Red Sox Disinclined To Trade Jacoby Ellsbury

Outfielder Jacoby Ellsbury is one year removed from an MVP-caliber season and one year away from free agency, but Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports says (on Twitter) the Red Sox are disinclined to trade him right now. His value is down at the moment and the team figures he'll be highly motivated in his walk year.

“We’ve already had a lot of conversations on the phone,” said GM Ben Cherington to Michael Silverman of The Boston Herald, talking about this week's GM Meetings and not Ellsbury specifically. “But face-to-face, we’ll talk a little more about concepts, both free agent concepts and trade concepts.”

Ellsbury, 29, missed most of this season with a shoulder problem and hit just .271/.313/.370 with four homers and 14 steals in 323 plate appearances when healthy. A year ago he hit .321/.376/.552 with 32 homers and 39 steals while finishing second to Justin Verlander in the MVP voting. Ellsbury missed most of 2010 with a rib injury, so he's played in only 250 of 486 games over the last three years.

Matt Swartz projects the outfielder to earn $8.1MM through arbitration next season before hitting the open market a year from now. Silverman says the Red Sox should listed to any and all inquiries for Ellsbury given his impending free agency and their long list of needs. Ellsbury is a Scott Boras client and figures to command a mammoth long-term deal for his next contract.

66 Responses to Red Sox Disinclined To Trade Jacoby Ellsbury Leave a Reply

  1. If Ellsbury has a bad year or gets hurt again, he’ll be worth less at mid-season than he is now. If the Sox keep him and he walks at the end of the year, they get nothing. He’s had ONE very good year and is healthy now. The Sox shouldn’t take any chances. They need to trade him while they can.

    • Bob Bunker 3 years ago

      if he walks at the end of the year they get a draft pick which they might value more than the mid level prospects they will get for him now.

    • Encarnacion's Parrot 3 years ago

      He doesn’t have much value right now as is. They should have traded him after 2011, but I guess hindsight is 20/20.

  2. Dan Gorgone 3 years ago

    Have to think the Red Sox will see if Ellsbury can return to form in his contract year with the intention of trading him at his max value before the July deadline.

    If he can perform as well as possible, the Red Sox can get some prospects in return. Then, Ells can go out on the market and Boras can try to land him an immense deal. And at that point, hey, good luck Ells.

    Ells is a 29 year old, physical – but fragile – outfielder (at least, that is probably the perception by many). He is a risky guy to sign to be the cornerstone of your team, and therefore I see the Sox passing on him when it comes to talking contracts.

    He has been awesome when healthy, but just can’t seem to stay that way. For as much money as he’ll be looking for, it would be wise for Sox to bring up a prospect or two to see how they perform this season in advance of moving Ells.

    • I completely agree with you. I’ve been a HUGE Ellsbury fan since he was in the minors, but given his injury history (albeit his two most devastating injuries were of a fluky nature), and age, he is a risk to sign long term. Especially with guys like Bradley Jr. in the minors, who raked last season and could be a legitimate lead off hitter if it translates into the majors. (I’m not advocating drinking the Bradley Kool-aid, so much as illustrating that there are other, internal options, to replace Ells when and if he leaves/gets traded)

    • Baseball Lifer 3 years ago

      Fragile would be correct. For whatever the reason, Jacoby has played in only 67% of the Sox’s games since 2008…. FYI – This does not include 2007. 2007 was Jacoby’s rookie year in which he was a platoon player (sat due to MGR decision).

    • Bob Bunker 3 years ago

      Ellsbury is probally a guy that will give you 3-5 War for the next 3 years and then 1.5-3.5 WAR for the following 3 years. Thus I would say at most I would give him 14 million a year for 5 years. But he is going to want more and he might get it depending on how 2013 goes for him. Shoud be interesting

    • dc21892 3 years ago

      How can you call him fragile? He had a grown mans knee slam in to his ribs while both players running full speed. Of course that’s going to take time to heal. Then, last year another grown man fell right on top of his shoulder. He’s far from fragile, but more unlucky.

      • Baseball Lifer 3 years ago

        He is far from healthy… If you are sitting on the DL for 67% of the the Red Sox’s games since 2008, you are not exactly contributing to your teams success….

      • Dan Gorgone 3 years ago

        By “fragile”, I mean Ellsbury is prone to injuries based on his physical makeup AND by the way he plays. He may normally be fit as a fiddle, but if he plays Trot Nixon style and puts himself into more situations where he can get hurt because of his aggressiveness, he will get hurt more.

        And as he gets older, his ability to bounce back will decrease.

  3. UltimateYankeeFan 3 years ago

    Seems like the Red Sox are between a rock and a hard place when it comes to Ellsbury. If he has a good 2013 it’s probably unlikely they will be able to re-sign him with Boras as his agent and the money and years he will be looking for. If they trade him at the 2013 trade deadline the fact that whichever teams might be interested in him won’t get a draft pick if he walks on them at the end of the 2013 season could limit what they might give the Sox in exchange. On the surface it would appear the best option for the Red Sox is to trade him this winter and at least get a couple of decent prospects for him now. It’s probably pretty unlikely that the Red Sox will make the postseason in 2013 so why not get what they can now.

    • Bob Bunker 3 years ago

      right now the sox should only trade him if they are offered a player that will be ready to contribute in 2013 or 2014 that is a SP or power hitting prospect. I dont think anyone is going to give them that right now.

      However I think they will wait and see how the first few months go. If its the middle of June and Ellsbury is schorching hot but the team is losing i think they should trade him. I think in that case a team would be willing to give up more than they are now. Anibel Sanchez, Grienke, and Dempster all got solid returns in trades despite only being for half a year and no draft pick. Trading him now would be selling too low.

      • UltimateYankeeFan 3 years ago

        All of the players you mentioned are pitchers. I don’t think it’s a fair comparison. Plus none of them have the injury history that Ellsbury has and I may be wrong but I don’t think any of those pitchers were/are represented by Scott Boras. Neither of those 2 things work in Ellsbury or the Red Sox favor.

    • start_wearing_purple
      start_wearing_purple 3 years ago

      Why exactly would the Sox be unlikely be able to sign Ellsbury if he shows a solid 2013 season? Remember this is the team that just gave 3 of it’s largest contracts to the Dodgers.

      • UltimateYankeeFan 3 years ago

        I guess I say that because the Red Sox have already stated they are not inclined to give big long term contracts out in the future. And again considering Ellsbury’s injury history and the Red Sox stated comments and Boras being his agent I think it’s very unlikely he would be signed by the Red Sox. Just my opinion.

        • Aron 3 years ago

          While you are a Yankee fan and I hate doing this, I’m inclined to agree…

      • The Sox #3 prospect is a plus plus defensive CF who should hit .280+ and walk 10% of the time.

        • johnsilver 3 years ago

          Not sure where you pulled that from, but here is a bit of truth on JBJ:

          “Solid bat control. Projects as a plus hitter for
          average with work hitting inside the ball and building professional

          “Patient and displays strong recognition
          of secondary offerings.”

          “Polished defensively and projects to stick in
          center field. Plus-plus defender. Displays strong natural instincts.”

          “Gets excellent reads and
          jumps on balls hit out his way. Plus arm. Outstanding baseball
          makeup. Projects as an above-average regular on a first division team.”

          As for the 10% BB rate? In his 1st professional season it was 20% (85bb)

          • vtadave 3 years ago

            Might be a little harder to walk 20% of the time in the big leagues, but yeah he looks to be a pretty impressive prospect.

          • Nobody walked 20% of the time in the MLB recently besides Votto/Bonds.

            And where did you get 20% from? 17% at A+ Salm and 12.9% at AA Portland.

            My estimate was rough and conservative, but still a lot more realistic than saying he’ll walk 14-20% of the time.

            If he hit .300+ and walked 20% of the time with his plus plus defense in CF he’d be an MVP, and thats getting carried away. I’m still very high on him, i think he will be an all star.

          • johnsilver 3 years ago

            Go to soxprospects and redo your stats.. read his profile where i got every bit of that info from 85bb (total) 500pa.. rough.. close enough to 20%

          • UltimateYankeeFan 3 years ago

            John, I have no horse in this race but if I’m looking at the correct player his numbers have dropped somewhat and in my opinion in some cases pretty significantly when he went from Class A to Double A. His K’s went up his walks went down his BA went down, etc…And as the competition gets stronger and better in Triple A and the Major’s he will probably go down even more. I think it’s a mistake to lump lower league numbers in with higher league performance to come up with an average. That’s just my opinion.

          • johnsilver 3 years ago

            Yeah they did at the end of the season when he approached a carrer high in games played his numbers started tumbling, until then he was maintaining even at Portland.

            1st year player who had never played that many games..Ever it was a strong season by any means.

  4. dc21892 3 years ago

    No real shocker here. Don’t see why they would trade him. All trading him does is allow another hole in your roster. Ellsbury is far from an injury prone player, but a player with some terribly awful luck. If he can avoid the freak injury, he will be worth more than a couple prospects.

    • LazerTown 3 years ago

      He is a free agent next year, and Boras is his agent.

      • dc21892 3 years ago

        His value is very low at the moment.

        • LazerTown 3 years ago

          Yea but if he is traded in the offseason the team gets him for a whole season instead of only 1/3 of it. You also have to factor in the potential to offer the qualifying offer, giving the team the ability to get back an extra prospect, thus they are willing to give up slightly more.

  5. jlasovage 3 years ago

    Fortune favors the bold. Hold onto ells bc if healthy team ismuch better. So who knows maybe some young kids perform above expectations and tge team has a shot to contend. Rill dice for next year and let tge outfeild market develop next year.

  6. Aron 3 years ago

    Either way you look at it his value declines. If you don’t trade him now and wait til the the trade deadline he will only be deemed as a rental with signability issues because of that leech Boras. If you trade him now atleast a team will get an entire years worth of production out of him and may get a better understanding of the possibilty of an extension. And on the other hand his value is clearly down as other GMs will point to his recent production in over 300 ABs so if they hold on to him and he returns to MVP like form I’m sure teams will give up more but it just goes back to him being a rental player at that point. Kinda seems like a lose-lose situation. I’d be pretty frustrated if I were the Red Sox…

    • Bob Bunker 3 years ago

      they messed up when they didnt trade him last offseason. probally could have got a huge haul for him then

      • Aron 3 years ago

        But they thought they were going to compete last year so that wouldn’t have really made sense either and I’m guessing that would’ve outraged their fans as well at that time. They were expecting to get a healthy Crawford back as well so all the injuries and the poor performing rotation are to blame for the debacle of last year.

  7. If he’s good and the Red Sox aren’t, they could always trade him next July.

  8. Jacoby could also still be resentful of the “allegations” made of him when he was out with broken ribs in 2010. There was whispering among some teammates and media that he was milking it and not willing to travel with the Sox, etc. This would certainly play a huge factor in not wanting to re-sign. Trade him now for some prospects.

  9. Jim McGrath 3 years ago

    Any good salesman might say blow me away with an offer and I might be inclined to listen.
    Or For the “right price”–Good old Moneyball–I’d have to at least listen.
    If Ells and a prospect would return Elvis Andrus–let’s dance.

    • If Andrus and a top prospect would return Ells–let’s dance.
      There, fixed it for you…

      • John Ryan 3 years ago

        i think he had it right the first time

        • Andrus is a very capable defensive shortstop, other than that, he is vastly overrated. I would take an injury prone Ellsbury over a defensive specialist any and every day of the week. And I hate all things Red Sox…

          • John Ryan 3 years ago

            Andrus is 24 and batted .286 last year. That isn’t bad at all. Plus he is under team control for longer than Ellsbury’s one year. If Texas really wanted to shell out big money for a center field then they would just sign one of their free agents or pony up a little more for Josh Hamilton. I’m not positive, but I think a 24 year old gold glove caliber shortstop who can potentially bat .280-300 and steal 30 bases is harder to come by then a 29 year old one year wonder center fielder who can’t stay on the field. Shortstops alone are way harder to find then center fielders. Granted not many CF can hit 32 home runs in a year, but im confident Ellsbury won’t ever do that again either.

          • zero power and a career OPS+ of 84. His minor league #’s lead me to believe that there isn’t much improvement in there either. His on base is pretty good and does have some speed, so while not a bad player, I wouldnt exactly call him great either.

          • Timothy Tappin 3 years ago

            Andrus is overrated just as a lot of players are because of the position that they play. But what if that trade were to happen, Andrus for Ellsbury and Ellsbury becomes in Texas the player he was before 2011. Who wins the trade?? I would say Andrus as a SS who can bat .280-.300 with 30SB and gold glove caliber is way more difficult to find that a type of CF that Ellsbury was before 2011. On the other hand, if Ellsbury turns out to be the 30HR guy then its a big steal for Texas.

          • Tko11 3 years ago

            30 sb isnt good when you get caught 15 times…

          • Rangersalchamps 3 years ago

            Maybe because he’s a lead off hitter and not a power hitter? He’s suppose to get on base which he does. I wouldn’t trade Andrus for Ellsbury lol. Andrus is only 24 with tons of room to grow and is a gg shortstop who gets on base, Ellsbury is a walking freak injury and almost 30!

          • I’ll put it to you this way and hopefully you will understand. You have 2 choices. 1) Andrus at SS and no Hamilton with Profar as a back up or back in the minors. 2) Ellsbury in center field with Profar at SS.
            Personally, I’d take the Ells+Profar over the Andrus+zero, but maybe that is just me. I would also take Ells straight up for Andrus if I were the Rangers. That just screams big year coming up in his walk year, especially with a guy like Profar ready to step in. It just seems like a no brainer to me.

          • Baseball Lifer 3 years ago

            Option 2 would be correct for 2013. But what about 2014??? When Ellsbury WOULD walk, and in your senerio the Rangers wouldnt have Elvis neither. Hopefully you understand that decision are based more than potential lineups one year at a time….So i will take the “Choice” you failed to mention – You keep your fragile/over-rated CF (Ellsbury), and i will keep the younger, cheaper, durable, glode glove winning, shortstop (Andrus).

            2 Choices – What a joke. There are tons of different options at this point. Other trades can be made. Free Agents can be signed. The winter (off-season) has just began.

          • Baseball Lifer 3 years ago


          • John Ryan 3 years ago

            As a Red Sox fan, i hope your right but i dont see it

          • A defensive specialist with a .350 OBP and 20+ steals. Smells like a leadoff hitter to me.

          • Tko11 3 years ago

            Ellsbury (in his 3 healthy years) has a higher average, OBP and a better stolen base percentage. Andrus gets caught way too much for the amount of bases he steals.

  10. I’d rather trade him now and not take the risk of him not doing that well before the trade deadline next year. If he doesn’t put up 2011 like numbers, his value will be very low at the deadline and who knows if he would even be worth the QO next offseason?

    • jk 3 years ago

      ethier for ellsbury straight up

      • MaineSox 3 years ago

        That’s one of the most ridiculous trade proposals I’ve seen in a long, long time.

      • Considering his contract, Ethier has almost no trade value unless LA eats almost 50% of that deal.

      • lefty177 3 years ago

        Considering your name, I’ll consider that sarcasm

  11. javywoz 3 years ago

    The problem for the Sox is that no GM in baseball is gonna pay you for 2011 Ellsbury. By every indication, that season is a complete abberation. Outside that season though, Ellsbury has been a much injured OF with little power who only provided @2.5 WAR per season. Thats likely what GM’s are going to be looking at paying for, cause its much more likely thats what they’ll get, and not the 8WAR fluke of 2011.

    • Jim McGrath 3 years ago

      Jay—I want something for Ells that would be more than a sandwich pick 1 1/2 years from now that I may never see make it to the show. To me someting of value to one team and in return something the Sox will be able to use in the foreseeable future.
      Not a big issue–and I’m not looking for comp based on his 2011 season.

  12. What if I told you that they’re just saying that to bring up trade value?

  13. Karkat 3 years ago

    It’s a very simple case of the Sox just not being able to get value for him right now. If he’s healthy and plays at his level this year, then he gets a qualifying offer and the Sox either work out a deal with him, or he leaves and we get draft picks (which would likely return better value than what a trade would today)

    • hitdog042 3 years ago

      If he has another year like last year he won’t even get a qualifying offer.

  14. Timothy Tappin 3 years ago

    Boston should not trade Ellsbury if the right package of prospects isnt there. Also they shouldnt extend him yet, wait for 2013 to play out. What if he is the player he was before 2011?? Is he a star?? no. would he get a mammoth deal? no. Boston should play the wait and see game.

  15. Jim McGrath 3 years ago

    A straight up trade Ethier for Ells. The Sox take on Ethier’s contract-The Dodger’s take Ells’ $8.1. If he stays with the Dodgers they can sign him or get a draft pick the following June. This frees up money for the Dodgers to sign Greinke–The Dodgers get a good CF’der and may have better luck negotiating with Boras.
    I think it’s a win for both teams. Ethier a friend of Pedroia–a good run producer may also help to get Ross signed and perhaps entice Hunter and / or Ichiro to sign with the Sox.

    • javywoz 3 years ago

      Boston just traded LA most of their bad contracts to be able to start fresh. Why would they then trade for another horrible contract (which Ethier is)?

      • Jim McGrath 3 years ago

        Jay–would you trade Lackey for Ethier straight up? One bad contract for in your opinion another bad contract…

    • Tko11 3 years ago

      That is a joke right?

  16. Giovanna Sabella 3 years ago

    Best news I’ve heard since the Phony-in-Chief got re-elected. Jacoby Ellsbury is the best thing about the Red Sox, as far as I’m concerned. On a team where all he players (or most of them) have scraggly, unattractive beards, his face is free of all that extra hair. It’s on his head where it belongs. I can’t wait until Opening Day. I am his biggest fan in Framingham, Massachusetts.

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