BOSTON (CBS) – CBS Sports MLB Insider Jon Heyman joined Gresh, Sean McAdam and Dan Shaughnessy for his weekly appearance on Tuesday, breaking down potential playoff matchups for the Boston Red Sox.
Which opponent would match up best for the Red Sox should they win the AL East and avoid the Wild Card play-in game?
“If it’s Oakland or Texas, I look at Oakland as a little more dangerous right now,” said Heyman. “They have crazy young team with a clubhouse and good, young pitching. On paper Texas may look better, but I look at Oakland as a little more dangerous.”
Heyman made some headlines in his last appearance, talking about upcoming free agent Jacoby Ellsbury. He said the bargaining will likely begin at five-years and $75 million because that is what BJ Upton signed last summer, but Ellsbury will probably get a lot more than that.”
“If I were to predict what he’d go for I would say 6-years for $108 million. The 5-years, $75 million was because (BJ) Upton got that, that’s the lowest he could go for. He’s going to bring up (Carl) Crawford’s (7-years, $142 million) — whether he matches that I don’t know,” said Heyman.
One factor that will hurt Ellsbury’s market this year is his lack of power.
“It’s going to limit his opportunity to make a lot of money. If he had did what Crawford did and hit 20 home runs heading into free agency realistically he could shoot for that Crawford deal,” said Heyman. “The power does pay; we saw that last year when Upton got $75 and (Michael) Bourne got $48 million — people don’t pay for guys that don’t have big power.”
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“That being said, Bourne never had a .700 OPS. Ellsbury, even without double digit home run totals, still gets doubles, triples,” said Heyman. “Crawford, without being a 20 home run hitter still got the $142 million, but I don’t think (Ellsbury) will get that because of the power situation. It is possible he won’t get over $100 million with teams pointing to the Upton deal. I think he will get about $100 million, but if he were hitting 25 home runs with those numbers, he would get the $150 million.”