One way or another, the Red Sox season will be over in about a week and half or maybe less, depending on how long the World Series. That means when the dust settles for better or worse, the offseason will be upon us. And the offseason means free agency. And the Red Sox will have some serious decisions to make come free agency.
Let's start with the big one - Jacoby Ellsbury (pictured): He's playing like he wants a $100 million contract, and he's gonna get it. He was one of the few players on the roster who was producing while the Sox bats went silent. The question is whether whose jersey he'll be wearing next year. I would love to see the Red Sox pay him because he's a terrific lead-off guy and a center fielder as well. If the Red Sox come out of this with a World Series championship, I'm sure it will have a lot to do with Ellsbury. And it will give ownership a problem because we have a great replacement in Jackie Bradley, Jr and they've already given Dustin Pedroia a 7 year, $100 million contract. And, as we've discussed on RSLive, you have to factor length of the contract as well and I don't know if you want to lock this guy up for 7-9 years with Jackie Bradley waiting in the wings. I will say this, though: I think a championship will go a long way towards convincing Ellsbury to maybe go with a 4-5 year contract, but I can't see the future.
Verdict: Ellsbury goes to a team that needs a center fielder and willing to pay what Scott Boras might look for.
Mike Napoli: If you guys remember, Mike Napoli's initial contract was dropped from 3 years to 1 because of injury issues before the season started, but I think they'll extend his contract for 2 years and keep him around for 3 years like they had originally planned anyway. Why, you ask? "But he strikes out a lot! Please just let him go!" Yeah, well, there's another side to this story, though. What about his big home runs? He hit a few big one's against the New York Yankees, not to mention the lone home run against Justin Verlander. So, what about that?
Verdict: They'll keep him around for 2 years. He's had too many big home runs not to.
Stephen Drew: I'm not going to go into too much detail because this is a no brainer. We've got Xander Bogaerts ready to go and take over at shortstop NOW. X-Man is 21 and he's done more for this team than Drew. Yes, I am well aware of Drew's defense, but X-Man could make the same plays and actually come up with big hits.
Verdict: Don't need him. X-Man is more than capable of stepping up.
I sincerely hope I'm wrong about Ellsbury, but his agent is Scott Boras, who won't think about team loyalty at all. His loyalty is to big bucks. What do you think? Hit me up on Twitter (@ConorJF1016) or leave a comment.