YOU’RE JACOBY ELLSBURY and you are on the aging side of the Big Three Oh and you are wondering if your agent, Scott Boras, has been blowing sunshine up your skirt.
Boras tells you that you will get your “career” contract: a long-term deal that will take you to the end of your playing days.
You watched your team mate “Dirt Dog” Pedroia get 7 years and good money and you want deal like that, but with more money.
Boras reminds you that you are more valuable than Carl Crawford, who signed for $142 million over seven years in 2010, because you’re a center fielder, who bats leadoff while Crawford played left field and batted second.
And points out that Jayson Werth signed for seven years (and $126 million) and he was 32.
He tells you that you have proven you can thrive in Boston, a high-pressure media environment, so how hard could it be to play in Texas, Los Angeles, or New York?
YOU’RE JACOBY ELLSBURY and you wonder how many teams will be able to meet your demand for at least “Crawford Money.” And you look at the list of last year’s payrolls:
|1.||New York Yankees|| |
|2.||Los Angeles Dodgers|| |
|3.||Philadelphia Phillies|| |
|4.||Boston Red Sox|| |
|5.||Detroit Tigers|| |
|6.||San Francisco Giants|| |
|7.||Los Angeles Angels|| |
|8.||Chicago White Sox|| |
|9.||Toronto Blue Jays|| |
|10.||St. Louis Cardinals|| |
|11.||Texas Rangers|| |
|12.||Washington Nationals|| |
|13.||Cincinnati Reds|| |
|14.||Chicago Cubs|| |
|15.||Baltimore Orioles|| |
|16.||Atlanta Braves|| |
|17.||Arizona Diamondbacks|| |
|18.||Milwaukee Brewers|| |
|19.||Kansas City Royals|| |
|20.||Pittsburgh Pirates|| |
|21.||Cleveland Indians|| |
|22.||Minnesota Twins|| |
|23.||New York Mets|| |
|24.||Seattle Mariners|| |
#1 The Yankees have swung from the free-spending days of “The Boss,” George Steinbrenner to the Luxury Tax worriers, the Steinbrenner Boys.
#2 The Dodgers already have an OF making “Crawford Money” and Gonzo on a long-term deal.
#4 The Red Sox got burned with “Crawford Money” contracts; why buy into a 7-year deal for $142 Million, when they can have Jackie Bradley for half-a-million for a few years.
#5 The Tigers have Jackson in CF and still owe Cabrera, Fielder, Martinez and Verlander big money, but Boras tells you today that they have “shown some interest.”
#6 The Giants are interested in shoring up their starting rotation.
#7 The Angels have Trout and the Pujols Contract Albatross around their neck.
#8 The White Sox are stuck between buy a pennant and re-build.
By the time you get to the Toronto payroll at #9 in MLB, you are into teams who spend less than half than the #1 Yankees. The Jays blew a ton of cash for 2013 and flopped; they are not in a spending mood.
#9 The Cardinals are NL Champions and satisfied with their OF and looking to sign a SS.
YOU’RE JACOBY ELLSBURY and Boras was telling you that the Rangers were “very interested” and would even give you a unicorn to ride, but why would they sign you when they have the Next You already; the young phenom Leonys Martin.
The Nationals are still smarting from the Jason Werth-less boondoggle.
While Boras keeps reminding people about your “power” year  and your stolen base total in 2013  and your defensive prowess, you know the truth.
The power years was that anomaly [16.7 HR/FB] and, since you hit more than the average number of ground balls is not likely to repeat that feat.
Boras mentions your 52 SBs, but you just read that only two players 31 years old or older have stolen as many as 50 bags in a season. [http://www.baseball-reference.com/play-index/share.cgi?id=FOM1c]
YOU’RE JACOBY ELLSBURY and you know that your defensive tool relies on your legs, how fast you can run a ball down.
Boras tells the GMs about your “range,” but you know that means you rely on your foot speed, which will inexorably go into a decline.
Boras tells GMs that you are in the Top Four OFs in MLB for RngR [Range Runs above average] with Carlos Gomez [19.5], A. J. Pollack [15.7], Ellsbury [14.8] and Colby Rasmus [14.6]. And that, after these Top Four, which includes part-time OF Pollack, the rating fall off the cliff to 6.2 and 6.1 for Denard Span and Andrew McCutchen.
But you know that you have a weak arm.
You have read the Arm ratings for the Top Four:
Ellsbury - 4.2
Rasmus – 2.9
You laughed when you saw that the Arm leader in the Top Ten is on the team that Boras said was “very interested”–Ranger phemon Leonys Martin at +6.9.
Boras touts that as recently as 2013 you were the best baserunner in the majors in, stealing 52 bases while only getting caught four times.
YOU’RE JACOBY ELLSBURY and you are on the aging side of the Big Three Oh and you are wondering if your agent, Scott Boras, is telling it to you straight–or still thinks you believe in unicorns.
With the rich teams apparently not interested in paying you $142 Million for 7 years, the Rangers quite satisfied with the Next You, Leonys Martin, and the number of “interested” teams shrinking daily, you are hoping that the Mariners–with the #24 payroll– will take the plunge and sign you as an attraction to add to King Felix; you would be “Prince Jacoby,” the “local boy who made good.”
The Mariners are a foundering franchise, who made many bad choices that will keep them out of the Post-season for the next decade. They need to fill the seats at their new ballpark and, since they cannot win, they can at least offer some “featured attractions.”
YOU’RE JACOBY ELLSBURY and you’ve been to the World Series and got your ring. You are ready to settle for the money and the security and “going home” to the Pacific Northwest and playing for a losing team, where you and King Felix will be adored by the success-starved Seattle fans.
It just won’t be the Fenway Faithful anymore.