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Sports

January 19, 2013

Red Sox avoid arbitration with 7, sign Ellsbury

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, a 2011 All-Star, saw a drop in his production last year, finishing with a .271 average, four home runs and 26 RBIs. 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 RBIs (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), to one-year, non-guaranteed contracts.

Boston left-hander Craig Breslow is the last player eligible for salary arbitration still unsigned. 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.

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