Alex Speier of WEEI confirms today what we heard reported last week by CSNNE.com's Joe Haggerty: neither Jacoby Ellsbury or his agent, Scott Boras, have discussed a long-term extension for the outfielder with the Boston Red Sox.
Speier points out that other core Red Sox players, such as Jon Lester and Dustin Pedroia, had about the same amount of Major League service time as Ellsbury when they signed extensions that bought out their arbitration-eligible seasons and their first year of free-agent eligibility. Ellsbury, however, says that there have been no conversations on the subject to date:
“I’m going to play this year. When the Red Sox talk with my agent, I guess that’s when that ball starts rolling…. I think it’s fine [that there have been no long-term talks]. I’d like to get one more year under my belt, but if they come with something tomorrow, then it’s a totally different ballgame."
Ellsbury is still only 26, and it's possible we haven't yet seen his ceiling. If he develops double-digit home run power and increases his 2009 OBP of .355, he could potentially make himself even more valuable in a year than he is right now. On the other hand, he's coming off a season in which he hit .300+ and stole 70 bases, two numbers it will be a challenge to improve upon in 2010.
So with Ellsbury's arbitration years approaching, who should be exercising more patience when it comes to negotiating a possible long-term contract for the speedster: Boras and Ellsbury, or the Red Sox? And if you're a Sox fan, what sort of price would you feel comfortable with?