AL East Notes: Yankees, Red Sox, Ellsbury

The Yankees will now be partners in a new Major League Soccer franchise, as announced on MLB.com. "We look forward to the opportunity to work with Manchester City to create something very special for the soccer fans of New York — and to bringing another terrific team to this city for all sports fans to enjoy," stated Yankees owner Hal Steinbrenner.  This isn't the Bombers' first foray into the world of soccer as they had a marketing partnership with Manchester United during their "YankeeNets" phase.  Here's a look at tonight's other news from the American League East..

  • Ben Francisco's days with the Yankees may be coming to an end, opines Mike Axisa of the River Avenue Blues blog. The 31-year-old outfielder has struggled to provide an impact in New York, hitting for just a .114/220/.182 line in 50 plate appearances so far this season.  
  • Jacoby Ellsbury has not played as the Red Sox would have hoped in his contract year, notes Scott Lauber of the Boston Herald. Lauber compares Ellsbury to Red Sox teammates Mike Napoli and Shane Victorino, as both performed below expectations during their final seasons before hitting free agency.  Ellsbury is off to a .241/.303/.335 start in a league-leading 208 PA.  
  • Lauber also discusses how the two-year, $10MM deal Jonny Gomes signed with the Red Sox has affected the outfielder.  While Gomes has gotten off to a slow start in 2013, Lauber argues that the security of a multiyear deal has helped the 32-year-old focus on providing leadership to younger Red Sox players.  

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