League sources told ESPN and the New York Post that the Yankees are expected to file paperwork Friday, once Ellsbury clears waivers, with the intent of converting his contract from guaranteed to non-guaranteed because of unauthorized medical treatment.
The Yankees said that Ellsbury, who hasn't played since the 2017 season because of multiple injuries, received outside treatment at Progressive Medical Center in Atlanta without the club's permission, according to ESPN.
Ellsbury, who had two years left on his seven-year, $153 million contract that he signed with the team in December 2013, was released by the Yankees on Wednesday. He is owed over $21 million for next season, along with a $5 million buyout of a $21 million team option for 2021.
Ellsbury and the MLB Players Association can file a grievance against the Yankees' decision. If the grievance isn't settled between both sides, then it will go to an independent arbitrator.
"The players' association will vigorously defend any action taken against Jacoby or his contract and is investigating potential contract violations by his employer," the union said in a statement.
Ellsbury, a two-time World Series champion and 2011 All-Star choice, had a .264 batting average with 39 home runs, 198 RBIs and 102 stolen bases in 520 games across four seasons with the Yankees. The 36-year-old outfielder spent his first seven MLB seasons with the Boston Red Sox.