Yoenis Cespedes on trade: 'I feel very happy ... to share a part of my career with the Red Sox'

August 01, 2014 - 3:43 pm
Yoenis Cespedes already is larger than life. Cespedes, built more like an NFL fullback rather than an outfielder, makes throws from the outfield reminiscent of a bullets slicing through air and has won back-to-back All-Star Home Run Derby competitions. Cespedes has even been the subject of a viral video, one created by his agent that showcased the outfielder's ability to hit baseball a mile, dance with his family and cook a whole pig over a roasting fire. But when Cespedes heard about Thursday's trade, he was partaking in activity that non-pig-roasting, non-home run-hitting mortals do on a daily basis. "I was sleeping when the news came through," the Cuban star said through a translator. "It caught me by surprise. There is a saying that only God knows why things happen." The outfielder is hitting .256/.303/.464 this season with 17 home runs, 67 RBIs, 26 doubles and 62 runs scored. Manager John Farrell said that Cespedes will play right field for the Red Sox moving forward, a spot unoccupied currently due to Shane Victorino's latest stint on the disabled list. Cespedes said that he has some experience playing the position from his time in Cuba. The acquisition of Cespedes filled the need for a power-hitting outfielder with major league-ready talent. "We've been very clear internally the need to improve and upgrade our offense was a goal," Farrell said. "We've been able to do that through these trades. To be able to bring in a middle-of-the-order, All-Star-caliber bat from a contending team, it's not typical. I think as this deal came about, it became unique in its own right, and our ability to lengthen out the lineup with he and Allen Craig gives us that depth that has been lacking throughout the course of the season." Cespedes, who is eligible to become a free agent after the 2015 season, said that he will be able to provide pop to the Red Sox lineup. How much pop, however, is unknown. "I know I have some power," Cespedes said. "I can't predict the amount of home runs I'm going to hit because when I'm there, I'm not looking to hit a home run, I'm just looking to make hard contract." Cespedes said that he has become a better player since arriving in America and will continue to improve as time rolls on. "I've been getting better and better," Cespedes said. "Incrementally, just like anything, I can get better every day, just like anything else." Cespedes, who defected from Cuba in summer of 2011 and signed with the Athletics before the 2012 season, is pleased to call Boston his new home. "I feel very happy to be able to share a part of my career with the Red Sox," Cespedes said. "In Cuba, I wasn't able to watch too many Red Sox games or any major league games for that matter, but the legend of Fenway Park precedes itself and I'm very excited to be here."