Boston will likely keep Jacoby Ellsbury

Yesterday on WFAN, MLB Network’s Peter Gammons said he expects the Red Sox to keep OF Jacoby Ellsbury this winter because Boston will seek at least three prospects for him in any deal.

However, according to Gammons, because he is a free agent after next season, and because he’s been so hurt, and his value is so low, teams will only offer one, maybe two prospects for Ellsbury – meaning the Sox are more likely to keep him than move him… even though they know he could very easily leave as a free agent one year from now.

He hit just .273 with 4 HR and 25 RBI in 72 games this season, despite hitting .321 with 32 HR and 105 RBI in 2011.

Matthew Cerrone, Lead Writer

This is disappointing, because I could totally see Ellsbury, 28, fitting in here with the Mets. From what I recall hearing at last summer’s trade deadline, Ellsbury already has one foot out the door, especially now that they’ve totally dismantled the team that had been around him, and especially after his manager, Bobby Valentine, essentially called him a platoon player.

The Rangers, Reds and Braves were among teams that supposedly asked Boston about Ellsbury in July. However, scouts and other teams passed over him because of concerns about his overall health and performance (saying he’s been a shell of the player he was during his break-out last season).  Gammons said on air yesterday that Ellsbury is now struggling to make throws from the outfield and complaining of thigh issues.

Meanwhile, the early read on the free-agent market indicates Cody Ross could end up getting a two- or-three year deal, probably around $8 million a year. Grady Sizemore will likely be available, but if the Mets weren’t interested last season, I am not sure why they’d be interested this time around.

Ellsbury will earn $8 million this year, meaning he’ll have to earn close to that next season through arbitration. I had thought they might non-tender him, but based on what Gammons said, it sounds like that is not in the plans. So, my bet is the Sox look to move him early in the winter, but if there are no takers (at their asking price) he’ll be on their Opening Day roster five months later.