BOSTON (CBS) – Jacoby Ellsbury donned pinstripes for the first time on Friday, as the center fielder was formally introduced by the New York Yankees.
Ellsbury said the Yankees made a strong push from the start of free agency, making it easy to accept their seven-year, $153 million offer.
“They showed that they wanted me from the get-go, and from that moment on I was excited to become a New York Yankee,” Ellsbury said Friday.
“I’m excited for this opportunity, coming to a storied franchise. Looking outside today seeing the banners on the wall and the players that have played here, it’s truly an honor,” Ellsbury said. “I can’t wait to get to spring training and get to work.”
Ellsbury said he is excited to be part of the next core in New York, and isn’t nervous about becoming the latest member in a long line of Red Sox to sign the Yankees.
“It’s been done before,” he said of crossing sides of the rivalry. “I have nothing but great things to say about my old team, and I’m just truly honored to be here. It will be fun when I go back to Boston, but I’m excited to be here. I know the rivalry, and it’s going to be an exciting time. I’m just happy to put on this jersey and hat.”
“I had seven great years (in Boston) and last year was a great season. That’s what it’s all about; winning championships,” he said. “I feel very fortunate being a part of that team. It was seven great years, and now I have eight years here, and hopefully we’ll be holding that trophy.”
Ellsbury wouldn’t go into if the Red Sox made any offers to bring him back, instead reflecting on the seven years he spent in Boston.
“It was seven great years and the fans treated me great. The guys in the clubhouse, those are relationships I’ll have for the rest of my life regardless of what uniform I’m in or what uniform they’re in,” said Ellsbury. “Then the two championships; it was an unbelievable first part of my career, but I’m excited for the next chapter.”
With #2 claimed by Derek Jeter, Ellsbury will wear #22 for New York. The last member of the Yankees to wear that number was also a former Red Sox: Roger Clemens.
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