Jackie Bradley Jr.

Red Sox notebook: Jackie Bradley's market; Yoenis Cespedes' fielding future; Rusney Castillo's health

Rob Bradford
November 11, 2014 - 2:11 pm
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PHOENIX -- With the Red Sox' surplus of outfielders, much of the conversation regarding the Red Sox and potential trades will involve any and all players manning that position for John Farrell's club. Included in that mix is Jackie Bradley. When asked if teams are viewing Bradley as an everyday center fielder, Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington said, "I do think there are some teams that think of him in that way, as they should. And we think of him in that way. You don'€™t know on what date it will all happen. But we certainly think of him as an everyday caliber center fielder." The question revolving around Bradley, of course, is his ability to hit. The outfielder barely avoided possessing the worst batting average of any player with at least 384 at-bats, hitting .198. But then there's that defense, which allowed for the rookie to finish among the finalists for an American League Gold Glove. "Teams have come a long way, the industry has come a long way on separating out the myth from the facts -- this is what we know, this is what we can predict, this is what we can'€™t predict," said Cherington of measuring defense. "There'€™s probably more volatility in the defensive projections than there are in other areas because so much of it is environmental and contextual. There'€™s more noise in the data. You look at longer sample sizes with defense to try to get as long a sample as possible when you'€™re evaluation as opposed to offense, where you may be able to look at smaller. It'€™s not precise, but I think teams are a lot further ahead than they were 10 years ago." -- Cherington said no definitive decision had been made on whether Rusney Castillo would be playing in the Puerto Rico Winter League (as planned). The GM did note, however, that Castillo's bruised hand was no longer a concern. "He got seen yesterday in Boston. He's fine, coming along, basically passed everything," Cherington said. "We're going to make a determination in the next several days as to whether to continue the offseason get him back to Puerto Rico at some point. He would need a period of ramp up now, but the injury essentially is healed." Castillo, who signed a contract in August that runs through 2020 for $72.5 million, hit .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 in the Arizona Fall League. He was originally scheduled to start playing for former Red Sox' infielder Alex Cora's team in Puerto Rico on Nov. 7. -- Plenty of anticipation continues to surround the future of Yoenis Cespedes heading into 2015, including what position the outfielder might be playing. Upon joining the Red Sox on Aug. 1, it was thought that Cespedes would be roaming Fenway Park's right field. But he made it clear to the club that his preference would be to remain in left field for the time being. "We feel he can do either," Cherington said. "He has played a lot of left field in the big leagues and played that well. He's still getting used to the Monster, obviously, but he'd have spring training to do that. He has the tools to play right field, clearly, and again if that was the direction we went, he'd have spring training to get used to the right field dimensions because of our spring training facility. I think we can go in either direction. It's something that will depend some on what the makeup of the team looks like, and then we'll talk to him about it and go from there." -- So, are any Red Sox at least close to untouchable when discussing these trades? According to Cherington, yes. "There are definitely guys. Pedroia and Ortiz, they'€™ll in that category for different reasons," he said. "There will be guys that are very difficult to trade. I don'€™t want use the word untouchable but there are guys would be very hard to trade, important to our long-term and have shown the ability to perform at the big league level."

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