Signing Ellsbury A Must

I am quite fond of what Jacoby Ellsbury brings to a lineup. Jake’s average hovers around .300, can hit left handed pitching (.289 career), is an excellent outfielder and a top of the line game changer with his speed. Speed has been traditionally a rare commodity in Boston, and now with Farrell’s base running aggressiveness, Ellsbury becomes a significant piece in that part of managerial strategy.

Aug 8, 2013; Kansas City, MO, USA; Boston Red Sox center fielder Jacoby Ellsbury (2) can


The downside is Scott Boras. The mention of his name brings a variety of palpitations to fans and management who have longed for some type of comeuppance for Mr. Boras – and that is as rare as a cognizant comment from Alex Rodriguez. Seems that Ellsbury moving on is a done deal in these parts, especially with the potential (Note: potential) emergence of Jackie Bradley. Why spend the money? Why pile on the years? Multiple arguments that RSN can repeat by rote.

I go with that well known social philosopher Dear Abby. Are you better off with him or without him? I am firmly in the with him camp. Of course there is always a fiscal caveat and that is certainly one that will determine his potential signing. The Red Sox previous signing of Carl Crawford clearly demonstrates how they view that particular skill set.

Will suitors look at Ellbury of 2011? I care to think of the Ellsbury of 2013 as what you get. Boras will roll out several reams of metrics to show Ellsbury is a hybrid Babe Ruth and Ty Cobb and that is what good agents are for and Boras is not a good agent but a great agent. So I will make an assumption that somehow the Red Sox maintain control. Now what?

Aug 2, 2013; Miami, FL, USA; Miami Marlins starting pitcher Jose Fernandez (center) celebrates with right fielder Giancarlo Stanton (left) after defeating the Cleveland Indians 10-0 at Marlins Park. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Ellsbury could move to LF. After all Adrian Beltre is not around to steamroll Jake. Young Mr. Bradley has shown defensive skills at both LF and CF so flexibility exists. However, I will go the other route and that is the blockbuster deal, and that would be Giancarlo Stanton, who is forever available.

Stanton has had a down year. Stanton is a risk since just maybe those pitchers are wise to something, but I’m a risk taker by nature and just maybe Ben Cherrington is on this one. Stanton is just too good to pass up. Having a Bradley as part of the bait just might get it done, and that price will certainly be more than Bradley, and that could determine direction. A monster RH bat. Just too tempting.

Topics: Jacoby Ellsbury, Red Sox

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  • John Fahrer

    They’d be better off re-signing Drew and Saltalamacchia. Ellsbury won’t age well. Stanton already looks like he isn’t aging well either and that’s alarming given he’s only 23. No way should they trade premium prospects for an injury-plagued player who’s regressing defensively.

    • Michael Macaulay-Birks

      I agree John

      • John Fahrer

        Also feel Bradley will be worth more wins than Ellsbury, especially 3-5 years from now. He’ll never be the basestealer Ellsbury is now (but Ellsbury won’t be the basestealer he is right now a few more years down the road). But he can field just as well right now, has a superior throwing arm, and has better plate discipline.

        • Michael Macaulay-Birks

          my problem is more “cost” related…..If he’d do a 4/65 million deal I’d support it….but we both know that isn’t happening

          • John Fahrer

            Nope. Also wouldn’t exceed $20 million annually for three or less years. He isn’t worth it. They paid Bradley a handsome bonus in hopes he would succeed Ellsbury. It’s time to let him do as such. And if he happens to need a little more time in the minors, they have Victorino as insurance.

          • Rick M.

            My feeling is he’ll want long term. I can see someone going 18M over 5 with an option year. There will be a nice market for his skills.

            Ellsbury is, like most Boras clients, rather closed mouth. Maybe they’ll get a Pedroia type deal?

        • Rick M.

          My disappointment with Ellsbury is his inability to generate walks and his lack of employing bunting. The walks was the same frustration I had with Nomar. Ellsbury’s WAR right now is the highest on the team.

          I will take the opposite tack, John, and assume he will be productive into his mid 30s, which is what Boston felt Crawford would be. In fact I thought the game plan was to use the signing of Crawford to eventually result in trading Ellsbury.

          I have some real doubts lately on Bradley. Been short on making contact in Pawtucket.

          • John Fahrer

            He did hit ten home runs. And his average was decent given McCoy is rather pitcher-friendly. The leadoff man’s job is to not necessarily make contact, but bleed the count and get on base consistently, which is what he does.

            Ells has already had two lost seasons due to injuries. At least Crawford was durable while earning his megadeal.

            Just looked at the Marlins depth chart and top prospects list. They’re likely to be looking more for MLB-ready catching and corner infield help. But Lavarnway, like Brentz is older than the established player they’d be trading for. Don’t want to give up Cecchini either because he looks like another game changer. Maybe deal Middlebrooks, but once again he’s older than Stanton.

          • Rick M.

            Ells lost time over style of play and botched medical on the part of the Sox.

            JBJ’s contact rate is in the toilet. McCoy’s plus for pitchers is foul territory, otherwise it is neither batter or pitcher friendly.

            Bradley’s home/road splits are similar. His problem is his strikeouts and that washes away his walks. Saw that in his short stay at the MLB level as pitchers just pitched to him. I am now a doubter on his upside.

            Marlins are willing to deal. See what they want. Age does not matter with the Marlins, but service time does. That is the key.

          • John Fahrer

            In the toilet? Half of his hits in AAA were for extra bases. Way more than Ellsbury ever had over there.

            Excuses for Ells’s injuries aside, he still lost significant time due to injury. A big red flag. He’s not a “must” to re-sign. They can afford to let him go.

            Stanton is a luxury, not a necessity. They’d be better off going for a first baseman.

          • Rick M.

            75K’s in 374 PA’s.The small sample at Boston showed the same. That means contact issues.

            Ells has already done it in the Big Show. A proven commodity.

          • John Fahrer

            He’s not going to be like that forever though. And if they keep Ellsbury and trade for Stanton, they won’t be able to afford all three of him, Middlebrooks, and Bogaerts not to mention the new core of starting pitching coming up. They’d be better off letting Ells walk and trading for Stanton instead.

    • Rick M.

      With risk comes potential reward. I have no crystal ball to predict how Ellsbury or Stanton will progress or regress, but I’d gamble. A lineup with X-Man, an invigorated Middlebrooks and Stanton at its core. Too tempting for me.

      Stanton missed six weeks with a hamstring pull, so he’d fit right in with the Sox. Price will be lower.

      With the top 3 set for a few years that as good as setting up a table as it gets.

      Toss them Bradley and two pitching prospects.

      • John Fahrer

        There’s also an even bigger chance of them falling into the same trap they did in 2011-2012. In Ellsbury you get a guy who makes a living with his legs already in his 30s and a weak throwing arm. Stanton is injury-plagued and plays in front of nobody.

        The only top prospects I’d deal for Stanton are Bryce Brentz, Mookie Betts, and maybe one of Ranaudo or Webster. Like I mentioned before, the 2008 Nick Swisher was better than this year’s Stanton, and all the Yankees gave up were a utility guy and a couple no-names.

        But no way should they deal Bradley. Leadoff/CF is a grueling job. They made the right decision to let Damon walk after 05 and letting Ells walk after this season would be likewise. Same will happen after 2019 when Bradley hits free agency and the next Sox CF/leadoff hitter is waiting in the wings.

        • Rick M.

          I view the Damon issue entirely different. His tenure in NY was a success. His 4 years in both places mirrored each other.

          A weak throwing arm is compensated with the ability to get to the ball quickly. Damon and Gardner are masterful at that. His defensive metrics are quite good.

          The legs issue has been both proven and dis-proven. There is a lengthy list of players who stole more bases than their age (35). Ellsbury is one who stays in shape and I would expect the same..

          Stanton’s injuries cannot be ignored, especially the knee surgery and chronic hamstring issue. I see Stanton as a perfect fit for LF and then into DH. I would risk it.

          Bradley has shown me little at the MLB level or at Pawtucket. The big risk is leaving a gaping hole in CF – reminiscent of the endless merry-go-round at SS.

          I feel about Stanton, John, the same way you did about Lee a few months back.

          • John Fahrer

            Damon did good in his four years in NY in playing his home games in a park where his swing benefited. His road stats regressed in those years.

            Bradley hasn’t had much of a chance at the big league level. He will be a good major league player. Even if he only is a .275 hitter (the best leadoff man of all time was only a .279 hitter), he’ll be a .375-.400 OBP guy who will be a perennial gold glover.

            I’m not opposed to acquiring Stanton, but not for a king’s ransom. But unlike earlier in the year when the club could’ve used a prize starter, there’s really no need for Stanton. They do have a power right-handed bat, albeit a less flashy one, in Bryce Brentz knocking on the big league door.

  • http://bosoxinjection.com/ Earl Nash

    He seems to have lost his “Babe Ruth” side and I think the gap between Ells and Jackie B will shrink rapidly. It’s Scott Bore-rats that seals the deal; he will make Ells hold out for a long-term deal for big money. Put Bradley in CF and use all that money to feed the farm system and buy the second-tier FAs to fill in the gaps.

  • Paul Prims

    I believe that the Carl Crawford experience will spook Ben & Co. even though they know this player better than Crawford (obviously) and that’s why they’ll let Jacoby move on if the price is not to their liking.

  • Paul Prims

    I’ll also pass on Stanton until I see he is a healthy player. All these nagging injuries at 23 is a red flag for me. Especially because the cost is likely astronomical to acquire him.

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