Source: Sox, Ellsbury strike $9M deal

The Boston Red Sox and outfielder Jacoby Ellsbury agreed Friday to a one-year, $9 million contract for 2013, thus avoiding arbitration, according to a baseball source.

Ellsbury, who missed 79 games in 2012 with a shoulder injury, got only a slight raise from the $8.05 million he was paid in 2012, when his salary jumped by $6 million after a 2011 season in which he finished runner-up in the MVP race. The 29-year-old Ellsbury put up much more modest numbers last season, hitting .271 with 4 homers and a .682 OPS in a half season.

A much bigger payday awaits him after this season, when he hits free agency. That, of course, assumes he returns to something resembling his form from 2011, when he hit .321 with 32 homers, 105 RBIs and a .928 OPS. If that happens, agent Scott Boras can be expected to push Ellsbury into the $20 million to $25 million per year range occupied by outfielders Josh Hamilton and Carl Crawford.

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