Injury to delay Ellsbury's arrival at Yanks camp

OF hindered by plantar fasciitis after missing all of '18, targeting March

February 13th, 2019

TAMPA, Fla. -- 's locker will remain empty at Yankees camp for at least the rest of the month.

Manager Aaron Boone said on Wednesday that the veteran outfielder -- who has not played in a Major League game since 2017 -- is not expected to report to camp with the rest of the team's position players because of plantar fasciitis that stalled his rehab from surgery.

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"We expected him to be here as an active player from the start, but some issues with plantar fasciitis crept up as he was going through his rehab this winter and slowed him a little bit," Boone said.

"We feel he's making really good progress. He's going to stay in Arizona for at least the next couple of weeks, and hopefully when he's really able to dive into baseball activities -- which we believe will be sometime in March -- he'll join us."

Ellsbury missed all of last year due to a variety of injuries, culminating in an August procedure that repaired a torn labrum in his left hip.

The Yankees had anticipated that the 35-year-old would compete with , and for playing time among their stacked outfield this spring. In fact, general manager Brian Cashman pointed to Ellsbury as part of the reason the Yankees had no interest in free agent outfielder .

With Ellsbury now out of commission, Frazier figures to receive even more of an opportunity to prove that his post-concussion issues are behind him. It is also possible, though not probable, that the Yankees could revisit their stance on Harper.

Ellsbury has two years and approximately $42.2 million remaining on the seven-year, $153 million contract he signed prior to the 2014 season, plus a $5 million buyout for 2021.

Cashman said that teams made trade proposals that included Ellsbury over the winter, but the GM likened them to "money laundering" -- one bad contract for another. Most recently, the Giants had been said to be connected to Ellsbury, though the new injury likely has doused any interest.

"It's just really slowed him and his ability to really break through and get to where he needs to be," Boone said. "So he hasn't been able to start the baseball activity stuff. When he started working, the plantar fasciitis stuff really started rearing its ugly head."