Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington played the free agent game masterfully last season. Cherington tossed out the old philosophy of big money for long years for big money for short deals. The change worked and the Sox won the Series.
Will the Sox stick to the plan this offseason?
The real test will be what kind of offer the Red Sox make free agent outfielder Jacoby Ellsbury. Ellsbury is one one of the biggest names simmering on the hot stove this winter. Ellsbury and his agent Scott Boras are reportedly seeking a deal in the 7-year, $140 million range. This may prove too rich for the now frugal Sox.
In seven seasons in Boston, Ellsbury has hit .297 with 65 home runs, 314 RBI, 476 runs and 241 stolen bases. Ellsbury's 2011 season was the high-water mark as he hit 32 homers, stole 39 bases and batted .321. However, Ellsbury has missed over 250 games the last four years and has hit only 13 home runs the past two seasons.
Here's an opportunity for you, Red Sox Lifer's, to play GM for a day.