Deals for Maybin and McCutchen Laying the Groundwork for Jacoby Ellsbury

Benjamin KleinContributor IIIMarch 6, 2012

BOSTON, MA - AUGUST 31:  Jacoby Ellsbury #2 of the Boston Red Sox is congratulated after he hit a two run homer in the sixth inning against the New York Yankees on August 31, 2011 at Fenway Park in Boston, Massachusetts.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
Elsa/Getty Images

In the past week the Pittsburgh Pirates have extended outfielder Andrew McCutchen and the San Diego Padres have extended outfielder Cameron Maybin. Thinking ahead, how much will it take to keep Red Sox outfielder Jacoby Ellsbury in a Boston uniform?

McCutchen, only in the league for three years so far, just received a six-year, $51.5 million dollar extension to keep him in Pittsburgh through the 2017 and possibly 2018 seasons if they choose to pick up a $14.75 million club option.

Through three seasons, McCutchen has hit .276/.365/.458 with 51 home runs, 199 RBI, 225 runs scored and 78 stolen bases. He finished fourth in the 2009 NL Rookie of the Year voting and made his first career All-Star appearance last season.

Maybin came up with the Detroit Tigers in 2007 before being traded to Florida in the deal that sent Miguel Cabrera and Dontrelle Willis to Detroit. After playing for the Marlins for three seasons, Maybin was traded to the San Diego Padres, where he spent the 2011 season.

Maybin has just agreed to a five-year, $25 million extension with a club option for 2017. In his five year career, Maybin has hit .255/.318/.386 with 22 home runs, 85 RBI, 175 runs scored and 59 stolen bases.

ESPN's Buster Olney wrote an article explaining how Eric Hosmer, first baseman for the Kansas City Royals, will be the next young star to sign a long-term deal, but another player to consider is Red Sox outfielder Jacoby Ellsbury.

After finishing third in the AL Rookie of the Year voting in 2008, Ellsbury had great year in 2009. Injuries plagued his 2010 campaign but he erupted back onto the Boston scene last season, showing off his power, speed, and fielding skills.

Playing in a career-high 158 games last season, Ellsbury hit .321/.376/.552 with 32 home runs, 105 RBI, 39 stolen bases, and 119 runs while finishing second in the AL MVP voting. Ellsbury was named to his first All-Star team while also winning a Gold Glove and Silver Slugger award.

Ellsbury is only under Boston's control through the 2013 season and the club would like to lock him up for the long-run. MLB Trade Rumors recently named Ellsbury as an extension candidate, although they caution that maybe it would be in Boston's best interest to wait to see how he performs this year to see if 2011 was a fluke or truly representative of his level of play.

If Ellsbury can prove to GM Ben Cherington that he's the real deal, a large, long-term contract for the speedy outfielder should be coming soon.