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Red Sox sign Ellsbury to $9 million contract

(Reuters) - The Boston Red Sox have avoided arbitration with Jacoby Ellsbury by agreeing to a one-year, $9 million contract with the center fielder, the team's website reported on Friday.

Ellsbury, 29, was plagued by injury in 2012, suffering a partially dislocated right shoulder in the home opener in April and did not return until July.

He hit .271 with four home runs and 26 runs batted in (RBIs) while playing 74 games.

The previous year, Ellsbury had finished second in voting for the American League's Most Valuable Player award, hitting .321 with 32 homers and 105 runs batted in.

The 2011 All-Star will be eligible for free agency after the 2013 season.

(Reporting by Gene Cherry in Salvo, North Carolina; Editing by John O'Brien)

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