BOSTON, MA: Jacoby Ellsbury #2 of the Boston Red Sox works out in the field before a game with Miami Marlins during interleague play at Fenway Park in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)
Scott Boras has been the agent for many a Red Sox player in the past, and that trend continues up through today. Yesterday, he was available to the media at Fenway Park thanks to the signing of one of his and Boston's newest, first-round selection Deven Marrero, and that meant that it was also time to talk future contracts regarding his other players. Well, sort of.
Boras talked about Jacoby Ellsbury's future with the club by essentially dismissing that the discussion was even a priority at this point:
"I'm sure Ben [Cherington, GM] and I will be talking," Ellsbury's agent, Scott Boras, said Wednesday. "We have to talk in the offseason. As to what that conversation will be about, I know at minimum it's going to be a year. Jacoby's focus is playing and getting back on the field and helping this team win."
Ellsbury has been out since the seventh game of the season, when he dislocated his shoulder after crashing in to Reid Brignac at second base. This gives him a little less than a season-and-a-half to continue the kind of production he had in 2011, production which, in Boras' mind, likens Ellsbury's value similar to that of Matt Kemp, who signed an eight-year, $160 million extension before the 2012 campaign.
Boras is unlikely to talk extension during this stretch, with Ellsbury instead making it to free agency after the 2013 season, but if the Red Sox are interested, Ellsbury will surely be available to them. After all, there don't seem to be any hard feelings leftover from 2010's disagreement about injuries:
"Ben's been communicating with me," Boras said. "Jacoby's happy. The medical people have been great."
Perhaps in a show that the past is indeed the past, Boras asked "Was there a problem before?"
Ellsbury was taking batting practice, and Boras claims that, once he can consistently take BP, that it's likely Ellsbury can take the next step in his rehab, and be that much closer to a return.
As for Daisuke Matsuzaka, another Boras client, it sounds as if he plans to remain in Major League Baseball after his six-year contract with the Red Sox comes to an end at the conclusion of the 2012 campaign. Boras stated that, "we really didn't know he was pitching hurt that long," an allusion to Dice-K's struggles over the last couple of seasons, both in terms of staying healthy enough to pitch, and his inability to consistently produce in that stretch.
Dice-K does have a chance to make things right, as the team's fifth starter while Daniel Bard continues to work back from Pawtucket. It's unknown, though, whether Boston would be interested in the right-hander's services past this season.
For all the insanity he causes Red Sox fans, he does own a career 107 ERA+, and has been very effective when actually healthy -- as rare as that situation seems to be as of late. It's likely that Dice-K will either be too ineffective for the Red Sox to want him, or so effective that someone else would rather pay up for his second MLB contract. But, it's just July -- it's too early to gauge the flow of the off-season just yet.