Gomes hopes Ellsbury stays in Boston

BOSTON -- New Red Sox outfielder Jonny Gomes has worked out with Jacoby Ellsbury in the offseason for the last six years, and the two have become friends in that time, he says.

And while Gomes wouldn't be presumptuous enough to speak for Ellsbury, he thinks that it is overly pessimistic to believe that Ellsbury will definitely leave Boston when he is eligible for free agency after the 2013 season.

"I personally think he would want to play here," Gomes said here Thursday prior to the 74th Boston Baseball Writers Dinner. "Left-handed, slap anything, that [left-field] wall is fun to bounce some balls off. I think he'd want to stay here 100 percent, I really do.

"He's won here, you know? I think this is up there with some of the best places to play in the game. Who are you without the fans? Who are you without the fan base? And a lot of people don't see how the players are treated here but this is a first-class organization."

Ellsbury last week signed a one-year, $9 million contract with the Red Sox, avoiding salary arbitration. A partially dislocated shoulder cost him millions, but a big season in 2013 and he stands to enjoy a huge payday as a free agent.

Ellsbury is healthy, Gomes said.

"This is the deal," Gomes said. "You're either hurt or you're not in this game. But it's not like this guy is blowing his hamstring out. It's not like this guy threw his arm out. He collided with [Adrian] Beltre, and [Reid] Brignac fell on his shoulder.

"And it wasn't like collided and everybody got right up. It was like, they collided, and everyone ran onto the field, like, 'Shoot, we might need a stretcher here.'

"We're not talking about a guy who has a hamstring problem, or this guy needs a day off. This guy has been in two car accidents, you know? So will he be healthy? Yeah, I work out with him and he's 100 percent. But will he have another car accident? You can't plan for those types of things."