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Ellsbury: No long-term talks with Sox

03.07.10 at 10:31 am ET

FORT MYERS, Fla. — A year ago at this time, the Red Sox were working to finalize a five-year, $30 million deal with pitcher Jon Lester. He joined Dustin Pedroia and Kevin Youkilis as players who had reached long-term deals with the club in a span of less than four months.

Lester and Pedroia both had a bit more than two years of service time before they reached deals that bought out all of their arbitration years as well as the first year of their eligibility for free agency. That made it natural to wonder whether the Sox might approach outfielder Jacoby Ellsbury — who, like Lester and Pedroia after the 2008 season, has accumulated just over two years of big-league service time, but is not yet arbitration-eligible — with a similar proposal.

But Ellsbury said that he had had no such conversations with the Sox to this point. Asked whether he and agent Scott Boras had any conversations with the Sox about a long-term deal, Ellsbury said that there had been no such talks.

The 26-year-old did not rule out a willingness to consider a long-term deal, but he also made clear that he will not be concerned about whether he goes year-to-year in his contract, or whether he might sign a long-term deal.

“I’€™m going to play this year. When the Red Sox talk with my agent, I guess that’€™s when that ball starts rolling. As a ballplayer, you don’€™t want to get caught up in the numbers right now,” said Ellsbury. “I think it’€™s fine [that there have been no long-term talks]. I’€™d like to get one more year under my belt, but if they come with something tomorrow, then it’€™s a totally different ballgame. But I’€™m not really worried about that right now.”

Ellsbury hit .301/.355/.415/.770 while stealing a major league leading 70 bases in 2009.

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