Is Jacoby Ellsbury Slugging His Way out of a Boston Red Sox Uniform?

Patrick LanguzziContributor IIIAugust 3, 2011

BOSTON, MA  - JULY 28:  Jacoby Ellsbury #2 of the Boston Red Sox singles to knock in two runs against the Kansas City Royals  in the third inning at Fenway Park on July 28, 2011 in Boston, Massachusetts.  (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)
Jim Rogash/Getty Images

After only playing in 18 games in 2010 and missing nearly the entire season with a rib cage injury, Jacoby Ellsbury has responded in a big way—he’s an All-Star. 

Through the first two-thirds of the 2011 baseball season, Ellsbury’s batting .320 with 17 HRs, 63 RBI, .376 OBP, .515 SLG, .890 OPS and 31 stolen bases.

The Boston Herald’s John Tomase reported that Scott Boras told him he didn’t expect to discuss a new contract during the season for his client.

Ellsbury, in his first year of arbitration, is earning a reported $2.4 million, which will certainly rise should he continue his performance.  The Red Sox control the rights to Ellsbury until at least 2013 at which time he could become a free agent.

When and if the day comes Ellsbury hits the free-agent market, Boras expects high interest for his client.  Why would he think otherwise?  After all, it’s Scott Boras, right?

Consider the Boras factor when clients become free agents.

Ellsbury currently ranks among the top 10 in all of Major League Baseball for outfielders in HRs, RBI, batting average, OBP, SLG, OPS and stolen bases.  He's proven he can play for a big-market team and handle the pressures.

Let's not forget his 2007 rookie World Series appearance where he batted .438 with a .500 OBP, .688 SLG and 1.188 OPS.

Ellsbury is on pace to finish the year with a .318 average, 213 hits, 25 HRs, 96 RBI, .374 OBP, .506 SLG and 47 stolen bases.

After overpaying for outfielder Carl Crawford—seven years, $142 million—what’s the likelihood Ellsbury gets a similar deal with the Red Sox?  They are somewhat similar players.

If you consider the Boras factor, Ellsbury would demand more money.  Crawford falls into the “other” free-agent category, not having Boras as his representative.

Or...

Does Boras negotiate a similar move for Ellsbury as he did with Damon to the Yankees in the 11th hour of contract discussions?

Is it likely, assuming Ellsbury continues this pace of course, that he slugs his way out of Boston?

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