Most fans of the Boston Red Sox are still on cloud nine after winning the 2013 World Series, but management is hard at work trying to make the right decisions to bring back a team capable of winning it again next season. While there are quite a few free agents the Red Sox must decide on, the best fantasy baseball player hitting the market will be outfielder Jacoby Ellsbury. With the lefty just turning 30 and looking for possibly a seven-year deal, is it in the best interest of the franchise to bring him back?
There are obviously several factors for Boston to consider, especially with revenue sharing being enforced so much in baseball these days. The biggest one right now is the fact that the team would rather not be locked in on a speed and defense outfielder all the way into his late-30s. More often than not, these guys age a little quicker simply because they slow down and don’t have a superior bat to rely on. Boston management is rumored to only be willing to go with a five-year deal.
Dealing with agent Scott Boras might be another obstacle for the Red Sox. He has some leverage, especially if the Seattle Mariners, which are close to Ellsbury’s Pacific Northwest roots, decide to get involved in the process. If they can guarantee him the money and years he is looking for, it will be hard to turn them down.
Boston would obviously lose one of their most productive fantasy baseball players, but the team would have options for replacements. Outfielders Carlos Beltran and Chris Young are just a few different options for them to choose from. Both guys would be available for a significant discount, and the Red Sox would avoid possibly falling into the same hole they were a few seasons ago when they spent a lot of money in free agency.
Ellsbury is an extremely talented player, and he still has a few prime seasons left. However, looking long-term, Boston would probably be better off letting him walk if he will only consider big-time deals that last six or seven seasons.