Red Sox “currently disinclined to trade” Jacoby Ellsbury

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Jacoby Ellsbury figures to make around $8 million in his final season of arbitration eligibility and will hit the open market as a free agent next offseason, but Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com reports that the Red Sox are “currently disinclined to trade Ellsbury with value down.”

Ellsbury was runner-up in the 2011 MVP voting, but played just 73 games this year and hit .274 with a .682 OPS that was 246 points below his 2011 mark.

Certainly if Ellsbury has a strong, healthy first half his trade value, even for just a few months, should be higher than it is right now, but it’s also possible that a poor, unhealthy first half could cause whatever current trade value he has to diminish further.

Either way, it should be a very interesting next 12 months for Ellsbury. If he’d been a free agent after 2011 it’s tough to imagine him not getting well over $100 million, but now he’s a huge question mark at age 29.

Will Middlebrooks carted off field with left ankle injury

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Phillies third baseman Will Middlebrooks suffered a serious injury during Saturday’s Grapefruit League contest against the Orioles. The infielder was chasing down a pop fly in the eighth inning when he ran into left fielder Andrew Pullin, who inadvertently trapped Middlebrooks’ ankle under his leg. Middlebrooks was unable to put weight on his leg following the collision and was carted off the field and taken to a local hospital for X-rays.

Per MLB.com’s Todd Zolecki, not much is known yet about the severity of the ankle injury or the recovery time it will require, though it appears serious enough to set Middlebrooks back considerably as he seeks a backup/bench role with the team this spring.

The 29-year-old is currently seeking another opportunity to extend his six-year major-league career in 2018. He’s coming off of two down years with the Brewers and Rangers, during which he slashed a cumulative .169/.229/.262 with four extra bases through 70 plate appearances.