Jacoby Ellsbury is hitting free agency after the World Series. Do not be surprised if it’s the Detroit Tigers who are one of the first teams he speaks to. Many have suggested that the Tigers simply cannot afford the high price tag that Ellsbury is sure to command in the market this winter. But, if you know the Tigers’ leadership and if you know Mike Ilitch, you know that there is simply no price too high. This is the man who signed Prince Fielder to a contract no one dreamed possible; this is a man who will give his right arm so that the city of Detroit can have a World Series championship. To say Ellsbury is out of the Tigers’ range would be inaccurate.
No one fits quite as perfectly as Ellsbury. If you take money out of the equation, Ellsbury provides the patient leadoff hitter that so desperately eluded the Tigers this season. Not to mention, his elite speed would give the Tigers an element that they haven’t had in so many years. Ellsbury is a perfect fit for a lot of the Tigers’ needs. So, while you may look at a potential $100 million dollar deal as too expensive, he could easily fill 2-3 holes just by himself. Not many players are worth it right now for the Tigers, but there is no question Jacoby Ellsbury is worth it for this Tigers team.
As the decision is made on who will be brought in as a third outfielder, don’t assume Ellsbury will be left out because of the price tag. If the passion is still there with ownership and the win-at-all-cost mentality is still with them, then there is no better player than Ellsbury. In the end, the Tigers may go with cheaper options. As the winter rolls on, don’t be surprised if the Tigers make a serious push at getting one of the more dynamic players hitting the open market.