John Farrell Backs Red Sox’s Yoenis Cespedes Against ‘Unfounded’ Report

John Farrell, Yoenis CespedesBoston Red Sox manager John Farrell has cleared the air regarding Yoenis Cespedes.

Bill Madden of the New York Daily News wrote over the weekend that a rift between Cespedes and the Red Sox’s coaching staff could lead to Boston trading the outfielder this offseason. Farrell denied the allegations and backed Cespedes on Tuesday during an appearance on MLB Network Radio.

“Totally surprised and completely off guard,” Farrell said of the report. “It’s unfortunate that a comment like that is made from elsewhere because we had two full months with Yoenis, and I think you get a pretty good feel for a player or a person when you’re around them every day for the length of time in a given day that we are with him.

“We know him to be one thing, and that is a guy that works well. He became a very good and strong performer in the middle of our lineup. We’re happy he’s here and certainly looking forward to building a lineup with him in the middle of it next year.

The Red Sox acquired Cespedes from the Oakland Athletics in exchange for Jon Lester and Jonny Gomes before this year’s Major League Baseball non-waiver trade deadline. The 29-year-old hit .269 with five homers, 33 RBIs and a .296 on-base percentage in 51 games with Boston. He finished the season hitting .260 with 22 homers, 100 RBIs and a .301 on-base percentage in 152 games overall.

Cespedes is set to earn $10.5 million in the final year of a four-year, $36 million contract he signed with Oakland upon defecting from Cuba. The 2014 All-Star recently switched agencies and became a client of Jay-Z’s Roc Nation Sports, which Madden wrote increases the likelihood of Cespedes being dealt this offseason.

“Completely unfounded, and kind of a shame that someone would write something like that because we see him and have come to know of him completely 180 degrees from what was written,” Farrell said.

Cespedes said at the end of the regular season he’s unsure whether he’ll pursue a contract extension with the Red Sox or test free agency next offseason. Regardless, he has the support of his manager, even when unflattering reports surface.

Photo via Mark L. Baer/USA TODAY Sports Images

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