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.