The Red Sox have keen interest in re-signing star center fielder Jacoby Ellsbury according to people familiar with their thinking. However Red Sox connected people are suggesting now that if Ellsbury's market goes well into the nine-figure arena – and considering their own $142 million deal for Carl Crawford three winters ago among other comps it could happen – they aren't necessarily optimistic that Boston will be able to retain him.

The Red Sox tried to re-sign Ellsbury sometime before this season and all indications are they will try again. The issue is whether they have interest in getting into a bidding war that could go easily past the $100 million mark well past it if you listen to Ellsbury's agent Scott Boras' words Thursday.

Boston had huge success dealing last winter in what's been dubbed the “mid-range” market scoring big with its deals for Shane Victorino Mike Napoli and others and that strategy may be weighing on them. It's no surprise there are people within the Red Sox hierarchy who aren't anxious to return to the $100 million-plus type deals that haven't always paid off for them.

Boras in an interview with made clear what he thinks of the “mid-range” market strategy and where he thinks Ellsbury stands saying “Free agency is like the Navy. You can have a number of mid-range missiles but they only work as long as you have the aircraft carrier to put them on.”

The implication in Boras' comment is that Ellsbury is an aircraft carrier. While some may not view him as a mega star as Boras pointed out he is a former winner of a Gold Glove award and a Silver Slugger who's again leading his league in stolen bases.