Possible free agent destinations for Boston Red Sox outfielder Jacoby Ellsbury include the Mariners, Cubs, Cardinals, Reds, Astros and Dodgers, reports Jon Heyman of CBS Sports. The Red Sox are also in play to re-sign the speedster.
The Dodgers are the only team in that group that does not have any need for an outfield with their current situation. They already had issues fitting in four outfielders when Matt Kemp was healthy along with Yasiel Puig, Andre Ethier and Carl Crawford. The team has been rumored to be looking into trading both Kemp and Ethier, however. That would open up a roster spot for Ellsbury.
The Mariners, Cubs, and Astros combined for a 188-298 record in 2013. As such, all three teams certainly have holes to fill and could use the star power Ellsbury would bring to the table. All three also have money to spend, including the Astros, who say they could bring payroll upwards of $60 million in 2014.
The Cardinals are poised to lose outfielder Carlos Beltran to free agency, but have stud prospect Oscar Taveras nearly ready for the majors. While the team may want to upgrade in center field from Jon Jay, they also have a number of players they need to fit in the lineup and could move Allen Craig back to the outfield.
The Reds are also losing an outfielder in Shin-Soo Choo, though the team would like to keep him aboard. Choo would likely be a cheaper option than Ellsbury. Ken Rosenthal said earlier in October that he believes Ellsbury will get a six or seven year contract for $21 million a year.
Ellsbury, 30, hit .298 with a 781 OPS in 2013. He also stole a league-best 52 bases and is known as an excellent defensive center fielder. Over a seven-year career, he has hit 65 home runs with 32 of those coming in 2011.