Tuesday’s signing of outfielder Shane Victorino may have larger ripple effects on the market than was originally anticipated.
When the Boston Red Sox gave Victorino $38 million over three years, the indication was that the veteran switch-hitter would be playing right field. Alternately, Pete Abraham of the Boston Globe reports that the team is open to the idea of trading center fielder Jacoby Ellsbury. Buster Olney followed that report with a tweet offering much the same sentiment.
Sources: #RedSox are open to idea of trading Ellsbury, playing Victorino in CF and signing C. Ross or another RF. Keeping doors open.
— Pete Abraham (@PeteAbe) December 5, 2012
Abraham mentions free agent Cody Ross in particular and the Red Sox have reportedly not closed the door on bringing him back, even with Victorino on board.
Ellsbury’s is a name that has been floated in trade rumors once before this off-season, but it makes even more sense for Boston now. The Philadelphia Phillies, in particular, are in search of a center fielder and would like to spend significantly less money than free agent Michael Bourn is seeking. The Phillies could theoretically acquire Ellsbury in exchange for a starting pitcher.
This is all just speculation of course, but this kind of a deal does make sense for Boston. Ellsbury is under team control through the 2013 season but is represented by Scott Boras, making an extension unlikely. The Red Sox likely couldn’t get an elite starter in return based on Ellsbury’s contract situation, but a solid middle-of-the-rotation guy could probably be had for a guy that when healthy ranks among the elite at his position.