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Jacoby Ellsbury to … Seattle?

Oct 10, 2013, 1:07 PM EDT

Ken Rosenthal isn’t the sort to usually make wild guesses. So you have to wonder if there isn’t something to this:


Obviously Ellsbury would be great for the Mariners. One wonders, though, why they’d be great for him. At least if whatever their offer is isn’t significantly higher from the best offer from an actual contender.

Not that I have any better guesses. After last offseason I don’t think it’s all that easy to predict where free agents are going.

  1. ashlynkat - Oct 10, 2013 at 1:16 PM

    I think Seattle is on the ascent, especially with their pitching core of Felix, Walker and Hauzten. They’re certainly closer to competing than the Cubs which is another team rumored to be high on Ellsbury and willing to show him the money.

    • moseskkim - Oct 10, 2013 at 1:27 PM

      how can u mention a solid pitching core without mentioning iwakuma? he was lights out all year and has been for almost 2 years.

    • paperlions - Oct 10, 2013 at 2:07 PM

      Hultzen had shoulder surgery for a labrum tear. That’s a scary surgery for a pitcher. The Cubs are at least as close to competing as Seattle. The Cubs have a crap ton of very high upside position prospects that have had great years of development/production. Plus, the Cubs FO seems to know what they are doing, whereas Seattle’s doesn’t.

      Seattle has long be rumored as a destination for Ellsbury because he is from the area, Seattle needs a CF, and they have money to spend.

    • aceshigh11 - Oct 10, 2013 at 2:42 PM

      Aren’t these “Seattle is on the ascent” predictions an annual occurrence in MLB?

      I won’t buy it until I see it.

  2. normcash - Oct 10, 2013 at 1:19 PM

    Ellsbury is a fine player, but he’s 30 years old and speed is one of his greatest tools–an
    attribute that will surely begin to decline soon. Hard to believe the Mariners would commit
    that much dough for that long to a player with his resume—-unless they were bought by Arte Moreno when we weren’t looking….

    • Glenn - Oct 10, 2013 at 1:50 PM

      This type of comment needs to be responded to each time. Statistically speaking, speed players age better than any other type of player. It has been shown again and again – see Bill James, etc., etc.. Speed players are the best bet as they get older, not the other way around. There are other reasons not to give ellsbury a long contract, but his speed is not one of them.

  3. sabatimus - Oct 10, 2013 at 1:20 PM

    Seattle is where players go to lose. Boras might convince Jacoby to go there for the money, but I’m betting he’ll be unhappy there.

  4. lookatmike - Oct 10, 2013 at 1:20 PM

    He’s from Oregon — I suppose it’s possible being closer to home would be a factor for him.

    • jcmeyer10 - Oct 10, 2013 at 2:40 PM

      Do you really think the Eugene Emeralds have 120 million dollars? 😀

      • Reflex - Oct 10, 2013 at 5:45 PM

        I’m from Eugene and watched many an Emerald’s game in my youth. Made me sad to read they moved out of Civic stadium a couple years ago, so many memories.

      • sportsfan18 - Oct 10, 2013 at 7:06 PM

        Seattle’s payroll in 2013 was only $84 million and that was with King Felix “only” earning $19.8 million.

        King Felix will earn $22.8 in 2014 and then it goes up to 24.8, 25.8, 26.8 for 2 seasons and then to 27.8 in his last yr of his contract.

        I don’t see Seattle adding another $20 plus million a yr player for 6 to 7 yrs.

    • rje49 - Oct 10, 2013 at 7:41 PM

      I always get a kick out of a player who signs with, or requests a trade to, a team that’s close to “home”. More often than not, after a couple of years they’re ready and anxious to go somewhere else for more money.

  5. manute - Oct 10, 2013 at 1:38 PM

    As a Navajo, he should sign with Cleveland, because their logo pays tribute to his heritage.

    • paperlions - Oct 10, 2013 at 2:12 PM

      He does bare a striking resemblance to Chief Wahoo.

    • monupai - Oct 13, 2013 at 12:59 AM

      As a paiute, I can safely say that i speak for most indigenous ppl that Cleveland’s logo is the most offensive logo out there. Personally, that logo is the only thing that bugs me…and the redskins a bit…

  6. dbristol - Oct 10, 2013 at 2:04 PM

    As a Red Sox fan, I get to see Ellsbury play on a regular basis. He’s been outstanding so far in the playoffs and, furthermore, he looks happy. He’s celebrating more when he scores a run, gets a hit, etc. He looks like he really enjoys winning. I highly doubt that he would want to go somewhere that only promises the potential for winning year-after-year. He’s a guy who’s going to need raw evidence. Think about it. He came up in an organization that prides itself on being a contender every year. Obviously there were down years, but he was in the minors when the Sox won in ’04 and helped them win a WS in ’07. Winning is everything in baseball, and he’s going to get paid wherever he goes. But he finally seems like a guy who really values the feeling of winning more than anything. I’m not saying he’ll re-sign with Boston, but I don’t see him signing anywhere but an annually contending team.

  7. tfbuckfutter - Oct 10, 2013 at 2:23 PM

    Ellsbury is a $20m player?

    For someone who has been fairly inconsistent even WHEN healthy?

    And on a long term deal?

    This will wreck Seattle.

    • 18thstreet - Oct 10, 2013 at 3:07 PM

      You really hate the Red Sox, don’t you?

      • tfbuckfutter - Oct 10, 2013 at 5:12 PM

        Being a realist instead of a homer is not the same as hating the team.

        I like Ellsbury a lot. He’s a great player for the most part, and even in the years his bat has been slightly-below-average-to-awful he has still been valuable because of his legs.

        But he’s also spent a huge amount of time injured, and fairly useless with the bat even when he was playing in those instances.

        He doesn’t even have a half-season worth of productivity comparable to his 2011 season, but someone is going to pay him as though that’s the norm and not the enigma?

        I’d love love love for the Red Sox to have him back….at roughly half the cost and years that this (no-doubt planted by Scott Boras) rumor is suggesting.

    • Reflex - Oct 10, 2013 at 5:48 PM

      While I’m mixed on the point of a deal like this beyond “Seattle needs a CF bad”, how would this wreck Seattle? They are not a small market team, and their obligations are small right now. They can sustain a payroll in the middle tier easily, and were top-10 in their heyday a decade ago. Ellsbury would not wreck Seattle’s ability to compete, and if healthy would be quite good for them.

      You are correct that he is oft injured however, and is on the wrong side of 30, so I’m not sure he makes a ton of sense.

      • tfbuckfutter - Oct 10, 2013 at 6:04 PM

        A 35-37 year old oft-injured center fielder with sporadic hitting skills drawing 15-20% of the teams payroll (and that’s assuming they increase to a minimum of $100,000,000 which would be a 33% increase over what they spend now) drags down any team.

        Only a few teams can afford to blow $20,000,000 a year and have nothing to show for it, which is a legitimate concern with Jacoby’s tract record.

        And to be honest, I don’t know all that much about Seattle’s revenue stream, but do they still draw a lot of international interest without Ichiro? Will it continue?

      • Reflex - Oct 10, 2013 at 6:12 PM

        No idea, but being the only MLB option from Alaska to San Fran helps tremendously. Its part of why I never see a team getting approval to move to Portland. Estimates that have been done have had the M’s as one of the most profitable franchises in the league for a long time now.

        They have had payrolls in the 120M range, and at the time owners indicated that that was no big deal, that they’d spend for needs. They’ve sad as recently as last year that when there is a core in place they will spend whatever it takes to get them back to the playoffs. The problem has been creating that core. Jack is good at drafting, but it has not yet translated to the solid core that is needed. I think he gets one more year to show progress, and after that they’ll look for someone new.

  8. rickdobrydney - Oct 10, 2013 at 2:39 PM

    Just the thought of a player like Ellsbury making $20 million a year for 7 years is frightening. My God, the guy is never healthy two years in a row. Think of it for a moment—– $20 million for Jacob freaking Ellsbury. The end is near…..

    • 18thstreet - Oct 10, 2013 at 6:34 PM

      You forgot to add, “And I’ll never watch baseball again if Jacoby Ellsbury earns more than [insert dollar figure].” That’s how these things go.

      Because it’s your money, you should be deeply concerned with how much the Mariners (or any other team) pay him.

      • theskinsman - Oct 10, 2013 at 7:11 PM

        As long as he doesn’t go to the borg, who cares how much he gets paid? If Boston can’t keep him, let another team pay through the nose for him.

    • cja819 - Oct 11, 2013 at 9:45 AM

      While I get ur sentiment about him not stringing together consecutive healthy seasons… Need to remember, these weren’t self inflicted nagging injuries that are going to be problems in the future… These were freak accidents caused by other players injuring Jacoby… He collided with a former teammate in centerfield that sent him to the DL the first time and last year he had a second basemen fall on him while he was sliding into second base… Incidents that could have been avoided “technically” …. That being said… His 2 weeks on the DL this year were legit as he fouled a ball off his shoe too away from the guard he typically wears …

      All that being said, is he a 20 mill guy?.. Probably not… But someone will pay it… I don’t think it will be Seattle though… As pointed out in some other comments, he came up through the sox organization with a winning mentality a although Boras and Jacoby no doubt will try to get a decent payday this offseason, I can’t see him losing that winning mentality over a few extra million dollars over the span of 5-6 years… I think the sox will most likely try to make a decent long term offer similar to the one they just made pedroia (prolli for more cash than pedroia obviously) but I don’t think the sox will do 20 mill or prolli not much over 15 mill if their doing a long term deal… I think they’ll make a fair offer and hope that Jacoby sees the potential he has to be part of the team he came up with, won with, and has great familiarity with.. Let alone the chemistry he already has with most here already…

  9. aceshigh11 - Oct 10, 2013 at 2:40 PM

    Look for Ellsbury to perhaps start a Crawford-like decline going into his 30s, even though his conditioning regimen is top-notch.

    I love the guy and he’s been a blast to watch in Boston, but can’t see them shelling out the type of dough he’s going to command, especially when Boras is his agent.

  10. ras1tafari - Oct 10, 2013 at 3:32 PM

    John Dennis and especially Gerry Callahan are two of the worst human beings on this planet. Callahan is a mysoginst and extreme racist. Dennis is a troll who methaphorically sucks Callahan’s cock every show.

    They are a big part of the reason that WEEI has completely fallen off a cliff. Sports Hub came in, with a morning show comprised of two folding chairs, (j/k I love T&R) and they blew the doors off WEEI.

    I listened to these two jabrones enough in the past to know if they were on fire, I wouldn’t just walk past, I would pour more gas on them.

    • aceshigh11 - Oct 10, 2013 at 3:52 PM

      Well you heard the audio of Craig trying to rationally defend the idea that team chemistry is overrated on Dennis and Callahan, did you not?

      It was a total shit show…those two wastes of flesh are utterly contemptible. They should be doing AM right-wing radio, not sports talk.

  11. chiadam - Oct 10, 2013 at 3:34 PM

    Why does Calcaterra have no issue with one guy guessing where Ellsbury will sign, but call out another guy for guessing whom Detroit might trade?

    • Joe - Oct 10, 2013 at 4:33 PM

      Because “Ken Rosenthal isn’t the sort to usually make wild guesses. So you have to wonder if there isn’t something to this:” vs. “the Tigers have shown no compunction about (a) spending money; and (b) dealing with Scott Boras. And those are the two factors — expense and Scherzer’s status as a Boras client — which inspires Knobler to speculate here.”

  12. cabrera24 - Oct 10, 2013 at 3:58 PM

    Relax . He’s not going to SEATTLE . Expectthe cubs to make a run at him . Who knows he can be their lead off hitter they’ve been searching for in a long time .
    My prediction Is he lands in Chicago .

  13. edelmanfanclub - Oct 10, 2013 at 5:10 PM

    I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again. You cannot steal first base. Something to keep in mind with these speed players, your skills decrease when you get older and speed is one of the first things to go. Not saying Ellsbury will be slow in the future but given his claim to fame is speed, I would say Boston CANNOT throw 20+ at him annually (See: Carl Crawford). Given Ellsbury’s injury history and his outlier 2011 season. I’d say his real worth is 4 years 60-68 million, or 6 years 84-90 million. He cannot receive a 9 figure deal. He’s simply not worth it. Oh btw, he’s my favorite player, I’d love for them to keep him. But he’s not worth 20+ unless he’s putting up his 2011 season every year. (Which he’s not)

    08: .280/.336/.394/.729/ 3.0 WAR
    09: .301/.355/.415/.770/ 2.7 WAR
    10: 78 ABs
    11:.321/.376/.552/.928 (Outlier) 8.1 WAR
    12: Injuried but .271/.313/.370/.682 1.0 WAR
    13:.298/.355/.426/.781 5.8 WAR

    So Take out 2011, and he’s never posted an .OBP over .360 and never had an OPS over .785

    Who gives a guy with an OPS under .800 a 100 million dollars?! Just being realistic, for the future because he cannot keep up the rate he’s swiping bases at hes closing in on 30. Hoping Ells continues to tear it up this year. Go Boston!!

  14. tfbuckfutter - Oct 10, 2013 at 5:16 PM

    “Who gives a guy with an OPS under .800 a 100 million dollars?!”


    Boston did with Crawford.

    • 18thstreet - Oct 10, 2013 at 6:56 PM

      OPS overvalues slugging. Ellsbury’s OBP is pretty good, though. No one would argue that (outside of one year) Ellsbury is not a power hitter. It’s like saying Miguel Cabrera is terrible because he doesn’t steal bases: it’s just not where his value lies.

      • tfbuckfutter - Oct 10, 2013 at 7:41 PM

        OPS, like all stats, isn’t perfect (I didn’t introduce it….that was supposed to be a reply to the post above).

        However, suggesting it only benefits power hitters is silly because it incorporates on-base percentage and slugging (which is, essentially the percentage of a base that you get when you actually decide to swing the bat).

        So as far as judging a ballplayer as a hitter it is as close to perfect a stat that you will get.

        Because really, the only quantifiable stat it doesn’t account for offensively is stealing bases (which is why it’s a flawed stat to use in a discussion about Ellsbury)

      • 18thstreet - Oct 10, 2013 at 8:08 PM

        I just think it’s better to look at OBP and SLG separately. (As far as SBs, for most players who aren’t Ells these days, they’re barely worth mentioning. I mean, the difference between stealing 5 and 15 bases over the course of 162 games seems irrelevant to me.)

      • edelmanfanclub - Oct 10, 2013 at 8:19 PM

        My point was guys that command salaries excess of 20 mill are long term middle of the order hitters with high OPS. Ellsbury has a decent OBP, and he’s a leadoff hitter. How many leadoff hitters can keep their speed late into their careers? A lot of his hits are due to his speed. Ellsbury isnt a power hitter, he shouldnt be paid like a power hitter. Miggy is, he shouldnt be paid like a leadoff hitter.

    • edelmanfanclub - Oct 10, 2013 at 8:17 PM

      My point exactly, they shouldn’t have. He didnt have the skill set that justified because a long term middle of the order hitter (guys with high OPS). Which is exactly why they cant give Ellsbury the same exactly contracy (7 years 142 mill; 21 annually. So bad it rolls of the tongue like that!)

  15. j0esixpack - Oct 10, 2013 at 6:39 PM

    I think Epstein is most likely to overpay for 6-7 years. One can’t imagine Ellsbury getting faster, but he’ll be productive for the next 2-3 years at least.

    That productivity is what Epstein needs to keep his job with the Cubs now – concerns about 4 years from now are not part of the equation for a GM looking at a hot seat.

    • 18thstreet - Oct 10, 2013 at 7:02 PM

      Theo Epstein is not the Cubs’ GM. Other than that, you make a good point.

  16. j0esixpack - Oct 10, 2013 at 6:43 PM

    I’d go along with the Cubs as the landing spot.

    Epstein certainly likes him, and while they’d be overpaying to give him a 6-7 year contract at $20 mil season.

    Epstein needs to win soon to keep his job. Wasted money in year 4-7 won’t be a concern, and they will likely get 3 good years out of Ellsbury.

  17. hitdog042 - Oct 10, 2013 at 8:14 PM

    Don’t see it. Jake wants to win. Not sit home every October.

  18. shawnuel - Oct 11, 2013 at 12:01 AM

    I keep seeing this misinformation spread on national message boards. Danny Hultzen does NOT have a torn Labrum. Debris was cleaned from his labrum. The slight tear is in his rotator cuff.

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