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Boras: Ellsbury feels he's 'major part' of Yanks

Vet will compete with Hicks in attempt to reclaim CF job
MLB.com @BryanHoch

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- Jacoby Ellsbury again looks like an odd man out in the Yankees' outfield, especially following this week's blockbuster trade for Giancarlo Stanton, but agent Scott Boras said Wednesday that the 34-year-old is "pretty excited" by the latest developments in The Bronx.

"I talked to him [Tuesday]. He feels he's going to be a major part of what they're doing," Boras said. "I think there's going to be a competition in New York. They have a lot of diamonds in their jewelry store, no question about it. It's going to be a very healthy environment."

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- Jacoby Ellsbury again looks like an odd man out in the Yankees' outfield, especially following this week's blockbuster trade for Giancarlo Stanton, but agent Scott Boras said Wednesday that the 34-year-old is "pretty excited" by the latest developments in The Bronx.

"I talked to him [Tuesday]. He feels he's going to be a major part of what they're doing," Boras said. "I think there's going to be a competition in New York. They have a lot of diamonds in their jewelry store, no question about it. It's going to be a very healthy environment."

Following Monday's acquisition of Stanton from the Marlins, Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said that Brett Gardner will be the Yanks' everyday starter in left field, with Aaron Hicks and Ellsbury competing for reps in center field. American League Rookie of the Year Award winner Aaron Judge and Stanton, the National League MVP Award winner, will be rotated between right field and designated hitter.

Cashman has suggested that Ellsbury will have to come into Spring Training with the mindset of reclaiming his starting role from Hicks.

"He's got a lot of pride," Cashman said of Ellsbury. "I think he's intending to try to find a way to take that job back. The season ended with Hicks as the everyday center fielder, so I think it's easy to presume going in that Hicks would be the everyday center fielder. That doesn't mean that Ells can't take it back."

Boras expressed confidence that Ellsbury can rise to that challenge.

"Jacoby has done a lot of big things in a lot of big situations in a lot of big cities, so competition does not in any way do anything but exhilarate him," Boras said.

Ellsbury batted .264/.348/.402 with seven homers, 39 RBIs and 22 stolen bases in 112 games for New York this past season, his fourth in pinstripes. He missed 29 team games with a concussion sustained May 24 vs. the Royals. The 28-year-old Hicks hit .266/.372/.475 with 15 homers, 52 RBIs and 10 stolen bases in 88 games.

Having cleared space to remain under the $197 million luxury tax threshold by dealing infielder Chase Headley and right-hander Bryan Mitchell to the Padres for outfielder Jabari Blash on Tuesday, the Yankees would certainly listen to trade proposals for Ellsbury, who is owed approximately $68 million over the next three seasons and has a full no-trade clause.

Cashman said that the Yanks would not make a decision about Ellsbury's role based solely upon his salary.

"I know it's an extensive circumstance with the contract, but that was my doing," Cashman said. "Therefore, that's not something that factors into what's going forward in 2018 or 2019. I think you saw that we don't make decisions based on money that way."

Bryan Hoch has covered the Yankees for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch and Facebook.

New York Yankees, Jacoby Ellsbury