ORLANDO, Fla. -- Last offseason, when it had become clear that Gary Sanchez represented the Yankees' future in shin guards, Brian McCann gave general manager Brian Cashman a green light to gauge the marketplace by agreeing to waive his no-trade clause. He was rewarded with a chance to hoist the World Series trophy with the Astros earlier this month.
Jacoby Ellsbury appears to be in a similar situation, with Cashman saying this week that he envisions Brett Gardner, Aaron Hicks and Aaron Judge comprising his starting outfield in 2018. The GM said that he has not spoken to Ellsbury's agent, Scott Boras, about the possibility of moving the 34-year-old outfielder.
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"We ended with the current setup of Judge in right, Hicks in center and Gardy in left for a reason: They were the best that we had," Cashman said on Tuesday. "And so I think we would anticipate going in that way again, but that doesn't mean people can't flip scripts."
Ellsbury has three years and $63.4 million remaining on the seven-year, $153 million pact he inked with New York prior to the 2014 season. He batted .264/.348/.402 with seven homers and 39 RBIs in 112 games, seeing a hot start disrupted by a May 24 crash into the center-field fence at Yankee Stadium that resulted in a concussion.
Though Ellsbury hit just .200 (27-for-135) in his first 46 games after returning from the disabled list, he caught fire in September, and he was among the Yanks' top offensive performers, batting .377 with 21 runs scored in 27 games. Ellsbury made just four starts in the Yanks' 13 postseason games, all of them at DH.
"I do think he still can be a viable contributor here," Cashman said. "I mean, when he got back off the DL and then found his stride, he was one of the reasons why we were able to be a force down the stretch."
Cashman said that he has not spoken with Boras during the General Managers Meetings in Orlanda, Fla., but he plans to before departing for New York on Wednesday.
"If there is going to be something for consideration with Jacoby, I would make sure I would stay ahead of it and have to include anybody in the process on their side of it to make sure it's handled the proper way," Cashman said. "They have a full no-trade [clause] for a reason, and I would walk through that process with the highest level of communication and respect because of it."
• Chad Green is likely to come to Spring Training as a starter, with a bullpen spot viewed as a fallback option. Green was 5-0 with a 1.83 ERA in 40 games (one start), compiling a dominant 13.4 strikeouts-per-nine-innings ratio out of the bullpen.
"You can't disregard how exceptional he was in the current role that he had, but at the same time, he didn't find himself in that role because he was a failed starter," Cashman said.