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An update on CF trade market and Jacoby Ellsbury

12.06.12 at 4:51 pm ET

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — For the second time in roughly a week, the Twins reshaped the market for center fielders. Days after trading Denard Span to the Nationals for a prospect, the team dealt Ben Revere — an excellent defensive outfielder who can hit for average, reach base at a respectable clip and makes up, to a degree, for his power deficiencies by stealing a ton of bases — to the Phillies for starter Vance Worley.

The move impacts the Sox indirectly. The Phillies were viewed as the most likely destination for free agent Michael Bourn, with Red Sox center fielder Jacoby Ellsbury representing what multiple industry sources expected to be a fallback plan as a trade candidate. Revere not only takes the Phillies out of the market for Ellsbury, but also makes it less likely that another team might make an aggressive trade proposal for him, since Bourn remains on the market if there’s another team a) looking for a center fielder and b) would prefer to spend money rather than giving up big league starting pitching.

It is worth adding that, according to an industry source familiar with the team’s thinking, the Sox would only consider trading Ellsbury if doing so offered a meaningful way of addressing the team’s need for a quality big league starter in 2013. Thus far, while the Sox have received some interest in Ellsbury, offer(s) have been built around prospects rather than sufficient rotation help for 2013 to justify a deal.

That is in line with Sox GM Ben Cherington’s suggestion Wednesday that the team does not plan to trade Ellsbury prior to his final season under team control, before he reaches free agency.

“Our expectation is Jacoby will be here and will be our center fielder,” he said.

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