Watching Jacoby Ellsbury go about his day, an uninformed observer might wonder if he’s a minor-leaguer trying to make the team out of spring training.

While every Masahiro Tanaka bullpen session has been watched with close eyes and every grounder hit to Derek Jeter dissected with great detail, Ellsbury has flown so far under the radar you’d almost forget he signed a $153 million contract to move from one side of the game’s greatest rivalry to the other.
And he’s perfectly fine with that.

“Last year with the Red Sox, we signed a lot of guys and it divided the attention,” Ellsbury said.
“If you’re the only guy that signs in a big market, you’re going to get it all.”

In 2011, the Red Sox added Carl Crawford and Adrian Gonzalez during a big winter spending spree. Last year, Boston brought in Shane Victorino, Mike Napoli, Jonny Gomes, Ryan Dempster, Stephen Drew and a couple other free agents, taking the pressure off of them individually as the Red Sox looked to bounce back from their disastrous 2012 campaign.

The Yankees did the same thing — albeit on a much larger scale — after missing the playoffs last year, inking Ellsbury, Tanaka, Brian McCann, Carlos Beltran, Kelly Johnson and Brian Roberts.

“The adjustment is a lot easier when you have a bunch of new faces,” Ellsbury said. “We’re going through the same experiences together.”

The 2009 free-agent class of CC Sabathia, Mark Teixeira and A.J. Burnett was put under the microscope that spring, even after Alex Rodriguez’s PED admission and ensuing hip surgery.

That hasn’t been the case this spring. Joe Girardi believes Jeter’s retirement announcement took most of the focus off the rest of the team early in the spring, while Tanaka’s arrival took care of the rest.