Red Sox not shopping Cespedes

Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington denied the rumors that the club is looking to trade outfielder Yoenis Cespedes. Though Cherington admitted that he understands why the rumors have cropped up — Cespedes is entering the final year of his contract and the Red Sox have some outfield depth — the plan is to keep Cespedes on board, according to MLB.com’s Ian Browne.

“We’re happy to have him,” Cherington said. “We felt like as we were building a lineup for next year, adding that power element in the middle of the lineup was critically important to us. So now that we have it, we’re not really anxious to give it away. We believe he’s very important in 2015, and 2015 is very important to us.”

Along with Cespedes entering the final year of his contract, the Red Sox also have a rather deep outfield contingent that currently includes Cespedes, Jackie Bradley Jr., Shane Victorino, Daniel Nava, Allen Craig and Mookie Betts. That said, a potential Cespedes trade would certainly weaken the Red Sox offensively, an area that was a major weakness in 2014.

The Red Sox went out and acquired Cespedes at last year’s deadline with the intention of pairing him with David Ortiz in the middle of the lineup. Given the fact taht Ortiz turns 39 next week, it makes sense that the Red Sox would keep Cespedes for the time being and try to make another run before Ortiz’s career comes to an end.

— Paul Casella

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