BOSTON — Yoenis Cespedes’ next move might be to a different position rather than to a different organization.
While it’s entirely possible the Red Sox could trade Cespedes in the wake of agreeing to a contract with Hanley Ramirez to play left field, manager John Farrell indicated Tuesday that the slugger is staying open-minded amid the team’s activity.
“We had a chance to speak with (Cespedes) yesterday,” Farrell said Tuesday at Fenway Park after a press conference to introduce third baseman Pablo Sandoval. “To his credit, he’s just eager to do whatever’s needed by this team. He’s showing that he’s a complete team player, and we’re excited to have his versatility at our disposal in those other two spots. Whether it’s center (field) or right (field), we’ll determine that once we get to camp.”
Cespedes has played primarily left field over the course of his three-year major league career. He played exclusively left field for the Red Sox after they acquired him from the Oakland Athletics in exchange for pitcher Jon Lester and outfielder Jonny Gomes at this year’s Major League Baseball non-waiver trade deadline.
The 29-year-old has played 75 career games in center field, though. And while he has no right field experience to date, the position could become an option in certain ballparks given his strong throwing arm.
“He’s played center field more. After being with him for roughly two months, we didn’t want to back him into any one particular position,” Farrell said. “We wanted to keep everything open to take advantage of his versatility. That’s going to be dependent upon who else is on this team, too. What’s the best team for us is where we’ve got some versatility and flexibility with Yoenis.”
Ramirez, who agreed to a four-year contract with Boston, is moving off his natural position (shortstop) and joining the outfield for the first time in his 10-year career. The widespread belief is the Red Sox now will look to trade Cespedes in an effort to obtain pitching — Boston had a surplus of outfielders even before signing Ramirez — but keeping both sluggers is an intriguing possibility, given the offensive thunder the team would feature.
“This is a really deep lineup as we stand today,” Farrell said.
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