A Red Sox team fading fast in the standings became sellers at the 2014 trade deadline. Their abysmal failure in contract negotiations with impending free agent Jon Lester led them to deal their ace to the Oakland A’s for Yoenis Cespedes, who they hoped would solve their left field riddle for the rest of the season and beyond.
Except it didn’t quite work out that way. Cespedes was known for his rocket launcher of a throwing arm, which was wasted in Fenway Park’s shallow left field. Take away the benefits of his arm and the rest of his defensive ability was substandard. Making matters worse, the former home run derby champion never delivered the power that the Red Sox expected, finishing with a mere five home runs in 43 games following the trade to Boston. His sub-.300 OBP was another factor that soured the Red Sox on Cespedes, so they flipped him to Detroit that winter for Rick Porcello.
Of course Cespedes would go on to have a monster season the following year, helping the Mets reach the World Series after the Tigers dealt him to New York at the 2015 deadline. At least Porcello has bounced back from a horrendous first year in Boston to become a reliable part of this rotation, so it wasn’t a complete disaster.
The decision the Red Sox made to find their next left fielder, on the other hand, was a disaster.
Next: Adventures with Han-Ram