By agreeing yesterday with B.J. Upton on a five-year, $75.25 million contract, the Atlanta Braves won the battle for one of the big names in a market flush with center fielders. Michael Bourn, Angel Pagan and, of course, Josh Hamilton remain available, and the Braves have left their NL East rivals, the Philadelphia Phillies and Washington Nationals, to duke it out over those options.
For now, at least, there aren’t any signs the Sox have plans to trade Jacoby Ellsbury [stats], eligible for arbitration once more before becoming a free agent after next season, at which point he figures to receive offers well in excess of the contract Upton signed with Atlanta. (Unlike Ellsbury, Upton has never been an All-Star, to say nothing of an MVP runner-up.) And their reluctance is multifaceted:
“He’s our center fielder, and there’s been no discussions with regard to him that I’m aware of,” Lucchino said. “You don’t know whether someone is going to come to you and make some kind of proposal, but our plan is to have Jacoby Ellsbury as our center fielder this year going forward.”
I would love nothing more than having the Red Sox sign Jacoby Ellsbury to a long term deal for the right price. We all know the "right price" figure is much different in our heads than in the greedy head of Scott Boras.
I have accepted that Ellsbury's time with the Red Sox is growing thin and the likes of Jackie Bradley will help us forget about him. Unless the Sox make a trade or signing, they need Ellsbury in center. There is no one else out there, and no one in the minors that is ready for an everyday spot in the outfield. I mentioned Jackie Bradley, who is highly regarded, but is AT LEAST one season away from a call-up.
We are just embarking on the month of December, which means there is a lot of time for moves to happen. The Sox have been relatively quiet up until this point with any trades or free-agent signings, but don't be surprised if a lot happens in the near future.
Ellsbury will remain the Sox' CF until the surrounding positions in the outfield are filled. When they are, I do hope the Sox won't do anything stupid with him.
On Page 2, Alfredo Aceves won't fit in 2013
By re-signing David Ortiz [stats], the Sox secured a franchise icon who has proven he is able to handle the distractions that come with playing in a baseball-crazed Northeast city. Moreover, recently added catcher David Ross and outfielder Jonny Gomes along with top free agent targets Mike Napoli, Cody Ross and Nick Swisher have reputations as positive clubhouse influences.
So, where does that leave Alfredo Aceves?
After a season in which the enigmatic right-hander’s displeasure with his role led to eruptions of insubordination, the Red Sox will tender a contract to Aceves before tonight’s deadline to make offers to players eligible for arbitration, a league source told the Herald yesterday. Indeed, given their acute need for quality pitching, it’s senseless to simply cast off a 30-year-old with a track record of success, especially one who made only $1.2 million this year.
Lauber mentioned one thing that Aceves couldn't do in 2012, get along with Bobby V.
Even though he has potential and doesn't make much money (in baseball dollars), I would still like to see him out. Who knows if he can get along with Farrell?
The Sox don't need a bipolar pitcher that could potentially cost the Sox some games. I don't care how much "success" he had with the Red Sox during his past 2 seasons here.
The rest of the links:
CSNNE: Which players will the Red Sox tender offers to? | Herald: Source: Mariano Rivera, Yanks agree to $10 million deal | ESPN Boston: Options abound as winter meetings near | Globe: Does Span trade open some doors for the Sox?