Jacoby Ellsbury

What was supposed to be a highly productive season for Jacoby Ellsbury, has been anything but.  Ellsbury is on the cusp of unrestricted free agency and his agent is Scott Boras.  Generally the combination of those two things equals money in the bank for a player.

The problem for Ellsbury has been that he has been terrible this year.  He has a .683 OPS.  Yes he has 12 steals, but his .323. OBP means he really shouldn’t be a lead-off hitter.  And if Ellsbury isn’t leading off, his value is dramatically reduced.

In the off-season, the idea that he was a $20mm a year players was tossed about with even his biggests critics saying they’d pay him $12mm a year for 4-5 years.  But if Ellsbury doesn’t turn this ship around, he’ll be lucky to get $6mm a year for 2-3 years.  With Ellsbury, the promise is always there and this will probably help him this off-season.  After all, it was just 2011 that he put together an amazing offensive display, but that was then.

Consider his OPS tallies in seasons he played everyday and was healthy (i.e. 2008, 2009, 2011 and 2013 to date):

2008: .729

2009: .770

2011: .928

2013: .683

Now his injury plagued seasons and rookie campaign:

2007: .902 (127 PAs)

2010: .485 (only 84 PAs)

2012: .682 (in 323 PAs)

If you were a GM, would you pay this guy $20mm?  $14mm?  I wouldn’t.  First off, he can’t stay healthy and secondly, his 2011 season is worlds apart from anything else he has done.  It makes no sense.

Now Boras will spin Ellsbury into something he isn’t and I’m sure some team will pay him far more than he is worth.  I just hope it isn’t the Red Sox, but I do hope Ellsbury puts together a strong run so the Red Sox can get more when the time comes to trade him this year.