Even though free agency is the furthest thing on the mind of free agent Jacoby Ellsbury because the Boston Red Sox are still in the American League Championship Series, it does not mean the Seattle Mariners cannot start making offseason plans. Should the Mariners make a legitimate run at signing the center fielder this winter?
There is no question Seattle has several holes to fill if they want to make a run at the franchise’s first playoff berth since 2001. One of the big ones will be getting an outfielder who can produce in the leadoff spot. Ellsbury is not going to hit a lot of home runs or knock in 100 runs, although he did show the ability to do both in 2011. However, what he will do is get on base and score plenty of runs.
The Mariners’ outfield is a complete mess and it will not get any better without making some acquisitions this offseason. The good news is the organization will have plenty of money to spend to leverage a player like Ellsbury to come to the Northwest.
The biggest issue might be convincing him there will be enough surrounding talent to make a run at a postseason berth. However, Ellsbury might not be too concerned about winning championships as he is interested in a big contract, especially if Boston wins the World Series this year.
Seattle must do everything in their power to sign Ellsbury because he would be a huge upgrade on offense and defense. More importantly, the Mariners are in desperate need of a talented outfielder. It is somewhat rare to accomplish that in one free agency signing, which means the Mariners must take advantage of the opportunity.
Ellsbury posted a .298 batting average with nine home runs, 53 RBI, 31 doubles, eight triples, 52 stolen bases, 92 runs, 5.2 wins above replacement and a .355 on-base percentage in 134 games during the regular season.