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John Farrell: Red Sox ‘looking forward to [Yoenis Cespedes] being part of our offense going forward’ 10.21.14 at 6:23 pm ET
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Red Sox manager John Farrell, in an interview on SiriusXM’s MLB Network Radio, suggested that the notion that outfielder Yoenis Cespedes — acquired from the A’s at the trade deadline for Jon Lester and Jonny Gomes — is being shopped had promoted him to “chuckle a little bit.” Farrell said that Cespedes remains in the team’s plans for 2015.

Yoenis Cespedes

Yoenis Cespedes

“I did see some of the reports and the rumors that are out there and I can tell you this: For the two months that Yoenis was with us he was a main member of our lineup, his work ethic was strong and very consistent,” said Farrell. “We did talk about the potential of a shift to right field because of our configuration. But when you look at the emergence of Mookie Betts, the addition of Rusney Castillo, the return of Shane Victorino, we want to put guys in the best position to succeed. And with the guys that we just mentioned in addition to Daniel Nava we’ve got a number of right field candidates. Allen Craig is also in the mix. So I kind of chuckle a little bit at some of the reports that were out there about Yoenis. And we’€™re fortunate that he’€™s on our club and very much looking forward to him being part of our offense going forward.”

Farrell said that, while the team was interested in the idea of having Cespedes in right field when it acquired him based on his potential outfield range, the idea of such a move is currently “on hold,” an approach the team decided to pursue in order to permit Cespedes to achieve comfort with his new team rather than introducing multiple variables (new team, new position) simultaneously.

“He has played center field. He has not played right field. And we felt that it was best for a player that comes in mid-year to find a way to get him on his feet with a new club, to get comfortable as best possible,” Farrell told MLB Network Radio. “We talked about it, how do we make the best situation of Allen Craig and Yoenis Cespedes. It was a discussion point. The range of two guys, particularly in our ballpark, you would say are reversed ‘€“ Allen Craig in left, Yoenis Cespedes in right. Allen did get injured with the foot and went down for some time so we tabled that and then thought, you know what, if we’€™re going to look to do this, depending on what players are on our roster and what’€™s the best team for the Red Sox, we would address it in spring training if it needed to be. But, like I said, with the addition of others guys and as well as Shane Victorino, who is rehabbing right now, that move to right field is on hold.”

Farrell also spoke enthusiastically about Chili Davis, whom the team has tabbed to be its next hitting coach.

“We’€™re extremely excited to have Chili with us. I think there are some details yet to be finalized but, you know, Chili obviously worked here in the past back in 2011 in Pawtucket, so there’€™s some initial relationships already in place with a number of the guys that are on our roster,” Farrell said. “When you consider the pedigree that he is, the player that he was, how successful he was, how he’€™s been able to transfer some of those skills’€”most of those skills’€”into a hitting coach now, his ability to connect with guys I think is one of the strong suits, as well as a long playing career that gives him a tremendous amount of reference to give his experiences to guys he’€™s going to be working with.”

Read More: chili davis, John Farrell, Yoenis Cespedes,
Red Sox outfielder Rusney Castillo day-to-day in Arizona Fall League with bruised hand/thumb 10.21.14 at 5:44 pm ET
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Red Sox outfielder Rusney Castillo, currently in the Arizona Fall League to get at-bats in preparation for an everyday big league role in 2015, left Monday’s game after two plate appearances due to a bruised hand/thumb from getting jammed while hitting. Castillo is considered day-to-day.

Castillo, who signed a contract in August that runs through 2020 for $72.5 million, is currently hitting .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. He’s up to a total of 125 plate appearances (39 in the AFL, 40 with the Red Sox in the big leagues, 46 in the minors after signing) with a goal of accumulating approximately 200 plate appearances by the time he concludes his first professional tour, which will wrap up with an assignment in the Puerto Rico winter league.

Read More: Rusney Castillo,
Red Sox mourn passing of Lou Lucier, who had been oldest living Red Sox player 10.20.14 at 2:44 pm ET
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The Red Sox released the following about the passing of former pitcher Lou Lucier, who played with the team in 1943-44:

The Boston Red Sox mourn the loss of former pitcher Lou Lucier, who passed away on Saturday, October 18.  At 96 years, six months, and 25 days old, Lucier was the oldest surviving Red Sox player.  He had suffered a stroke earlier this month.

A native of Northbridge, MA, he is survived by two daughters, five grandchildren, 13 great grandchildren, and one great-great granddaughter.

The right-hander played parts of three seasons in the major leagues.  He came up through the Red Sox’€™ farm system and pitched for Boston from 1943-44, compiling a 3-4 record with a 3.97 ERA in 79.1 innings over 19 games.  In 14 appearances with the Phillies from 1944-45, he went 0-1 with a 2.21 ERA.

Lucier was among the 213 former Red Sox players, managers, and coaches who took part in Fenway Park‘€™s 100th Anniversary celebration in April 2012.  He last visited Fenway Park on August 17 for the annual Red Sox Alumni Day gathering.

Calling hours will be held on Tuesday, October 21 from 4:00-8:00 p.m. at Jackman Funeral Home in Whitinsville, MA.  The funeral mass will take place on Wednesday, October 22 at St. Patrick’€™s Church beginning at 11:00 a.m.

With Lucier’€™s passing, the oldest living former Red Sox player is now Hall of Famer Bobby Doerr, who was born on April 7, 1918.  A nine-time All-Star second baseman, Doerr played his entire 14-year career for the Red Sox from 1937-51 and missed the 1945 campaign due to military service.  Below is a list of the 15 oldest living former Red Sox players. Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: Bobby Doerr, lou lucier,
What does Yoenis Cespedes’ agency change mean for prospects of an extension? 10.20.14 at 2:32 pm ET
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Yoenis Cespedes will now be represented by Roc Nation Sports. (Getty Images)

Yoenis Cespedes will now be represented by Roc Nation Sports. (Getty Images)

Red Sox outfielder Yoenis Cespedes has changed agents, moving to Roc Nation Sports from Wasserman Media Group. Roc Nation Sports is the same agency that represented Cespedes’ Red Sox teammate, Rusney Castillo, whose $72.5 million deal through 2020 represents the largest guarantee ever to a free agent from Cuba without prior big league experience. As with Castillo and fellow Roc Nation client Robinson Cano, Brodie Van Wagenen of CAA Sports will serve as the point of contact for baseball contracts involving Cespedes.

Cespedes has one season left on the four-year, $36 million deal he signed with the Athletics prior to the 2012 season, a deal that was negotiated by Adam Katz of Wasserman and that positioned Cespedes to arrive at free agency after the 2015 season, at an age (he turns 30 in October 2015) when power hitters rarely are available. The contract permits Cespedes relatively unfettered entry into free agency, as it specifies that he will be released after 2015, a procedural move that means that he will not be subject to a qualifying offer — and, accordingly, that a team that signs him in free agency won’t have to give up a draft pick.

Cespedes, who turned 29 on Saturday, has hit .263 with a .316 OBP, .464 slugging mark while averaging 24 homers and 87 RBIs a year in his three big league seasons with the A’s and (following his trade for Jon Lester and Jonny Gomes on July 31) Red Sox. He hit .260/.301/.450 with 22 homers and 100 RBIs in 2014, posting a .269/.296/.423 line in Boston. Both his 100 RBIs and his 152 games played in 2014 represented career highs.

Given that Cespedes is one year from free agency, it’s natural to wonder how the agency switch impacts the possibility of the outfielder signing an extension with the Sox. In short: It probably doesn’t. Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: roc nation sports, Yoenis Cespedes,
Red Sox to open hitting coach interviews with Tim Hyers, Rich Gedman, Paul Sorrento 10.13.14 at 7:33 pm ET
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According to an industry source, the Red Sox wil begin interviews this week of both internal and external candidates for the position of their lead hitting coach. The initial candidates who are scheduled to be interviewed include Red Sox minor league hitting coordinator Tim Hyers (who served on the big league staff this summer while hitting coach Greg Colbrunn recovered from a brain hemorrhage), Double-A hitting coach Rich Gedman and Angels hitting coordinator Paul Sorrento (who served as the Halos’ interim hitting coach while hitting coach Don Baylor was sidelined by surgery). The Sox are considering an interview of one additional internal candidate, while the team plans to add to the list of candidates going forward.

The Sox are searching for a hitting coach after Colbrunn stepped down following the year. Colbrunn is deciding whether to seek a job closer to his year-round home in Charleston, S.C., or to take the year off.

Read More: paul sorrento, rich gedman, tim hyers,
Long before he threw 100: Hunter Strickland’s Red Sox tenure recalled 10.06.14 at 10:39 am ET
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Hunter Strickland was pitching for Single-A Greenville in 2009 when the Red Sox traded him to the Pirates. (Billy Crowe/Greenville Drive)

Hunter Strickland was pitching for Single-A Greenville in 2009 when the Red Sox traded him to the Pirates. (Billy Crowe/Greenville Drive)

It has represented a parenthetical remark to an extraordinary emergence. Hunter Strickland, the Giants reliever who has been unleashing 100 mph comets in the postseason (including in his 18th-inning save on Saturday night/Sunday morning in Game 2 of the NLDS against the Nationals), was once a Red Sox.

But when he was with the Red Sox, he didn’t resemble the fire-breathing late-innings force that he’s suddenly become in the past five weeks for the Giants.

Strickland was an unheralded right-handed in Georgia when the Sox drafted him in the 18th round of the 2007 draft and signed him to a low six-figures bonus. Area scout Rob English liked the young pitcher’s arm action, pitcher’s build (he was a sturdy 6-foot-5) and particularly his outstanding makeup. English felt that Strickland might grow into a bit more velocity beyond the 90-ish he was showing as an amateur, and that if he got close to the big leagues, his work ethic and drive would permit him to thrive.

That said, Strickland never got close to the big leagues while in the Sox system — or, until this year, anyone else’s. In parts of three seasons in the Sox system — a pro debut in the Gulf Coast League in 2007, an assignment to Short-Season Single-A Lowell in 2008 and three and a half months with Single-A Greenville in 2009 — he proved a solid performer, going 10-9 with a 3.66 ERA. Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: Adam LaRoche, Greenville Drive, hunter strickland, kevin boles
Billy Beane says A’s wouldn’t have made playoffs without Jon Lester trade 10.02.14 at 5:46 pm ET
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Billy Beane insisted that the deal to acquire Jon Lester from the Red Sox for Yoenis Cespedes was the right one. (Getty Images)

Billy Beane insisted that the deal to acquire Jon Lester from the Red Sox for Yoenis Cespedes was the right one. (Getty Images)

At the time, the trade sending Jon Lester and Jonny Gomes to the A’s in exchange for Yoenis Cespedes sent shockwaves through the baseball landscape. Those continue to reverberate more than two months later.

The A’s season came to a startling halt on Tuesday night, when Lester could not hold a 7-3 advantage that he carried into the eighth inning, with Oakland eventually falling, 8-7, to the Royals in extra innings. The July 31 deal between the A’s and Red Sox had long been controversial in Oakland given the plummeting productivity of the A’s lineup, which averaged 3.5 runs per game while going 22-33 following the trade deadline, going from the best team in the majors and a two-game lead in the AL West to losing 12 games to the Angels in the division and barely holding on to edge out the Mariners by one game for a wild card spot.

But Beane disputed the notion that the trade was the cause of his team’s collapse down the stretch.

‘€œSimply put,” Beane told reporters in Oakland, “if we don’€™t have Jon Lester, I don’€™t think we make the playoffs.’€

Lester was 6-4 with a 2.35 ERA in 11 starts with the A’s, pitching at essentially the same dominant level at which he’d been performing with the Sox prior to the trade. Cespedes likewise performed at a comparable level with the Sox (.269/.296/.423) that he did prior to the trade with the A’s (.256/.303/.464).

Beane suggested that the Angels’ dominance over the season’s final two months would have made it impossible for the A’s to keep pace in the division, regardless of whether or not the trade had occurred.

‘€œOne thing I’€™m going to say right now,’€ Beane told reporters, ‘€œthe Angels were going to catch us. They played nearly .700 ball from a certain point on.’€

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