The asking price for Jacoby Ellsbury and his services has been set in this winter’s free-agent frenzy. According to Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com, one interested team stated that agent Scott Boras and Ellsbury are seeking a Carl Crawford type contract in the range of 7-years, $142MM.
You could argue that the Red Sox have essentially created this monster when they themselves signed Crawford to that ridiculous contract prior to the 2011 season. Now, one of their top players, Ellsbury feels he is worth the same amount of annual salary and is playing hard ball with the team that drafted him.
Is Jacoby Ellsbury worth $20 million a season? There are those that feel he is while others aren’t so quick to say yes. His ability to stay healthy hasn’t exactly been on display throughout his career and aside from his monster year in 2011, his numbers don’t necessarily warrant a salary of $20 million annually.
The all-star centerfielder is rated as the top outfielder available this winter on the free-agent market, something that will surely boost his value for clubs that are in need of his speed on the basepaths and in the outfield. His power has been down for two straight years but it’s likely that one club will over pay to secure his services long-term with the other tools he brings being well above average.
If in fact another club outside of the Red Sox offers Ellsbury anything close to his alleged asking price, you’d have to assume that Ben Cherington and his posse will walk away and take their draft pick as compensation. Afterall, they should have learnt their lesson two years ago when money was handed out at will and it took the trade of the decade to free this club of the financial burden.