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Source: Jacoby Ellsbury, Red Sox haven’t talked contract extension

05.21.13 at 8:45 pm ET
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Jacoby Ellsbury

CHICAGO – According to a major league source, the Red Sox and Jacoby Ellsbury’s agent, Scott Boras, have not engaged in talks regarding a possible extension for the outfielder. Ellsbury will be eligible to become a free agent at the conclusion of this season.

Prior to the Red Sox’ game with the White Sox Tuesday night, manager John Farrell didn’t suggest anxiety regarding the uncertain contract status was the cause of the outfielder’s struggles, but he said it could be somewhat of a factor.

“To say that’s the sole reason, no,” said Farrell of Ellsbury, who entered Tuesday hitting .241 with one home run and a .303 on-base percentage. “I wouldn’t say that’s the issue of what he’s dealing with right now. Also, know that he’s human and he understands where he’s at in his career and what’s ahead of him.

“The point that we continually try to make is that the routine of today is the most important point, and that’s the focal point, so what’s going to take place throughout the remainder of the season and into the offseason — time will indicate that and that will be addressed at the appropriate time. I can’t say that pending free agency has caused him to have the inconsistencies at the plate.”

Ellsbury signed a one-year, $9 million contract in the offseason in what was his last year of arbitration-eligibility. He is one of five Red Sox players — joining Joel Hanrahan, Stephen Drew, Jarrod Saltalmacchia and Mike Napoli — who will be eligible for free agency at the end of the ’13 season.

Appearing on WEEI in July 2011, then-Red Sox general manager Theo Epstein said the team had previously approached Boras about a possible extension.

“It is not a secret that we have sat down and tried in the past and tried to lock Jacoby up in the past, and we will sit down in the future and try and do it again at the appropriate time,” Epstein said at the time. “He is somebody that we have believed in as a core, young member in the organization that we look to keep around. We have certain organizational standards that have to be met, and we have worked hard to keep those standards with [Dustin] Pedroia and [Kevin] Youkilis and [Jon] Lester. … So we’d love to one day announce that Jacoby will be with this organization for a long time and this

Last season, Boras told WEEI.com that he hadn’t participated in any talks with the Red Sox regarding a long-term deal for Ellsbury.

“We’ve only had the traditional discussions of one-year contracts,” Boras during a July 20 interview. “Ben [Cherington] and I will certainly begin contract discussions at year’s end because we have to. We have at minimum a one-year contract to discuss. We’re going to play through the season. Ben’s operating his team and I’m signing draft picks, operating my team.”

Farrell also said prior to Tuesday night’s game that he had contemplated moving Ellsbury down in the batting order but was choosing to offer the lefty hitter a vote of confidence for the time being.

“Have considered it, yes,” said Farrell, who also revealed that the health of Shane Victorino weighed into making a move. “And we’re sticking with him to hopefully give him the opportunity to come out of the situation he’s in right now. But I can say this: Whether he’s hitting first or whether he’s hitting somewhere else in the lineup, there are still things we have to address and he has to address. Those are ongoing.”

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