Should the Cubs go after Jacoby Ellsbury?

Over in Bostonland, the beat writers either know something about the Sox willingness to trade Jacoby Ellsbury or they're trying to create a story about trading Ellsbury. There doesn't appear to be any kind of information that lead one to believe he's on the trade block, but it's been talked about here and here.

The second article actually says (in the title) that he is a trade chip. But this is what you get if you read the article:

The last time Ben Cherington worked the general managers meetings in Frank Sinatra’s old stomping grounds was seven years ago, when he was job-sharing with co-GM Jed Hoyer. The duo laid the groundwork then for one of the more monumental trades in recent Red Soxhistory: Hanley Ramirez and Anibal Sanchez to the Marlins for Josh Beckett and Mike Lowell.

Cherington now is solely in charge and the only piece of that 2005 trade still in Boston, but one constant remains: The Red Sox are going to be looking for an impact trade. That would mean trading center fielder Jacoby Ellsbury, and while the odds never favor a blockbuster, the Sox have a recent track record of being very active on the trade front, large and small.

If they have not yet approached teams about Ellsbury, they should, listening to any and all inquiries. Sometimes, trade destinations crawl out of the woodwork at the oddest times and places.

This guy isn't actually talking about something he knows, but rather something he thinks should happen. Despite that, there is a reasonable chance that they'd be willing to trade him considering his contract and so I started wondering whether or not the Cubs should try to get him.

Ellsbury enters his 3rd year of arbitration and Matt Swartz projects he'll earn $8.1 million. Interestingly, as I was looking for that projected arbitration salary, I came across this article on MLBTR that was posted within the last hour. According to Rosenthal, the Sox are disinclined to trade Ellsbury. Presumably, they don't want to trade him after a down season when he had just put together an MVP caliber season in 2011.

That doesn't mean they won't trade him or won't listen to offers. I'm not sure where I come in. I've come to think of Ellsbury as a very good player, but then I look at his stats and find they're all over the damn map.

Year PA wRC+ fWAR rWAR WARP avgWAR
2007 127 136 1.3 0.6 1.3 1.1
2008 609 91 4.2 2.7 3.1 3.3
2009 691 98 2.4 2.5 2.3 2.4
2010 83 26 -0.2 -0.2 -0.3 -0.2
2011 729 149 9.4 8 7.5 8.3
2012 323 83 1.5 0.8 0.2 0.8

2011 appears to be an aberration. He's always had a lot of potential, but there's little reason to think he can accomplish that kind of success again. He's probably closer to the 2008-2009 Ellsbury, which still has value, especially at his position and salary.

What would it take to acquire Ellsbury? Is it something the Cubs should consider? When I first saw the article a few days ago my first thought was this: hell yes. Then I started looking more closely and I'm in the middle. I'm curious what you guys think.

I was awfully high on Brett Jackson entering last year, but am not nearly so at this point. I think he still could be a decent ballplayer, but that's about it. There's tremendous risk with going with him in CF, but there might only be a little less if the Cubs went with Ellsbury.

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