Ellsbury, who helped Boston win the World Series this year, would be the second major free-agent addition in the Yankees' off-season rebuilding. He was to take a physical in New York on Wednesday, the person said, speaking on condition of anonymity because no statements were authorized.
New York had not yet finalized any deal with Ellsbury, a second person familiar with the talks said Tuesday night, also speaking on condition of anonymity because no statements were authorized.
The Yankees also had been negotiating with Shin-Soo Choo, who like Ellsbury is represented by agent Scott Boras.
Earlier Tuesday, New York finalized an $85 million, five-year contract with All-Star catcher Brian McCann.