In light of their recent signing of free agent outfielder Shane Victorino, the Boston Red Sox could trade incumbent center fielder Jacoby Ellsbury to make room for another free agent outfielder, like Cody Ross or Nick Swisher, according to Pete Abraham.
The Red Sox signed Victorino to a three-year, $39 million deal on Tuesday, and he is flexible enough defensively to play in either center field or right field. Buster Olney reports rumors that they are already in talks to move Ellsbury in order to acquire much-needed pitching.
Ellsbury has had an up-and-down career in Beantown, losing significant playing time to injuries in two of the last three seasons. Of course, the one season (2011) in which he was healthy, he was second in MVP voting. His career numbers smooth out the highs and lows, as he is a .297/.349/.442 hitter over his six seasons. He also has 189 stolen bases, leading the AL in 2008 and 2009.
The Red Sox may find a tough market for Ellsbury though, as he played in only 74 games last season and made $8.05 million. He will go through arbitration for the third and final time this winter, so he stands to earn a raise. The Red Sox may find it difficult to get fair value for a Jacoby Ellsbury that is making $9-10 million and will be a free agent next year.