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Ellsbury to be dealt in the offseason?

Jun 14, 2010, 11:15 AM EDT

Buried in Nick Cafardo’s notes column from yesterday is this small nugget: “Prediction: Jacoby Ellsbury will be dealt in the offseason.” Which doesn’t make a lot of sense to me because Mike Cameron is not going to live forever and the Sox need someone to play in the outfield, but there you are.

He could simply be guessing, but seeing the prediction just laid out like that with little explanation around it makes me think that Cafardo is passing along something he heard from team management. I wonder if it’s the same team sources that seem to be telling all the Boston writers to push the “Ellsbury is soft line.” Because we’ve seen a bit of that recently as well.

The Sox used to have a reputation for burying a guy in the media and then shipping him out.  They don’t seem to do that much anymore because they’re all respectable and professional now and everything, but one wonders if this isn’t happening with Ellsbury.

  1. Ace - Jun 14, 2010 at 11:32 AM

    Forgive me if this is a stupid question, but why go to the trouble of tarnishing a player’s reputation before trading him? Couldn’t that diminish the team’s return in any potential trade? Or is this just to get the fans to support the move when it happens? I suppose I could see the latter, as Ells is a pretty popular dude in New England. (Particularly with the ladies. I mean, Kevin Youkilis is a one hell of a ballplayer, but he doesn’t exactly put a lot of pink hats in the seats.)

  2. Craig Calcaterra - Jun 14, 2010 at 11:56 AM

    It doesn’t make sense, but that’s what the Red Sox used to do. A lot of teams actually used to do it before they realized that it was, you know, dumb. But I’m not sure what else to make of the “Ellsbury is soft” articles that were coming out last week.

  3. d - Jun 14, 2010 at 12:02 PM

    because media likes to make up a storyline to get people all riled up? I do think they’ll trade him though. He’s a good, not great, centerfielder – and a good, not great, leadoff hitter.

  4. Joey B - Jun 14, 2010 at 12:09 PM

    “It doesn’t make sense, but that’s what the Red Sox used to do.”
    I don’t remember them ever doing that to a player they were trading. I’ve seen them allude to injuries or other issues on type A FAs, to prepare the fans for the fact that they weren’t keeping someone and why, but I’ve never seen them badmouth a player that they were about to trade.

  5. Jack Marshall - Jun 14, 2010 at 12:18 PM

    I don’t see the team that paid a fortune to J.D. Drew dumping Ellsbury just because he gets hurt a lot. And a lot of the “burying in the media” stuff was just plain old reporting. Manny claimed he was abused, when his nonsense should have had him benched, suspended and shipped out years before. Nomar WAS becoming a problem, and the scribes reported it. Pedro’s demands WERE unreasonable, given his health issues and decline; Mo Vaughn WAS too heavy to risk giving a long term contract.
    Despite all this, I don’t believe the report at all. If Ellsbury comes back strong, and the Sox win, no way he’ll be traded. This is, after all, Nick Cafardo…

  6. Manny being Manny - Jun 14, 2010 at 12:44 PM

    Seems strange that this story line is continuing given that a few days ago Ellsbury was found to have an additional broken rib. The Sox say he likely broke it making a diving catch in Philadelphia when he came back from his first rib injury. More curious is the press release issued by the Sox that goes to great lengths to point out team medical director Dr. Tom Gil’s agreement with the latest diagnosis, which occurred when Ellsbury went to Angels doctor Lewis Yockum. And this occurred after Terry Francona was all over the media stating that he had several conversations with Scott Boras regarding Ellsbury’s treatment. Since when did the field manager and player agent have to discuss a player’s medical treatment? And at the same time, Jeremy Hermeida has gone on the DL with broken ribs after colliding with Adrian Beltre, just as Ellsbury did. So is he soft too? Maybe Tito should call Jeremy’s agent…

  7. Jimmy - Jun 14, 2010 at 12:45 PM

    I actually called that the Sox would trade Ellsbury prior to the season happening. I think it would have happened during the trade window this season had San Diego not played well but with their success, the trading of Gonzo will come this offseason. I see the Sox trading Buchholz, ellsbury and some other minor leaguers to get Gonzo, and then they will go hard after Carl Crawford to replace Ells in LF and play keep away with the Yankees

  8. jc - Jun 14, 2010 at 1:17 PM

    There is probably a good bit of bad blood at this point between Ellsbury and the team, as evidenced by the fact that Ellsbury is now recuperating at home in Arizona rather than in Boston. Dr. Gill’s defensive comments aside, the fact remains that Ellsbury’s injuries were only definitively diagnosed after he and his agent requested different tests and/or different doctors. And it was clear from his comments that he had read some of the garbage in the media that he was “soft.” Francona has not been helping matters by appearing to dump the decision to play solely in his lap, though he’s backed off that somewhat. Rightly or wrongly, Ellsbury is probably feeling persecuted and angry at this point and like Scott Boras is the only person really on his side. That’s not a good recipe. If they don’t trade him, he may break the streak and force the first arbitration hearing in Theo’s tenure.

  9. Ken - Jun 14, 2010 at 1:33 PM

    Certainly the news stories suggesting that Garciaparra and Ramirez were malcontents began before the trades. I suspect that the Sox are less concerned about bad stories diminishing the player’s trade value–opposing teams don’t rely on popular sports media to make their decisions on personnel–than about selling a trade to the fans, who do receive their information about players that way.

  10. Joey B - Jun 14, 2010 at 1:50 PM

    “Certainly the news stories suggesting that Garciaparra and Ramirez were malcontents began before the trades.”
    They could’ve been greased by the RS, but the pictures of Nomar sulking in the dugout while Jeter was coming out of the stands with the ball and blood streaming down his face were not a RS contrivance. And Manny wasn’t keeping his desire for a trade a secret.

  11. Bruce - Jun 14, 2010 at 1:53 PM

    Who doesn’t remember the Red Sox burying players in the press before sending them on their way? They did it with players they wanted to trade or players they didn’t want to re-sign. Clemens, Mo Vaughn, Nomar, Pedro, Derek Lowe, Manny, and they even planted the seeds about Mike Lowell being a clubhouse cancer before that deal fell through. I guess they’ve moved on to Ellsbury.

  12. Joey B - Jun 14, 2010 at 1:58 PM

    “I see the Sox trading Buchholz, ellsbury and some other minor leaguers to get Gonzo, and then they will go hard after Carl Crawford to replace Ells in LF and play keep away with the Yankees”
    1-While the NYY seem intent on signing expensive players when they have cheaper & better already on the roster, it just doesn’t make sense to me that they’d sign Crawford and his .811 OPS to replace Gardner with his .822 OPS.
    2-The RS are 2nd in scoring, 0.20 RPG behind the NYY. They are 9th in ERA. While I can see Ells being traded for a more traditional type of LF, I see no way they trade Buch.

  13. Val - Jun 14, 2010 at 2:06 PM

    Yup, all of us with a memory can recall each and every example of this player-bashing by the Sox organization. This is all about manipulating fan opinion before making a move. This ugly habit seems to have raised its ugly head again with Ellsbury.
    I’m only hoping that this is more about a bored local press looking for something to sell papers about. But, in any case, Francona has handled this terribly with his public remarks and should just shut up already.
    Seems to me the actual problem is Beltre and his uncanny ability to destroy the ribs of Sox outfielders.

  14. YANKEES1996 - Jun 14, 2010 at 2:16 PM

    This type of story and bad feelings between the players and the Red Sox have become common place in the Epstein Era. I would simply like to know why the Sox continue to have these kinds of problems with their star players. Now, that being said don’t get me wrong if they want to teardown their house from the inside out by all means continue, but if I was a Sox fan and I know more than a few I would want to know what is going on.

  15. Val - Jun 14, 2010 at 2:18 PM

    “I see the Sox trading Buchholz, ellsbury and some other minor leaguers to get Gonzo, and then they will go hard after Carl Crawford to replace Ells in LF and play keep away with the Yankees”
    This makes little sense to me. The Sox are the best offensive team in MLB right now. Their problems are with pitching. Why would they trade their best pitcher (who is both young and cost-controlled) for an offensive player who plays the same position as Kevin Youkilis? On top of that, Gonzo will cost a LOT of money, which means that they’ll be strapped to add more pitching. Dollar for dollar, Buchholz is the most valuable player on the team. He’s not going anywhere.
    Also, the Sox will never win a free agent battle with the Yanks (see Tex and Arod). If the Yanks want Crawford, they can have him. Before his injury, I was convinced that Ellsbury was going to have a breakout year and be as good as Crawford by 2011, and cheaper. Right now, all bets are off on that one because of the injury.

  16. Phil Hozer - Jun 14, 2010 at 2:20 PM

    I think Ells is an ideal leadoff hitter. Good on base percentage and steals a lot of bases. I really can’t see them trading him

  17. djs - Jun 14, 2010 at 2:40 PM

    That would be an utterly absurd trade forBosox. Ellsbury and Buckolz are borderline superstars in the most heated baseball town in USA. Gonz would be nice, but he is categorically not worth that price. Now, I could see Bowden and Lars Anderson as the masin part of a Gonz deal

  18. d - Jun 14, 2010 at 2:42 PM

    Phil wrote”I think Ells is an ideal leadoff hitter. Good on base percentage and steals a lot of bases. I really can’t see them trading him”
    his OBP in 2009 was .355 for the season that put him at the median for the entire league (he was like 75th out of 154 players). That is not good for a lead-off hitter.

  19. j4b - Jun 14, 2010 at 2:44 PM

    Why does anyone do anything but laugh at anything Nick(my-only-source-is-JP-Riccardi) Cafardo says?

  20. NYSoxFan - Jun 14, 2010 at 3:19 PM

    Ellsbury switched to Scott Boras last year. On that day, he became trade bait. The only way you re-sign a Boras client is if nobody else wants him….or if you are willing to grossly overpay.

  21. Joey B - Jun 14, 2010 at 3:27 PM

    I seriously doubt Boras has anything to do with it. Why would a team, that loves getting draft choices, trade away a guy that they have locked in for 3.5 more years. They’ll worry about 2014 about 3 years from now. Seriously, let him play out his option, get two picks, and put Fuentes or Westmoreland out there.

  22. RedSoxGoddessofMusic - Jun 14, 2010 at 5:55 PM

    Seems to me they should trade Beltre, since he’s the one causing all the injuries. Is he too aggressive? The Red Sox need the kind of player who personifies Sox enthusiasm — Youkilis, Pedroia, Lowell, Varitek, and Ellsbury. Sox have not been stealing bases much since Ells went on the DL. Give him the time to heal, then welcome him back.

  23. yankee fan - Jun 14, 2010 at 6:51 PM

    the Sawx used to tarnish a player’s rep before trading so as gain fan acceptance of trade. the conventional wisdom was that other baseball insiders would know better.

  24. Matt M - Jun 14, 2010 at 9:21 PM

    Or maybe they should teach their outfielders to, you know, call off and infielder who’s trying to make a play with his back to them? Ellsbury, in particular, has been involved in several collisions with other fielders.

  25. Brahmsian - Jun 15, 2010 at 3:26 PM

    The Boras angle is the only reason I can comprehend for any desire the Sox may have to trade away the most exciting baserunner they’ve had since Tommy Harper while he’s still young enough to have the best years of his career still ahead of him.
    I want Ellsbury to spend his entire career here in Boston. Trading him because they don’t like his agent would be a HUGE blunder, IMO.

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