So, you probably heard the news. Jacoby Ellsbury is reportedly joining the Yankees on a seven-year, $153 million contract, which also includes an eighth-year option that could increase the deal’s overall value to $169 million.
That’s a lot of dough — way too much for the Red Sox’ liking, it appears.
According to WEEI.com’s Rob Bradford, the Red Sox’ offer to Ellsbury was “a ways off” from the monstrous offer served up by the Yankees. Ellsbury’s agent, Scott Boras, had reportedly set the bar at 7-8 years early on in the offseason, and Boston wasn’t comfortable making that type of commitment to the 30-year-old outfielder.
The Red Sox have been reluctant to dole out big contracts in the wake of Carl Crawford‘s seven-year, $142 million deal that they’ve since dumped on the Dodgers. Red Sox president and CEO Larry Lucchino reiterated recently that the club’s preferred approach is to sign players to short-term deals, even if it requires paying more money. The approach, which was evident in the club’s dealings last offseason, has certainly worked out so far.
There’s no denying that Ellsbury is a dynamic player and will likely thrive in the Bronx, but the Yankees are certainly putting a lot of faith in his ability to stay healthy and produce at a high level for many years. The Red Sox apparently didn’t value the center fielder as highly despite their obvious appreciation for his contributions.