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.