In response to ampoule's comment:
In response to hill55's comment:
Even before Friday's 1-for-5 performance, Jacoby Ellsbury's numbers so far this year had resembled his numbers from his injury-shortened 2012 season:
2012 74 G, 323 PA, .271/.313/.370/.682, OPS+ 83
2013 35 G, 165 PA, .263/.321/.368/.690, OPS+ 85
Over the past two seasons combined:
109 G, 488 PA, .268/.316/.369/.685, OPS+ 84
Thirty-five games into his outlier 2011 season, Ellsbury had the following line:
35 G, 145 PA, .291/.345/.463/.808
The Steamer and ZIPS rest-of-season projections for Ellsbury point toward improvement:
S 462 PA, .284/.339/.428/.767
Z 388 PA, .280/.333/.434/.767
As Ellsbury's arbitration hearing neared before his outstanding 2011 season, I used Michael Bourn as a reasonable comp. That Scott Boras client might still be among Ellsbury's closest comps as Ellsbury approaches his 30th birthday in September. Like Bourn, Ellsbury derives value from defense.
You know your stuff, so what's your guess as to whether or not he'll return next year?
As you can read, I don't think there's a snowballs' chance in hell that he'll be back.
I suspect Jacoby Ellsbury will go to the team that gives him the best contract, although he could give a slight discount to the Red Sox or another contender.
In light of recent long-term contracts around baseball, I would be reluctant to offer a lucrative long-term contract to any player past his 30th birthday.
Scott Boras landed a four-year, $48 million contract for 30-year-old Michael Bourn (with a vesting option for a fifth year at $12 million). That might be in the ballpark for Ellsbury's next contract.