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Red Sox rumors: Should Boston trade Jacoby Ellsbury?

Should the Red Sox trade center fielder Jacoby Ellsbury?

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The Boston Red Sox should trade center fielder Jacoby Ellsbury this winter, argues Michael Silverman of the Boston Herald:

With Ellsbury gone after next season, barring an unlikely contract extension, trading him becomes the quickest route to a short-term goal that bides time until the long-term plan is in place.

Silverman says the Red Sox are a team with many needs, but he implores them not to get "sucked into the mindset" of going out and signing high-priced free agents to plug their holes. Instead, he believes the club should look to replenish their ranks by dealing the talented Ellsbury.

For a team that seems to be in some sort of rebuilding mode, locking the 29-year-old Ellsbury up to a contract extension would seem to be a reasonable option. However, there doesn’t appear to be a reasonable extension to be had considering the outfielder’s inconsistent production and agent Scott Boras’ high demands.

Rather than roll the dice on a pricey new contract, Silverman says the Red Sox should trade Ellsbury, who’s eligible for free agency following the 2013 season.

After a break out campaign in 2011, Ellsbury struggled (.271/.313/.370) last season. He owns a career line of .297/.349/.442 over six years at the major league level.