- Joe McDonald, ESPN Staff Writer
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BOSTON -- It’s been said time and again that the Boston Red Sox do a solid job of scouting, drafting, signing, developing and promoting homegrown talent within the organization.
There is a difference, however, among the one-time prospects turned big leaguers in that group.
Pedroia, Youkilis, Lester and Buchholz have all signed long-term deals with the Red Sox, while Papelbon has gone year to year with his contract and will become a free agent at the end of this season.
The Red Sox and general manager Theo Epstein announced Buchholz’s four-year, $30.5 million extension on Sunday.
“We see Clay as a homegrown, core member of this ballclub,” Epstein said. “This is similar to the deals we did for Jon Lester, Dustin Pedroia and Kevin Youkilis. We expect Clay to be here for a long time and be a really big part of winning clubs. This allows him to go out and focus on the mound and do what he does best.”
Buchholz said it was an honor to join his teammates with a long-term deal that will keep him in Boston. He called it “a pat on the back from the organization.”
“Those guys are three of the top-tier athletes in this game and being a part of that group or being announced with those guys’ names, that just says something to me, what they think about me," Buchholz said. "It makes me more confident to go out and play this game as hard as I can, be ready to go out and pitch every fifth day and help this team win.”
So where does that leave Ellsbury, another homegrown talent but lacking a long-term contract?
Asked if there have been any talks of an extension with the Red Sox, the talented center fielder deferred the question to his agent, Scott Boras.
“Go through my agent,” Ellsbury said. “I’ve just got to go out there and play and let him take care of that end of it. Obviously, if anything is mentioned, he’ll mention it to me.”
Boras did not respond to an email from ESPNBoston.com.
Whereas Pedroia, Lester, Buchholz and Youkilis have security with their respective deals, Ellsbury avoided arbitration last winter and inked a one-year deal worth $2.4 million.
“I really don’t think about it,” Ellsbury said. “If something is presented to me, I’ll take a look at it.”
Would Ellsbury be open to signing an extension to stay in Boston?
“I don’t think anybody wouldn’t want it,” he said.
Ellsbury did say he’s happy for Buchholz and his new deal.
“I know it’s something he wanted and he’s excited about it,” Ellsbury said. “I know the organization is happy for him and excited to have him. It was a good day for the organization.”