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Sunday, November 11, 2012
Your turn: What should Sox do on Ellsbury?

By ESPNBoston.com

Jacoby Ellsbury
ESPN analyst -- and current major league general manager -- Jim Bowden examines the decision the Red Sox need to make this offseason on center fielder Jacoby Ellsbury in an Insider piece posted HERE Insider.

He leads into the piece assuming the Red Sox and Ellsbury won’t be able to work out a long-term deal this offseason, based mostly on the fact that Ells is a year away from free agency and his agent, Scott Boras, “owns a healthy track record of taking his clients to free agency to maximize their financial opportunities,” writes Bowden.

In Bowden’s eyes, the Sox have three choices:

1. Settle with Ellsbury on a one-year deal.

2. Take Ellsbury to arbitration, where he will make about $9.5 million on a one-year contract.

3. Trade Ellsbury.

It should be noted that besides his breakout 2011 season, Ellsbury has been limited by injuries. He was limited to 74 games this season by a shoulder injury and missed all but 18 games in 2010 with rib injuries. Following a 32-homer outburst in 2011, he had just 4 homers in 2012 (albeit in just under half a season).

In the piece, Bowden suggests seven deals that could be possible for the Red Sox on Ellsbury, with the caveat that none appear likely. Bowden writes:

“Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington must identify the teams that need a center fielder, would be willing to trade for a ‘rental’ player and could afford to add a $9.5 million player to its payroll.

“Because Ellsbury will be a one-year rental, Cherington probably knows he won’t get equal return. However, he will start with a high asking price -- in some cases unreasonable -- and negotiate downward. And the Red Sox could have another shot at Ellsbury after the 2013 season since Boras will make certain he reaches the free agent market.”

Your turn: What’s your take on how the Red Sox should handle the Ellsbury situation this offseason. Vote in the poll above (we’re assuming the sides won’t be able to hammer out a long-term contract so we’re not including that option) and leave your thoughts in the comments section.