Ellsbury was owed over $21 million in 2020, the last guaranteed season of a seven-year, $153-million pact he signed in December 2013. The deal also had a 2021 option with a $5-million buyout.
The 36-year-old failed to live up to expectations while in the Bronx. The former All-Star slashed .264/.330/.386 with 39 home runs and 102 stolen bases in 520 games with the Yankees. He didn't play in 2018 and 2019 due to multiple injuries.
Bird, meanwhile, accrued a .725 OPS with 32 homers in 186 career contests with the Bronx Bombers. The 27-year-old only played in 10 games in 2019 due to a plantar fascia tear.
New York also DFA'd left-hander Nestor Cortes Jr.