The Red Sox have been without reigning AL MVP runner-up Jacoby Ellsbury for most of the year due to a shoulder injury, part of the reason why they've had to use a dozen different outfielders. Today, agent Scott Boras told reporters (including WEEI.com's Rob Bradford) that there have been no discussions with the team about a long-term extension.
"We've only had the traditional discussions of one-year contracts," said Boras. "(GM Ben Cherington) and I will certainly begin contract discussions at year's end because we have to. We have at minimum a one-year contract to discuss. We're going to play through the season. Ben's operating his team and I'm signing draft picks, operating my team."
Boras went on to explain that Matt Kemp's eight-year, $160MM contract extension with the Dodgers isn't a fair reference point for a potential Ellsbury deal.
"The Matt Kemp contract is not a free agent contract," said Boras. "It's not a barometer that has a great deal of relevance other than it's what players get who are not free agents and are really talented. So when you look at the free agent markets and you look at those types of contracts you can understand there is always a big disparity between a free agent contract and a contract that is signed before the player is a free agent."
Ellsbury will earn $8.05MM this season and remains under team control as an arbitration-eligible player next year. He can become a free agent after 2013. During the offseason, Ellsbury indicated a willingness to sign a long-term deal with the Red Sox but said he will leave negotiations up to Boras. MLBTR's Mark Polishuk suggested that a seven-year deal worth roughly $130MM could work for both sides, though that was predicated on another MVP-caliber season. The shoulder injury throws a wrench into that.