The Boston Red Sox really like Cuban outfielder Jorge Soler, but they don’t appear to be the front-runners for him, reports Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe. Cafardo also notes that it appears the Red Sox will wait out discussing a contract extension with center fielder and Scott Boras client Jacoby Ellsbury for the remainder of this year and all of next year.
We’ve heard Soler could make his decision on where to sign any time now, with the New York Yankees and Chicago Cubs being the teams most-tied to the 20-year-old. Boston has also been one of the teams considered in the Soler sweepstakes. While Cafardo notes the Red Sox interest, he also says they don’t seem to be one of the favorites to land the Cuban outfielder.
Current Red Sox outfielder Jacoby Ellsbury is making $8.05 million this year and is arbitration eligible once more before he’s able to become a free agent following the 2013 season.
Cafardo notes that the Baltimore Orioles recent agreement with center fielder Adam Jones has given rise to speculation on how the Red Sox will handle Ellsbury. According to Cafardo, the Red Sox and Ellsbury’s agent, Scott Boras, have not had any discussions on this. Cafardo says it appears the Red Sox will likely wait it out with Ellsbury the remainder of this year and all of next year.
Cafardo adds each side has their reasons to wait. Ellsbury could land a major contract if he reaches free agency, and the Oregonian may want to play in a quieter market than Boston.
The Red Sox have been burned recently by long-term deals (see John Lackey, Carl Crawford and even Daisuke Matsuzaka) and would want to see Ellsbury have a stretch of good health before committing to him long-term.