Boston Red Sox centerfielder Jacoby Ellsbury just recently signed back on with the team to avoid arbitration, agreeing to a one-year deal worth $8.05 million. “Happy to get a deal worked out!” Ellsbury wrote on Twitter. “Excited to get to Spring Training and help the #RedSox get back on top!!”
Last season Ellsbury batted .321 (.376 OBP) with 32 home runs, 39 stolen bases, 105 RBIs and a career-high slugging percentage of .552. He finished second in the MVP voting behind Detroit pitcher Justin Verlander. Had the Sox finished strong in the last month of the regular season, Ellsbury may very well have been the 2011 MVP.
Veteran designated hitter David Ortiz tops the list of arbitration-eligible Sox players to exchange salary numbers. Ortiz accepted salary arbitration after rejecting a two-year, $18 million offer from the team. The Red Sox are willing to offer $12.5 million, but the slugger has set his request at $16.5 million.
In other Red Sox news, Carl Crawford underwent arthroscopic surgery on his left wrist Tuesday and will expect to return by the end of spring training. “Carl will be our everyday left fielder for the bulk of the 2012 season,” said Red Sox GM Ben Cherington. “We’re not ruling out Opening Day, but we’re not going to put a timeline on it. Carl will be ready exactly when he’s ready. There’s no one who works harder than Carl.” More Boston Red Sox offseason updates to come.