Saturday, May 11, 2013
Ellsbury's free agent value
By Jason A. Churchill
Jacoby Ellsbury is set to hit the free agent market after the season and the good news is he's stayed healthy, playing in each of the Boston Red Sox's 33 games. How is the rest of Ellsbury's game shaping up?
The numbers --.278/.329/.389 -- are not spectacular, but he does have 12 stolen bases and 14 extra-base hits, and the good news on Ellsbury's free agent stock is that he's easily the top pure centerfielder on the market with few alternatives.
The main competition, Curtis Granderson, may be a better fit in a corner outfield spot at this stage of his career, and clubs could prefer the lesser options such as Nate McLouth. As always, the better Ellsbury performs the more he can command on the open market, and it's worth noting that he's represented by the Boras, Corporation.
Teams with payroll flexibility and the potential need for an answer in center include the Texas Rangers and New York Mets. The Red Sox have Jackie Bradley, Jr. close to earning the center field gig, so it's possible they may not even bid to retain Ellsbury's services.
One surprise bidder could be the Seattle Mariners, who have a need for outfielders and have some available payroll.