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Jacoby Ellsbury: In-season contract talks wouldn’t be a distraction

03.29.13 at 9:03 am ET
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Jacoby Ellsbury

Red Sox center fielder Jacoby Ellsbury, who is eligible for free agency after the 2013 season, suggested that if the Red Sox wanted to discuss a contract extension during the 2013 season, he did not anticipate that such conversations would serve as a distraction to him on the field. Ellsbury suggested that the lion’s share of any discussions about a potential extension would occur between the Sox front office and his agent, Scott Boras. Given that he would not need to be involved in the minutiae of such conversations, Ellsbury suggested that he did not feel it was necessary to rule out talks about the possibility of staying with the only franchise for whom he’s played beyond the 2013 campaign.

“I know that [the Red Sox] talk [to Boras] not just about me but other guys [on the team]. I know there’s always that constant communication. But if there’s something to be discussed regarding me and the future, that’s when it’s brought to my attention — not every little conversation,” said Ellsbury. “There might be talks that I won’t know every little detail, but if there’s something, a decision to be made, that’s when I would get involved and go from there.”

Ellsbury suggests that he has loved the experience of playing in Boston and with the Red Sox, the organization that made him its first-round pick in 2005 and with whom he has now played his entire career.

“Being the team that drafted me in 2005, the team I first got to play for, they’ve given me the opportunity. I got to win a World Series my first year. I’ve been playing for a great, storied franchise. I couldn’t ask for anything more,” said Ellsbury. “I definitely have been very grateful and very excited to put on a Red Sox uniform every single day. I feel very fortunate to have done that for my whole career. It’s pretty neat. It’s been eight years — not a lot of people can say they’ve been in the same uniform for eight years. That’s pretty special for me.”

While he is aware of the possibility that this could be his last year with the Sox, Ellsbury suggested that his emphasis is not on his unresolved status beyond the coming season. While open to talking to the Sox — an organization for whom he says he’s loved playing since the day he signed — his attention is on the field.

“The main focus is on winning. [Ellsbury's agents] know that. I’ve told them that if something comes up, if [the Sox] talk to my representation and if something is agreeable on both sides, then something could happen,” said Ellsbury. “[But] the main focus is winning. That’s what’s important — I mean, we haven’t made the playoffs for the last few years. On both sides, this is an important year for everybody.”

For more on Ellsbury, click here.

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