|Ben Cherington on D&C: Yoenis Cespedes ‘in our plans for next year’||11.26.14 at 10:13 am ET|
Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington joined Dennis & Callahan on Wednesday to discuss Boston’s most recent offseason acquisitions. To hear the segment, go to the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page.
With the Red Sox‘ signings of Pablo Sandoval and Hanley Ramirez, outfielder Yoenis Cespedes is in a precarious situation. He was acquired in a trade at the non-waiver deadline in July, but he could be on his way out in a trade this offseason because Ramirez is expected to start in his position. Cherington tried to downplay the urgency to move the Cuban outfielder.
Said Cherington: “We acquired him at the deadline in the [Jon] Lester trade because we felt that was the best deal at the time, we still feel that way. He’s in our plans for next year and his versatility and skill in the outfield and gives us the flexibility, could play any of the three positions. We’ll just see what the rest of the offseason brings. We have a long way to go, and as we get to January, closer to spring training, we’ll know more about who’s here and how it all adds up.”
Pablo Sandoval signed a reported five-year, $95 million contract. With the production he’s had over his career and the fact that two other teams were bidding on the third baseman, Cherington said the final contract fell in line with what he thought it be before Sandoval signed.
“It ended up being about in the neighborhood where we thought,” Cherington said. “Again, given his age, his sort of platform and what he’s done in the postseason and everything about him. And then the fact that he’s done it in a major market, he was going to get attention, there was going to be competition and we felt like he would end up in the neighborhood he ended up. It just so happened that the three teams involved in the end were all pretty much in that same neighborhood, and we’re obviously very happy he chose us.”
Before the 2013 World Series run, the Red Sox landed Mike Napoli and Shane Victorino on three-year deals. This time it took two more years to get Sandoval. Cherington said age played a role in the contract differences.
Said Cherington: “First of all, every guy is different, and I think most if not all of the contracts two offseasons ago were with guys past 30. … In Sandoval’s case he’s 28, so the calculus is a little bit different. … The other thing is, the market is changing. Every year for every player in baseball, contracts continue to move, the dollars continue to move. So you have to adjust to that. What was valued three years ago is different. Every year we’re trying to build the best team we can and end up finding the players that fit into that plan.”
|John Farrell: Yoenis Cespedes a consideration in center or right field||11.25.14 at 3:59 pm ET|
In the case of Yoenis Cespedes, manager John Farrell said that the Sox have begun talking about the possibility of a move to another position. As news of the Sox’ signing of Ramirez circulated, Farrell said that the team reached out to Cespedes to explore that very possibility, and that the 29-year-old proved receptive to it.
“We had a chance to speak to him yesterday. To his credit, he’s just eager to do whatever is needed by this team,” said Farrell. “He’s showing that he’s a complete team player. And we’re excited to have his versatility be at our disposal at those other two spots, whether it’s center, right, we’ll determine that once we get to camp.”
Though Cespedes only played left field with the Red Sox, he has played at least some center in each of his three big league seasons, with roughly 20 percent of his career outfield innings spent in center. The Sox viewed him as a potential right fielder at the time of their acquisition of him based on his range and strong throwing arm. As of now, the team is hoping to look at Cespedes at both positions. Read the rest of this entry »
|Peter Gammons on D&C on Jon Lester: ‘I get the feeling the Cubs think he’s going to go back to Boston’||11.18.14 at 9:39 am ET|
Hall of Fame baseball writer Peter Gammons appeared on Dennis & Callahan Tuesday morning to talk about Jon Lester and Pablo Sandoval as it relates to the Red Sox, as well as other Red Sox related matters. To hear the interview, go to the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page.
Jon Lester is reportedly scheduled to visit with the Cubs on Tuesday, as they are one of the six reported teams interested in the left-hander. Gammons says even though the Cubs are meeting with Lester, they believe he will end up back with the Red Sox.
“I think there’s a chance, I really do,” said Gammons. “I think the one thing — obviously the Cubs are going to make every play — I get the feeling the Cubs think he’s going to go back to Boston. I think it’s very smart for Lester and his agents to hold for another week. I think there is a feeling it is going to go past Thanksgiving, maybe into the first week into December and the hope is that the Yankees look at that starting rotation and they think — I mean how do they know [Masahiro] Tanaka, [Michael] Pineda and [Ivan] Nova are going to be healthy next year and they start thinking about, ‘OK, we have great bullpen, but…’
“That is Red Sox ownership’s worst nightmare — the Yankees and Theo Epstein negotiating against them. But, after spring training when ACES told them [they would see what the market bears], they are finding out the market is going to bare more than they ever imagined.”
Free agent third baseman Pablo Sandoval is in Boston early this week, scheduled to meet with the Red Sox to discuss a possible contract. The 28-year-old is coming off a World Series win with the Giants.
“I believe David Ortiz took him out to dinner last night,” Gammons said. “I don’t think it was to a Vegan restaurant.”
Gammons added: “I think he’s an interest here because I think he realizes there’s some reluctance for the Giants about how many years do you give him. One of the dilemmas that National League teams face is that you have a guy that is a bat that may be a DH at 32 or 33-years-old, it’s very hard to give them the kind of contract you can give them in the American League. For instance, Victor Martinez may be the best hitter in baseball right now, but no National League team, the Mets, could go after him because he’s an American League player. Sandoval might be that. I think the Giants are more prepared for this.”
Sandoval’s numbers aren’t as impressive as some think, as the switch-hitter has hit .279 and .278 the last two years respectively, combining to hit 30 home runs. Gammons feels playing in San Fransisco has a lot to do with the numbers.
“I do think he’s a really good hitter. That ballpark really hurts him,” Gammons said. “I think you get him into Fenway and his natural stroke is left-center field. I think he’d be a very good hitter here, but I agree with you that I think he’s going to be very good and the Red Sox have such a need for a left-handed bat. I mean when Stephen Drew is No. 3 on your team in left-handed home runs against right-handed pitching, I think you’re in trouble. He’s really the only guy there. That really tells you a lot about the market and that hitters have become so rare.”
Following are more highlights from the interview. For more Red Sox news, check out weei.com/redsox.
|Red Sox notebook: Jackie Bradley’s market; Yoenis Cespedes’ fielding future; Rusney Castillo’s health||11.11.14 at 7:11 pm ET|
Included in that mix is Jackie Bradley.
When asked if teams are viewing Bradley as an everyday center fielder, Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington said, “I do think there are some teams that think of him in that way, as they should. And we think of him in that way. You don’t know on what date it will all happen. But we certainly think of him as an everyday caliber center fielder.”
The question revolving around Bradley, of course, is his ability to hit. The outfielder barely avoided possessing the worst batting average of any player with at least 384 at-bats, hitting .198.
But then there’s that defense, which allowed for the rookie to finish among the finalists for an American League Gold Glove.
“Teams have come a long way, the industry has come a long way on separating out the myth from the facts — this is what we know, this is what we can predict, this is what we can’t predict,” said Cherington of measuring defense. “There’s probably more volatility in the defensive projections than there are in other areas because so much of it is environmental and contextual. There’s more noise in the data. You look at longer sample sizes with defense to try to get as long a sample as possible when you’re evaluation as opposed to offense, where you may be able to look at smaller. It’s not precise, but I think teams are a lot further ahead than they were 10 years ago.”
— Cherington said no definitive decision had been made on whether Rusney Castillo would be playing in the Puerto Rico Winter League (as planned). The GM did note, however, that Castillo’s bruised hand was no longer a concern.
“He got seen yesterday in Boston. He’s fine, coming along, basically passed everything,” Cherington said. “We’re going to make a determination in the next several days as to whether to continue the offseason get him back to Puerto Rico at some point. He would need a period of ramp up now, but the injury essentially is healed.”
Castillo, who signed a contract in August that runs through 2020 for $72.5 million, hit .278 with a .333 OBP and .361 slugging mark with three doubles, three walks and six strikeouts in 39 plate appearances for the Surprise Saguaros in the Arizona Fall League. He was originally scheduled to start playing for former Red Sox’ infielder Alex Cora‘s team in Puerto Rico on Nov. 7.
|Source: Mets had little interest in Yoenis Cespedes||at 12:53 am ET|
PHOENIX — Upon the Mets signing free agent outfielder Michael Cuddyer Monday, murmurs throughout the Arizona Biltmore Hotel circulated regarding what it might mean for the Red Sox.
The Mets, with all their young starting pitching, were thought to be a good fit in a potential deal with the Red Sox considering New York’s need for a corner outfielder. It was believed that Yoenis Cespedes might be an outfielder the Mets had their eye on prior to inking Cuddyer to a two-year, $21 million deal.
But according to a major league source, the Mets had little interest in trading for Cespedes even before locking up Cuddyer. Among the reasons given was the desire to acquire a player for more than just the year left on Cespedes’ contract.
Multiple executives at the general managers’ meetings did, however, believe that the likelihood is that Cespedes will be dealt at some point this offseason. In an interview with MLB Network Radio over the weekend, Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington said that he has been receiving calls on all of the teams outfielders, without a particular emphasis on any one player.
|Marc Carig on Hot Stove Show: Low OBP ‘a strike against’ Yoenis Cespedes for Mets||11.07.14 at 9:45 am ET|
In an interview on WEEI’s Hot Stove Show, Mets beat reporter Marc Carig or Newsday described New York’s National League club as being “somewhere in between” as they chart an offseason course, particularly as it pertains to the possibility of dealing starting pitchers.
At a time when Matt Harvey is expected back for the start of next season, the team has a number of high-end talented young pitchers from which to deal — including Rookie of the Year finalist Jacob deGrom (9-6, 2.69, 9.2 Ks/9 in 140 1/3 innings in 2014), right-hander Zack Wheeler (11-11, 3.54, 9.1 Ks/9 in 185 1/3 innings) and top prospect Noah Syndergaard (a 22-year-old with a 3.25 ERA, 10.0 Ks/9 and 2.6 walks per nine in his minor league career, including a 4.60 ERA in the hitter’s paradise of Triple-A Las Vegas in 2014). The team’s pitching inventory also includes less glamorous but nonetheless useful options such as left-hander Jon Niese (9-11 with a 3.40 ERA in 30 starts in 2014, under contract for $16 million total over the next two years with two team options through 2018) and right-hander Bartolo Colon (15-13, 4.09 ERA in 202 1/3 innings in 2014; one year remaining on his two-year, $20 million deal).
“They’ve certainly got some choices. They’re somewhere in between,” explained Carig. “Their two biggest needs are a corner outfielder with power, particularly a right-handed bat. That would be one. And right behind that would be a shortstop. I think any team that could offer one of those things to them becomes of extreme interest. Now it becomes a question of whether the Mets want to put in play their best trade chips. ‘¦
“They’ve got a really good core of young arms who would make a deal go. We’re taking Noah Syndergaard, their top pitching prospect, Jacob deGrom, who’s probably going to be the Rookie of the Year. It’s those guys where they’ve got to decide, are we going to put that in play? Zack Wheeler had a very good first full season in the major leagues this year. If you start talking about those types of guys, now you’ve got the keys to the kingdom. Now you can make something happen. I don’t think they’ve shown much indication of wanting to do that. So the second level would be some of the veteran pitchers they’ve got. Read the rest of this entry »
Former Red Sox outfielder Jonny Gomes, who is a free agent after having concluded the season with the A’s following a July 31 trade that sent him and Jon Lester to Oakland in exchange for Yoenis Cespedes, acknowledged that he and other Red Sox players were puzzled when word leaked of Boston’s unexpectedly modest four-year, $70 million offer to Lester early in the season. Gomes was whether he was surprised by the nature of the offer to the Sox’ Opening Day pitcher.
“Yeah,” he said. “[But] I’m a baseball player. There’s so much we don’t know. That’s why there’s so many front-office people. There’s language this and language that.
“At the end of the day, Jon Lester is going to pick where he wants to play. He’s going to land somewhere where he wants to be and they want him. The market changes every single year. I don’t know what’s fair and what’s not fair. … I can’t determine the market, the years, the wear and tear of a guy’s age, the wear and tear of a guy’s innings, but if it was Game 7 of the World Series and I had to pick just one guy, Madison Bumgarner just did it but I tell you what, Jon Lester has done it quite a few times and I’d still pick that guy.”
Gomes explained why he views Lester as the top player on the free-agent market this winter.
“I think he is [the top free agent],” said Gomes. “It was a crazy metaphor that I was explaining to a younger kid the other day. It’s like horse racing or dog racing or even dog shows. What do you go after first? You go after the pedigree. You go after they’ve won before. They’ve won the Triple Crown. Is there this young guy coming up with a lightning arm and all that? Yeah, absolutely. But when you go after No. 1, you go after pedigree. You see the Giants getting pretty decorated now. … Everyone is going to be looking to that guy with the pedigree to provide the answers, and everyone is going to try to get the ball in that guy’s hand. Read the rest of this entry »
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