Fox Sports Senior MLB writer, Ken Rosenthal was on a Boston sports radio show earlier today and predicted that the Seattle Mariners would be signing Jacoby Ellsbury, the current Red Sox outfielder to a massive contract. The deal, Rosenthal speculated would be in the 6 or 7 year range and would carry a hefty $21 million per year figure.
Ellsbury just turned 30-years old last month and has been linked to the Mariners for some time now. The Oregon native has roots in the Pacific Northwest and the Mariners are in desperate need of help in the lineup, something that Ellsbury is more than capable of providing.
Currently the outfielder is playing for the Red Sox in the 2013 MLB playoffs but is in the final year of his deal with Boston. If the Mariners do indeed make an offer in the same ballpark as what Rosenthal projects then it would be very possible that the Red Sox would not bring their center fielder back.
The Sox have young prospects ready to fill the role vacated by Ellsbury if he were to leave and the Mariners are in a desperate situation. Desperate time call for desperate measures and Jack Zduriencik might need to make a move of this caliber to save his job in Seattle. Z’s track record with free agents isn’t good and a big splash is needed to recapture some of the attention of the fans that the organization has let slip away in the past decade.
Jacoby Ellsbury ranked 13th in WAR and missed 28 games in 2013 while hitting .298 with a lovely .355 OBP. His 9 home runs were far fewer than the 32 he hit in 2011 but Ellsbury provides value in nearly every other aspect of the game besides power.
One concern is that he has failed to reach 80 games in two of the past six seasons. Mariners fans are already tired of seeing their center fielders constantly out with injuries. Would it be wise to replace Franklin Gutierrez with another injury prone outfielder, and one that would be making over $20 million?
From the reactions we saw when we suggested the Mariners may be interested in Cuban first baseman Jose Abreu, Mariners fans are itching for a big bat to finally come play in seattle. No matter the cost.