Jacoby Ellsbury is going to get paid this offseason, and if him and his agent have anything to do with it, the Red Sox center fielder is going to get paid.
CBSSports.com baseball writer Jon Heyman compiled his list of the top 50 free agents for this upcoming offseason, and Ellsbury was right up at the top checking in at No. 2. Yankees second baseman Robinson Cano occupied the top spot.
So, what would the going rate be for a toolsy 30-year-old (Ellsbury turns 30 in September) just coming into his prime? Well, considering Ellsbury is represented by Scott Boras, the outfielder is going to be coming with a pretty big price tag. Heyman reports Ellsbury will be looking for $100 million, and he’s expected to get it, according to “many.” There’s also a school of thought, Heyman writes, that Ellsbury will be more in line for a B.J. Upton-type deal. Upton signed a five-year, $75 million deal with the Braves prior to 2013.
Despite the expected sky-high asking price, there are likely many teams who would be in the running for Ellsbury’s services. Heyman suspects teams like the Mariners, Mets, Cubs and Blue Jays could all be interested, and Heyman wouldn’t rule out the Yankees as a “wild card.” Of course, it’s always beneficial for one of the season’s top free agents to be linked to the Yankees in any sort of way, whether that interest is real or manufactured.
The Red Sox might not be totally out of the picture, Heyman suspects, if they can get him back for “the right price.”
The Red Sox leadoff man is hitting .298 this season with seven home runs and 47 RBIs. He leads the league with 49 stolen bases — he’s led the league two times prior — and he also leads the league in triples. Ellsbury’s .777 OPS is his best since since 2011, when he hit .321 with 32 home runs and 105 RBIs en route to a .928 OPS.