Yoenis Cespedes

Yoenis Cespedes reflects on milestone, trade from A's, contract outlook going forward

September 27, 2014 - 1:19 pm
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Yoenis Cespedes arrived for the first time at a noteworthy milestone on Saturday. On Saturday, in the Red Sox' 10-4 win over the Yankees, Cespedes drove in a pair of runs, giving the 28-year-old 100 RBIs for the first time in his career. Of course, that his milestone came in a Red Sox uniform is of some note on the opposite coast. Since the head-spinning July 31 trade that shipped Cespedes (and a competitive balance draft pick) to the Sox in exchange for Jon Lester and Jonny Gomes, the Oakland A's have been in something of a freefall. While Cespedes has hit .274 with a .301 OBP, .431 slugging mark and 33 RBIs in 50 games, the A's are 21-32 while scoring just 3.5 runs per game, making them the worst offense in the American League in that time. Cespedes could not say what role his absence had played in his former team's offensive decline, but did acknowledge that even now, he remains surprised that he is no longer in Oakland. "I don't know [why the A's offense has struggled]. I would have to be there to give you a better answer on that, but I don't know," said Cespedes through interpreter Adrian Lorenzo. "I was surprised when [the trade] happened. I'm still a little surprised. I thought there was a chance it would happen next season. I didn't think it would happen this season because I didn't think Oakland was going to re-sign me after this contract, but yeah, definitely surprised." The Sox, meanwhile, have been pleased by his addition and what he's delivered. "He's clearly got middle of the order presence for us. I think the one thing we've been impressed with is the overall ability, the overall skills," said Sox manager John Farrell. "Obviously the throwing arm speaks for itself, but there's been times when he's been well above average defensively for us. There's still work to be done in this ballpark, particularly with the Wall, but an RBI guy. He's got a knack for it. He's aggressive in the right spots, and he's giving us the ability to lengthen out the lineup with his presence behind David." While the shape of the 2015 Red Sox lineup remains to be determined, Cespedes could feature heavily in a group that the Sox believe will be markedly better than it was a year ago. For now, he's unsure whether his relationship with Boston might extend beyond 2015. "I'm still not sure if I want to sign an extension or if I want to be a free agent," said Cespedes. "It's too soon." For now, Cespedes is content merely to recognize a new run production milestone in his career, at a time when run scoring across the game is at a something of a nadir. "It's something very important for my career and it's something very special to me, to be able to get it in my third year in the league," said Cespedes. "There's only been seven guys to get to 100 RBIs this year. To be a member of that group is something pretty important to me and special."