Bronx, NY (SportsNetwork.com) - Jacoby Ellsbury officially switched sides of the Yankees-Red Sox rivalry on Friday, putting on a No. 22 pinstripe jersey for the first time.
Ellsbury agreed to a seven-year contract worth a reported $153 million last week, a deal that includes a club option for 2021.
"I'm excited to be a New York Yankee," Ellsbury said Friday at his introductory press conference. "I'm excited for this opportunity to come to a historic franchise. I can't wait to get to spring training and get to work."
The 30-year-old Ellsbury spent his first seven big league seasons with the Boston Red Sox, winning a pair of World Series championships. Last year, he led the American League with 52 stolen bases and batted .298 with nine homers, 53 runs batted in and 31 doubles in 134 games.
"I started my career with a championship and ended my tenure with a championship," Ellsbury said about his time in Boston. "It was an unbelievable start to my career."
He'll join the likes of Wade Boggs, Roger Clemens and Johnny Damon as former Red Sox stars who later played for the Yankees. Boggs, Clemens and Damon all won World Series titles with New York. Damon also won one with Boston.
"It's definitely been done before," he added about switching sides of baseball's most heated rivalry.
"From the get-go, the Yankees showed great interest in me and let me know they really wanted me. I've always enjoyed playing here and it'll be nice to have the fans on my side this time."
Ellsbury has had a history of injuries, as two of his six full seasons in Boston were cut short. He was an All-Star for the only time in 2011, when he finished second in the AL MVP voting to Detroit pitcher Justin Verlander after a brilliant season that featured 32 homers, 105 RBI, 46 doubles and 39 stolen bases.
"I've seen him get base hits, I've seen him hit home runs, I've seen him steal bases," said Yankees manager Joe Girardi. "I'm so excited to have him in our lineup on a daily basis. He can change a game in so many ways."
Ellsbury is a lifetime .297 hitter with 65 homers, 155 doubles, 241 stolen bases and 314 RBI over 715 games since making his big league debut in 2007.