J. Meric/Getty Images
Ellsbury may be a fan favorite, but the front office needs to invest in wins.
This one is bound to be a little controversial.
Red Sox OF Jacoby Ellsbury finished second in the MVP voting in 2011, and he almost single-handedly carried a dysfunctional Sox squad to a playoff berth that season.
This year, however, was yet another one lost to injuries for the 28-year-old center fielder. Admittedly, his last two major injuries have resulted from freak trauma (breaking his ribs running into Adrian Beltre in 2010, and dislocating his shoulder sliding into second base this year), so it's a little harsh to call Ellsbury injury-prone.
But even if Ellsbury's 2011 season is truly indicative of his value (and many GMs are likely to think that it is), he's a client of super-agent Scott Boras.
To put it bluntly, that means Ellsbury is looking to get paid.
He's currently being paid about $8 million a year entering his last year of arbitration, with free agency looming after 2013.
The Sox minor leagues are stacked with toolsy young outfielders, including their Defensive Player of the Year, Jackie Bradley Jr. Ellsbury is looking for a big-money deal through his mid-30s, likely one that nears the $20 million dollar annual range. It makes good business sense to maximize his value now by trading him for blue-chip prospects.
Let somebody else pay for past performance for a change.
Ellsbury is a great player with a high ceiling, but he wants to be paid commensurate to that ceiling. The Sox shouldn't repeat their past mistakes.
They have to let Ellsbury go.