The Jacoby Ellsbury era in Boston has officially come to an end, as the homegrown center fielder and free agent has signed a seven-year, $153 million deal with the Red Sox rival, the New York Yankees. CBS Sports' Jon Heyman originally reported that a deal was close.
It's hard to fault Ellsbury for switching allegiances, given the size of the deal we're talking about. And hey, unlike another center fielder that jumped ship back in the day, at least Ellsbury didn't vow to never don pinstripes. Plus, he gave the Red Sox and their fans more than any player "owes" an organization: The 2005 first-round pick was a significant piece for two World Series-winning teams, nearly won a Most Valuable Player award in 2011, amassed 21 wins above replacement over six seasons and change despite a few serious injuries, and also won everyone in America a free taco. You don't get to say much of that about many players, and especially not all of it.
The Red Sox will receive a compensatory first-round pick for the loss of Ellsbury, as they submitted the qualifying offer to him. While the Yankees are only giving up their second-round selection for him, given their first-round pick was sacrificed to acquire catcher Brian McCann, Boston still picks up a first-round sandwich pick regardless. The Red Sox have two more potential picks in limbo at the moment, thanks to the qualifying offers submitted to Mike Napoli and Stephen Drew, so they could end up with as many as four first-round picks in the 2014 draft.