Last month, we looked at why the Red Sox should trade Jacoby Ellsbury this winter. Since then, Scott McAdam of CSN New England quoted an unnamed American League executive who said that the Red Sox had "no chance" to work out a contract extension with the 29-year-old center fielder.
ESPN's Buster Olney intimated the same thing, telling the Mut and Merloni Show on WEEI 850 AM that the price tag on Ellsbury's next contract is going to be "astronomical"—something that makes sense when you consider who he's represented by.
Scott Boras spoke to the Boston Herald's Michael Silverman a few weeks ago, and while he left the door open for an extension to be worked out, Boras made it clear that Ellsbury will not come cheap:
The only thing I can say about Jacoby is that there are few players like him. He is a proven successful player in Boston and in the American League East environment, and he plays a premium position at Gold Glove levels. He is a franchise player.
A spate of injuries over the past few seasons—injuries that lean towards the freakish end of the spectrum, but injuries nonetheless—and the fact that he's represented by Boras could both work against the Red Sox in their attempt to receive fair-market value for Ellsbury.
But that doesn't mean that there isn't going to be interest around the league.
Olney reports that the Rangers have been doing their homework on Ellsbury as part of their "Plan B" should Josh Hamilton leave Texas as a free agent—not the first time that they've been linked to Ellsbury this season.
WEEI's Rob Bradford reports that the two teams discussed a blockbuster involving Ellsbury, among others, leading up to the trade deadline, though talks aren't thought to have gotten very serious.
Both the Phillies and the Reds have been linked to Ellsbury in recent months as well.
Should they decide to move Ellsbury this winter, Boston could bring a quality starting pitcher back in return—an area that the team needs to address as it tries to return to the land of contenders in 2013.