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Wednesday, December 5, 2012
Hot Button: Should Sox trade Ellsbury?

By ESPNBoston.com

Jacoby Ellsbury
Our reporters on the scene at the winter meetings in Nashville report it's been a quiet day so far from a Red Sox perspective, so we'll keep things moving with a Hot Button topic: Should the Red Sox trade Jacoby Ellsbury this offseason?

The 29-year-old is entering his free-agent year and the Sox just signed someone who has played primarily in center field in Shane Victorino, so it's worth wondering whether the team will explore a trade. Trading Ellsbury could net them an impact pitcher in return, but is it worth the void it would leave in the 2013 lineup? Our Gordon Edes and Joe McDonald debated the point.

* Edes -- trade him: Even though the Sox would be selling low because he's coming off an injury-shortened season, there may be a win-now team willing to chance a one-year rental that would part with a major league-ready arm in return. Am I sending up the white flag for 2013 by trading Ellsbury? Hardly. I can move the Flying Hawaiian, Shane Victorino, to center, and sign another outfielder to play right field. Maybe even Josh Hamilton. I have Jackie Bradley Jr. waiting in the wings. But I need pitching. And if I could add an arm who could help me in 2013 and beyond, I'd do it.

* McDonald -- keep him: The speculation of a trade began once the Red Sox agreed to terms to Victorino on Tuesday, but GM Ben Cherington should sit tight and see how the team is playing in July, then decide whether to trade Ellsbury. It's this simple: When Ellsbury is healthy and productive at the top of the order, the Red Sox win. They need that to happen in 2013.

Where do you stand. Share your thoughts in our Hot Button.