BOSTON – The Boston Red Sox signed Jacoby Ellsbury to a one-year contract on Friday, avoiding arbitration with the outfielder.
The oft-injured Ellsbury, 29, saw a drop in his production last year, finishing with a .271 average, four home runs and 26 RBI. He will make $9 million, a year after making $8.05 million.
Ellsbury missed 79 games after suffering a right shoulder subluxation April 13. He returned to the lineup July 13 and played in 67 games. In 2011, he was named American League Comeback Player of the Year and established career highs in home runs (32), run (119), hits (212), and RBI (105).
The Red Sox also agreed to terms with right-handers Alfredo Aceves ($2.65 million), Andrew Bailey ($4.1 million), Daniel Bard ($1.86 million), and Joel Hanrahan ($7.04 million), as well as left-handers Andrew Miller ($1.47 million), and Franklin Morales ($1.48 million).
Left-hander Craig Breslow is the last Red Sox player eligible for salary arbitration. If he remains without a deal, arbitration hearings can start next month. Breslow made $1.79 million last season. He asked for $2.37 million and was offered $2.32 million.
Aceves, 30, who shifted over to the closer role last season after Bailey was injured, posted a career-high 25 saves, as the Red Sox stumbled to a 69-93 season. He finished second among AL relievers with 84 innings, and closed with a 2-10 mark. Aceves asked for $3 million, was offered $2.3 million and settled for the midpoint.
Hanrahan, 31, who made the All-Star team twice as a closer in Pittsburgh, was acquired by the Red Sox Dec. 26. He went 5-2 with a 2.72 ERA and 67 strikeouts last season, posting 36 saves. He made $4.1 million last season.
Bailey, 28, appeared in just 19 games due to right thumb surgery, posting a 1-1 record with six saves.
Bard, 27, made the first 10 starts of his career, going 5-6 for the Red Sox with a 6.22 ERA.
Miller, 27, went 3-2 with a 3.35 ERA and 51 strikeouts, posting a career high for holds (13).
And Morales, 26, made nine starts in his first full season.
The Red Sox lost their final eight games last season, forcing a managerial change for the second time in as many years. Out went Bobby Valentine, in came John Farrell. Under Valentine, Boston finished 26 games behind the division-champion New York Yankees in the AL East.
ORIOLES: Baltimore agreed to one-year contracts with catcher Matt Wieters, slugger Chris Davis and left-handed pitchers Brian Matusz and Troy Patton.
Wieters, received a raise from $500,000 to $5.5 million. He made the AL All-Star team last season and finished with a .249 batting average while setting career highs with 23 homers, 83 RBI and 144 games played.
Davis led the Orioles with 33 home runs and 85 RBI while playing the outfield, first base and designated hitter. His salary jumped from $488,000 to $3.3 million.
BRAVES: Atlanta avoided arbitration with five players, including outfielder Jason Heyward and pitchers Kris Medlen and Eric O’Flaherty.
Heyward agreed to a one-year deal worth $3.65 million, a big increase from the $565,000 he made last season while batting .269 with 27 homers, 82 RBI and 21 stolen bases.
GIANTS: NL MVP Buster Posey agreed to an $8 million, one-year contract, and outfielder Hunter Pence got a $13.8 million deal.
TIGERS: Detroit avoided arbitration with six players, including right-hander Doug Fister and center fielder Austin Jackson.
Fister will make $4 million this season. Jackson will make $3.5 million. Detroit also reached deals with right-hander Rick Porcello, catcher Alex Avila, outfielder Brennan Boesch and left-handed reliever Phil Coke.
DIAMONDBACKS: Arizona reached agreement with right-hander Ian Kennedy on a one-year, $4,265,000 contract, avoiding arbitration with the team’s No. 1 starter from a year ago.