Avoiding one of their two most expensive arbitration cases, the Red Sox Tuesday reached agreement with outfielder Jacoby Ellsbury on a one-year deal worth 8.05 million, an industry source confirmed.
Ellsbury enjoyed a breakout season in 2011, setting career highs in virtually in every significant offensive category, including homers (32), RBI (105), total bases (364) and slugging percentage (.552). Ellsbury's season came a year after he had missed all but 17 games with broken ribs and as such countered criticism from the previous year which suggested that Ellsbury was at times soft. The Red Sox now control him for two more seasons before he reaches free agency after 2013.
The settlement with Ellsbury was the fourth by the team in the last five days as the deadline for teams and players to file their salary arbitration requests drew closer. In addition to Ellsbury, the Red Sox recently reached one-year deals with outfielder Ryan Sweeney, catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia, infielder Mike Aviles, and reliever Franklin Morales.
Ellsbury's signing leaves four arbitration-eligible players remaining for the Red Sox. They are: pitchers Alfredo Aceves, Andrew Bailey and Daniel Bard; and DH David Ortiz.
Of those, Ortiz will generate by far the biggest salary. Ortiz made 12.5 million in 2013 and is expected to get a raise somewhere in the neighborhood of 14 million.
Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading, while simply skating my lane today.
*A terrific piece on Carolina Hurricanes forward Bryan Bickell getting on with his life after an MS diagnosis, and pushing to see if he can return to the ice.
*If the New York Islanders botch the hirings for people guiding the franchise, then John Tavares could be one of the next figures gone from Brooklyn.
*It’s been a rough go of it for St. Louis Blues goaltender Jake Allen over the past few weeks and that continued on Thursday night.
*Top NHL Draft prospect Nolan Patrick’s value comes from his two-way play, and that’s what teams are focused on rather than the injury issues.
*Mike Babcock talks a wide range of subjects with James Duthie during a 1-on-1 with the Toronto Maple Leafs head coach.
*In his never-ending odyssey on the fringes of the NHL, Seth Griffith has been claimed by the Maple Leafs on waivers for the second time.
*Veteran forward Clarke MacArthur won’t be playing this season for the Ottawa Senators amid his concussion issues.
*For something completely different: Bill Belichick just being Bill Belichick at his press conference on Friday and that’s something we can all be reassured about.
FOXBORO -- The Patriots had perfect attendance at Friday's practice, meaning they had all 53 players on their active roster present and accounted for at all three practices this week.
Contrast that with how things have gone for the Steelers this week, and there is a stark difference. Star running back Le'Veon Bell missed each of his team's first two on-the-field workouts this week, and several Steelers players are dealing with a bug that seems to have circulated the locker room.
The Patriots could have an interesting game-day roster decision to make should Chris Hogan (thigh), Malcolm Mitchell (knee) and Danny Amendola (ankle) both be healthy enough to play on Sunday. They have not entered a game with five receivers in uniform this season but could potentially dress Mitchell, Amendola, Julian Edelman, Chris Hogan and Michael Floyd.
Other players listed as limited participants in practice this week are Brandon Bolden (knee), Martellus Bennett (knee), Dont'a Hightower (shoulder) and Jabaal Sheard (knee).