Jacoby Ellsbury’s Future With Red Sox Another Intriguing Storyline for Offseason Sure to Contain Many

Jacoby Ellsbury's Future With Red Sox Another Intriguing Storyline for Offseason Sure to Contain ManyWith the Red Sox on the verge of their first losing season since 1997, and having already been eliminated from the playoffs, most of the storylines about the team do not involve this year.

Instead, fans are looking ahead to the future, and that future is at the moment quite uncertain. While questions are swirling about whether or not Bobby Valentine will return to manage the Red Sox, another more subtle storyline this offseason is regarding outfielder Jacoby Ellsbury.

The 29-year-old center fielder is under team control for 2013, but how he now fits into the team's future plans is up in the air. After seeing big-name players like Adrian Gonzalez, Josh Beckett and Carl Crawford traded away, the Red Sox could move in a couple of directions regarding last year's MVP runner-up.

What do you see the Red Sox doing with Jacoby Ellsbury?
– George Aiello

That is hard to answer. The unpredictability of Scott Boras, his agent, will play a large factor in what happens with Jacoby's future here in Boston. The Red Sox obviously freed up a great deal of money with the Dodgers trade and could hand some of that over in an effort to sign Jacoby to a long-term deal. However, Boras most likely will want to test the free agent market for Jacobys services, perhaps driving up the price to an unmanageable level financially. One fair question will be about his ability to stay healthy. The last two injuries have been freak ones in nature, but his limited number of games played in the last few years is a concern for a potential buyer.

How much of a role do you see Pedro Ciriaco taking next year?
– Dan S. Howard

I think he has most likely earned a spot on next year's roster, which will be filled out much differently than the roster that is ending this season. In my estimation, he would be a very valuable utility player. If he can spend the offseason in winter ball working on his outfield play, perhaps he would really increase his value for the future. He certainly has opened some eyes here and made the most of his opportunity to play this year since his call-up.

Do you think Bobby Valentine will return in his role as manager in the 2013 season and, if not, who do you think will fit that position?
– Wendy Steeves

This is one of those questions I change my mind on every 10 minutes. Last week, I thought based on some of the things that were occurring that he would be back and given another opportunity with a new roster that did not resemble the one that failed in September of last year. Now, over the last week, some things have occurred that make me think he is not going to be back next year. I will say this: either decision would not surprise me and I reserve the right to change my mind next week. Again, I do not think it is a slam dunk that he is fired at the end of the year. I hear all the same names you do. John Farrell seems to be the name you hear the most, but I would be in favor of Tim Bogar and think he could handle this situation and that he has the respect of the players already.

Any chance the Red Sox bring in Jason Varitek as either a coach or assistant coach?
– Eric John LaBrecque

I think Jason will likely take a year or two away from the game before re-engaging. I think that after all these years, he may have really enjoyed his summer off . I do think he will be back in some capacity in the near future but that maybe a year or two from now — just a hunch. I do think he would be an excellent manager or whatever he wants to do in baseball. I do find it interesting how some teams have gone in the direction of hiring former players with no minor league managing experience, like Robin Ventura and Mike Matheny this year.

How come everyone spits all the time? Yuck!
– Deborah Stein Towle

There is a lot of spitting going on. I am not a major league player so I am not sure why. Although thinking back to my little league career, in Madison, NH, I also spit a lot. I am guessing it was because I watched major league players spitting a lot. Seeds and chewing tobacco are the major things that are spit, but some players just spit spit. I realize this not a real answer, so I will look into this further and get back to you.

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