With the free agent market not as robust as it once was and the Astros having some money to spend, I think that we will see their name attached to just about every big name player available.
First of all, this is not something we are used to. But it certainly is exciting. Some of these rumors will be pure speculation and moves that for one reason or another will not be the best fit for Houston.
The Mariners are Ellsbury’s home-area team and have a need, so they have long been considered a favored possibility. The Cubs, Cardinals, Dodgers (if they trade outfielders),Phillies, Astros, Mets and incumbent Red Sox are seen as among other possibilities.
There are multiple reasons why I do not think that the Astros acquiring Ellsbury would be a prudent move. If the Astros are going to make a splash this offseason, and I believe they will, I think the outfield will be the spot that is upgraded. And that is exclusive of the long awaited promotion of George Springer.
With all of the teams interested in Ellsbury, his price will be substantial both in dollars and years. Additionally he has had some injuries in the past, and I do not think that Boston will give up their leadoff man without a fight as they have tried in the past to extend his contract. Plus Scott Boras is his agent.
I think this will be a long drawn out negotiation, and the team that signs Ellsbury will ultimately have buyers remorse in a few years. Signing Ellsbury will require a team to overpay in either years, dollars, or both. This is not a move the Astros are ready to or need to make.