The Detroit Tigers acquired former Oakland Athletics and Boston Red Sox left fielder and two-time Home Run Derby champ Yoenis Cespedes on Thursday.
The Detroit Tigers acquired two-time Home Run Derby champ Yoenis Cespedes on Dec. 11.
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The Detroit News' Chris McCosky confirmed the deal on Thursday. In exchange for Cespedes, right-handed reliever Alex Wilson and lefty prospect Gabe Speier, the Boston Red Sox get pitcher Rick Porcello. The deal was consummated in the early hours of Thursday morning.
Tigers president and general manager Dave Dombroski told McCosky that Boston tried to propose a 1-on-1 deal which Detroit eventually nixed because the latter didn't want to compromise its pitching rotation. However, when the talks began to involve other positions plus another starter, the Tigers relented. They also acquired All-Star righty Alfredo Simon from the Cincinnati Reds on Dec. 11:
"Boston had approached us about a 1-on-1 deal a couple of weeks ago, but we never had the desire to pursue it for the simple fact that we didn't want to give up starting pitching at the time. But when we started talking about some different ideas and the possibility of acquiring another starting pitcher, it allowed us to make this deal.
"We feel we are settled now in terms of our rotation. We like our starting pitching.
"Cespedes is a premium player. He's a good all-around player. He's a guy every time he's faced us, he's a threat to drive the ball out of the ballpark. He's a threat to drive in runs. You always fear him at the plate."
Detroit manager Brad Ausmus also lauded Cespedes, per McCosky. He said,"He's not a burner like Rajai (Davis) but he's an athlete. I have no complaints at all."
Dombrowski's counterpart, Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington, told ESPN Boston's Gordon Edes on Thursday they would have made a move on Porcello had they anticipated not re-signing Jon Lester:
"If we had known in July we weren't going to sign Jon Lester, I think we would have been happy to trade for Rick Porcello. We're excited to have Rick on board.
"Starting with what he has been the last couple of years, we feel he's one of the better starting pitchers in baseball. He's been on a staff with a lot of big-name pitchers, really good pitchers, and sort of gets buried in Detroit because they had such a good rotation. But he's really good in his own right. Given his age, there may be [even] more upside, but what he is right now is really going to help us."
Cherington also told Edes he is still looking to fortify Boston's pitching rotation. Among those on his radar are the Kansas City Royals' James Shiels and the Detroit Tigers' Max Scherzer. Cherington is also considering Cole Hamels, Jordan Zimmermann and Doug Fister.
Edes points out both Cespedes and Porcello are set to become free agents after the 2015 MLB season. He also adds Miley "is in his first year of arbitration eligibility." MLBTradeRumors.com (via ESPN Boston) says Porcello "is projected to receive $12.2 million in salary arbitration."
In addition to Porcello, the Red Sox also reached an agreement with St. Louis Cardinals righty Justin Masterson on Dec. 11, per ESPN Boston. Masterson spent time in the Cleveland Indians' disabled list and the Cardinals' bullpen due to a nagging knee injury in 2014. His performance plummted from a 14-10 record with a 3.45 ERA in 2013 to just 7-9 with a 5.88 ERA last season.
Cespedes has amassed 425 hits, 71 home runs and 262 RBIs in 416 career games with the Oakland Athletics and Boston Red Sox, per ESPN stats.
On the other hand, Porcello posted a 76-63 career win-loss record with 655 strikeouts and a 4.30 ERA in 184 regular-season games with the Detroit Tigers.
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