent that Ellsbury was basically coming off his best years in baseball but there was a high chance they were flukes and not indicative of future potential. The Yankees signed Ellsbury mainly as a response to losing Robinson Cano to the Mariners in free agency. While Ellsbury has had a few great moments in pinstripes, now he basically is an anchor on the bench, acting as the fifth outfielder which prevents young guys like Clint Frazier from getting playing time, and is untradeable unless the Yankees eat the majority of the remaining contract.
Adam: -The second worst Yankees free agent signing hails from across the Pacific. Welcome to the contract awarded to Kei Igawa. He was, unfortunately, a partial by-product of the Yankees missing out on the Dice-K bidding. He was considered the second option and the Yankees forked out $46 Mil for his services ($26 Mil in posting fees and $20 Mil in salary).
When Igawa threw his first bullpen session, the comments from the bullpen catcher were both the stuff of legend and foreshadowing. He basically said that he hoped Igawa was hurt because he threw three strikes, had a horrible changeup and slider, and nothing about him screamed big leagues. Scouts and brass hoped that was an exaggeration but unfortunately for Igawa and the Yankees, he pretty much nailed it.
In his first year with the Yankees he posted numbers that most would not even believe. A 6.25 ERA, a WHIP of 1.670, and FIP of 6.37. To start year two, Igawa was banished to the minors. He made two spot appearances that year (one start) and was shelled in both of them. He returned to the minors and was never heard from again. He ended his time in New York with a WAR of -.05, a WHIP of 1.738, and an ironic ERA of 6.66. That evil signing is good for number two on the list of Yankees worst free agent signings.