When Choo's agent, Scott Boras, asked for a deal in the price range of Ellsbury's contract, the Yankees declined and moved on to get free-agent outfielder Carlos Beltran instead, according to Yahoo.
The Yankees' offer to Choo apparently was made between Dec. 3-6 after second baseman Robinson Cano left for the Seattle Mariners and Ellsbury's signing. Boras countered by demanding a contract similar to Ellsbury's seven-year, $153 million deal. The Yankees then signed Beltran, who was with the St. Louis Cardinals, to a three-year, $45 million deal.
The Yankees refused to comment about the Choo offer, according to Yahoo.
Choo is considered the best remaining free agent on the market this winter and has drawn interested from the Texas Rangers, Seattle Mariners, Houston Astros and Arizona Diamondbacks. According to reports, the Astros could be the front-runners to land Choo.
The 31-year-old spent the 2013 season with the Cincinnati Reds and batted .285 with 21 home runs and 54 RBIs and had 20 stolen bases in 154 games.
Choo started his career with the Seattle Mariners and played six seasons with the Cleveland Indians before going to the Reds. He is a career .288 batter with 104 home runs, 427 RBIs and 105 stolen bases in 809 games.