Ellsbury shaves off Boston history

By Aaron Graff


On Oct. 31, the Boston Red Sox claimed its third World Series victory in the past nine years; the team already has a completely different feel to it after a few offseason moves.

The Red Sox and its biggest rival, the New York Yankees have made some of the largest signings in the history of the game within the past 10 years. Names like Alex Rodriguez, Manny Ramirez and CC Sabathia have found themselves on one side or the other of baseball’s biggest rivalry, and the majority of their earnings came from free agency contracts.


Boston’s starting catcher and centerfielder from this year’s championship team have already left town to new cities. Catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia signed a three-year deal with the Miami Marlins for $21 million; He hit a .273 batting average, with 14 home runs in 2013. Boston has already signed former White Sox catcher AJ Pierzynski, who had similar numbers, to replace Saltalamacchia, but Pierzynski is eight years older than Saltalamacchia.

The Red Sox also lost a free agency battle to the Yankees. Jacoby Ellsbury had a .298 batting average last year with 52 stolen bases and a .355 on base percentage. According to MLB.com Ellsbury was the best free agent centerfielder this season. Ellsbury’s deal with the Yankees is good for seven years and $153 million, with a no trade clause.

MLB.com has the top free agent overall as second basemen, Robinson Cano, who has spent his entire career with the Yankees. Cano said this offseason he wanted a 10-year deal worth $305 million, a number he would not budge from. However, ESPN’s Buster Olney reported Cano did end up budging and is now asking for nine years and $250 million.

According to Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports, the Yankees said they will not offer Cano a deal over $200 million. The Yankees have offered Cano a seven-year deal for $160 million but Passan said there will likely not be a deal between the two parties.

The Seattle Mariners have recently been named the favorites to sign Cano to a deal, but the Yankees have made a few notable signings this offseason to get back some of the production they may lose with Cano. They have also signed former Atlanta Braves catcher Brian McCann, who has been an all-star six of the last seven years.

The Yankees also have two more of MLB.com’s top free agents. Starting pitcher Hiroki Kuroda and centerfielder Curtis Granderson both may find new teams this offseason.

Ellsbury may or may not end up being the biggest move for New York this offseason, but the deal has received a lot of attention from fans on one side or the other of the Red Sox and Yankees rivalry.


Not only will Ellsbury have a new contract in a new city but he will also be forced to shave his facial hair. The 2013 Red Sox trademarked its beards through the 2013 season and even auctioned off some of the players’ trimmings. According to ESPN.com, the World Series’ most valuable player, David Ortiz’s, beard sold for almost $11,000.

Boston still has plenty of names to look at during the rest of the offseason, but the two players they were not able to re-sign might take away a large amount of production for the 2014 season.

The Red Sox also have one more of MLB.com’s top free agents with first basemen Mike Napoli. MLBtraderumors.com reported that Napoli has been linked to both the Pittsburgh Pirates and the Miami Marlins. Boston’s starting shortstop, Stephen Drew is also a free agent this offseason, and he has also been linked to the Yankees.

Boston went from last place in the division in 2012 to World Series Champions in 2013, and that is how much one offseason can affect a team, positively or negatively.

The Red Sox begin their regular season Mar. 31 against the Baltimore Orioles, and they will first face off against its clean-shaven former centerfielder on April 10 in New York.

Aaron Graff can be contacted at 

[email protected] 

or (618)-536-3311 ext. 282