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Jonathan Holder has a realistic shot of making the All-Star team

Middle relievers have only recently started receiving universal recognition for their individual performance in Major League Baseball, due to the new age of numbers in the sport. Saves are no longer the all-telling, ultimate stat about a reliever’s success and WAR, ERA+, and other metrics have opened the eyes of fans on just how valuable it is for a team to have dominant relievers outside of the ninth inning role. Their widely agreed on importance has led to a lot of non-closer relievers making the All-Star team in recent seasons. The American League squad had two of them in 2017 and 2015, and a whopping four in 2016. If this trend continues, the AL should feature at least one or two non-closer relievers, and possibly more, with the scarcity of lockdown closers in the AL in 2018. The Yankees feature a lot of highly talented middle relievers and the pitcher who has surprised everyone the most, Jonathan Holder, has a very realistic shot of cracking the AL All-Star squad.

MLB Trade Rumors: Jacoby Ellsbury "might consider" waving no-trade clause


One of the biggest storylines for the Yankees braintrust this offseason has been what to do with Jacoby Ellsbury and his unwillingness to waive his no-trade clause. He has repeatedly voiced his desire to stay in New York, and believes he can be the starting center fielder next season. According to a new report, however, the 33-year-old could possibly change his mind.  
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An article released this morning by Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports reports that Ellsbury “might consider waving it for a select few teams…” and goes on to list the San Francisco Giants as a possible destination. While these are nothing more than rumors at this stage, a move to the Bay Area would make sense for both sides.  

In acquiring Evan Longoria this week, San Francisco parted ways with Denard Span, their center fielder from the 2016 campaign. They are in the market for an additional outfielder, and although their sights are set on Jay Bruce, they will need a backup plan if they are unable to bring him in. Additionally, Jacoby Ellsbury lives in Phoenix. The Giants play their spring training games in Scottsdale, which is just a short drive away. Playing closer to home would make the move all the more enticing for the veteran. 

If the Yankees were able to convince Ellsbury to waive his no-trade clause, the return would be minimal. This move is more of a salary dump than anything else. While New York would likely have to retain at least part of the massive contract, they would be able to clear more payroll with the 2018 free agent class looming. 

Jacoby Ellsbury has made it clear during the offseason that he wants to stay with the Yankees and help them contend for a World Series championship. If nothing else, today’s news gives fans hope that the Bombers might be able to unload one of the worst contracts in baseball in the last decade. 

Article by: Dan DeGregorio


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