There is no denying Boston Red Sox center fielder Jacoby Ellsbury had a stellar year. Second in MVP voting to Detroit Tigers ace Justin Verlander, he also racked up Silver Slugger, Gold Glove and All Star honors, with 32 home runs, 39 stolen bases and 105 runs batted in.
As the 2011 season wore on, at times Ellsbury was the offense, calmly consistent during the epic September collapse.
This poses an opportunity for the Red Sox, as Ellsbury's stock could never be higher coming off his performance last season. Boston has some serious needs in the clubhouse, especially in the starting rotation and could be putting Ellsbury out as a trade option.
Here are five trades the Red Sox could make with Jacoby Ellsbury.
No denying, King Felix is a true ace in the Seattle Mariners starting rotation. With a career 3.24 ERA and 1.22 WHIP with a 8.6 strikeout per nine innings average, this Cy Young award winner and All Star would be an excellent grab for the struggling Boston Red Sox starting rotation.
And, he's only 25.
Let's face it, its been the best part of a decade since the Mariners have even been in playoff contention. They need all the help they could get at the plate, and Jacoby Ellsbury would give Seattle a much needed spark.
Besides a prospect or Kalish/Reddick, throw in an offering like Red Sox third baseman Kevin Youkilis to the deal and the Mariners would have a potential power-hitting DH and backup first and third baseman who can still give solid defense.
A solid workhorse, Garza has started at least 30 games the last four seasons and hovers right at 200 innings per season, a number that the Red Sox would love a few of their starters to reach.
With the talk of the Cubs still owing Boston for new GM Theo Epstein, a Jacoby Ellsbury trade for Garza could be part of the equation. Especially considering the Chicago Cubs have an old (and slow) outfield.
Third baseman Pablo Sandoval is really their only production guy, and Jacoby Ellsbury's numbers from his 2011 campaign blow them out of the water. Not to mention current center fielder Andres Torres is on the wrong side of 30 and only played in 112 games last season.
Matt Cain looks to be a stud in the making. At only 26 he threw 221 innings and had 179 strikeouts in 33 starts with a 1.083 WHIP. With both Josh Beckett and John Lackey (when Lackey returns) in the Boston Red Sox rotation getting older, an infusion of young blood could be perfect.
To sweeten the deal, the Red Sox could throw in Youkilis—an easy replacement for the free agent Aubrey Huff—and someone like shortstop prospect Jose Iglesias, or a combination of prospects.
Both could give the Giants needed help in the infield.
Playing now in a division that will have new perennial play off hopefuls Texas Rangers, and with a LAA Angels team that features both C.J. Wilson and Albert Pujols, the A's need some offense and quick.
They amassed a paltry 645 runs last season, which is not going to cut it.
In this deal, the Red Sox could send Jacoby Ellsbury, Kevin Youkilis and/or a combination of prospects or catcher Ryan Lavarnway for Gio Gonzalez. Boston would get another solid lefty to add to the rotation.
Brandon Morrow had 203 strikeouts in only 179 innings, a 10.2/9 strikeout ratio and a 1.288 WHIP. With the added benefit of already being familiar with the rest of the AL East squads, there would be no concern of not being able to handle the move of leagues or divisions.
Toronto currently has Rajai Davis manning center field, and although he provides speed, he is pretty abysmal at the plate, batting .238 with a .350 slugging percentage and one home run.