Sunday, February 14, 2016

Ellsbury an interesting option for Phillies

NASHVILLE -- The domino effect that can occur whenever a team makes a move at the winter meetings may have created another center-field option for the Phillies via trade Tuesday.

Ellsbury an interesting option for Phillies

Jacoby Ellsbury. (Chris O´Meara/AP file photo)
Jacoby Ellsbury. (Chris O'Meara/AP file photo)

NASHVILLE -- The domino effect that can occur whenever a team makes a move at the winter meetings may have created another center-field option for the Phillies via trade Tuesday.

After the Boston Red Sox signed former Phillies center fielder Shane Victorino to a three-year, $39 million deal, the rumblings started that they may be ready to move Jacoby Ellsbury, a player who finished second in the American League MVP voting in 2011.

A separated shoulder limited Ellsbury to 74 games in 2012, marking the second time in three seasons he missed substantial time because of injuries. A rib injury limited him to 18 games in 2010.

The Phillies are already relying on Ryan Howard, Chase Utley and Roy Halladay to have comeback seasons after missing long stretches of the 2012 season, so it would be a risk to count upon Ellsbury as their starting center fielder, too.

More coverage
Poll: Which outfielder is the best fit for the Phillies?
Poll: How do you feel about the Phillies' offseason so far?
Forum: Sound off on the Phillies
Latest Phillies videos
More Phillies coverage from High Cheese
More coverage from The Phillies Zone

On the other hand, the reward would be great if Ellsbury returned to his 2011 form when he hit .321 with 47 doubles, 32 home runs and 105 RBIs while also stealing 39 bases and scoring 119 runs.

The risk in terms of dollars and long-term commitment would not be significant. Ellsbury, 29, will be a free agent after the 2013 season, so he should be motivated to play for a long-term deal. He made just over $8 million last season and probably will be paid right around that number next season.

Whenever Ellsbury has been healthy he has been an elite player. He led the American League in stolen bases with 50 in 2008 and 70 in 2009. He has scored 90 or more runs in the three seaosns he played at least 145 games and he has a .349 career on-base percentage.

Like Michael Bourn, the best pure free-agent center fielder on the free-agent market at these winter meetings, Ellsbury is represented by agent Scott Boras. Since Ellsbury is only eligible for salary arbitration, there would be no significant negotations.

What would the Phillies have to surrender in a trade for Ellsbury? The deal could get done for righthander Vance Worley because the Red Sox need another starting pitcher. Worley, 25, should be attractive to a lot of teams even though he is coming off a frustrating season caused by a bone spur that was surgically removed in September. Worley is not eligible for salary arbitratrion until after the 2013 season and cannot be a free agent until after the 2017 season. The Red Sox, after spending big in the free-agent market this offseason, should like that kind of low-cost option for the back of their starting rotation.

We encourage respectful comments but reserve the right to delete anything that doesn't contribute to an engaging dialogue.
Help us moderate this thread by flagging comments that violate our guidelines.

Comment policy: comments are intended to be civil, friendly conversations. Please treat other participants with respect and in a way that you would want to be treated. You are responsible for what you say. And please, stay on topic. If you see an objectionable post, please report it to us using the "Report Abuse" option.

Please note that comments are monitored by staff. We reserve the right at all times to remove any information or materials that are unlawful, threatening, abusive, libelous, defamatory, obscene, vulgar, pornographic, profane, indecent or otherwise objectionable. Personal attacks, especially on other participants, are not permitted. We reserve the right to permanently block any user who violates these terms and conditions.

Additionally comments that are long, have multiple paragraph breaks, include code, or include hyperlinks may not be posted.

Read 0 comments
comments powered by Disqus
About this blog

The place for up-to-the-minute Phillies coverage from The Inquirer's beat writers and columnists.

Jake Kaplan Inquirer Staff Writer
Bob Brookover Inquirer Columnist
Marc Narducci Inquirer Staff Writer
Matt Breen Staff Writer
Latest Videos:
Also on
letter icon Newsletter