Ellsbury-to-Yankees didn't surprise Cherington

Ellsbury-to-Yankees didn't surprise Cherington
December 4, 2013, 5:00 pm
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The Red Sox weren't sure where free agent outfielder Jacoby Ellsbury was going to land. They were, however, pretty certain he wasn't going to remain in Boston.

That he signed with the Yankees hardly constituted a shocking development.

"When you get into free agency with a player of Jacoby's caliber," said general manager Ben Cherington in a conference call with reporters, "you know going in, there's a handful of spots where he could end up. It's not altogether surprising that's where it ended up.

"We wish Jacoby well. He was obviously a very good player in his time here and big part of two World Series teams. We would have loved to keep him. But there was an area of range we were willing to go to and the market just got past that."

Cherington indicated that the Sox are exploring some other outfield options -- both free agents and trades -- but said if Jackie Bradley Jr. is the center fielder, the Sox would be fine with that plan.

"We certainly feel really good about some of the in-house alternatives (to replace Ellsbury)," he said. "One of those guys is Jackie Bradley Jr. It doesn't mean we wouldn't add an oufielder. We're not going to talk about exactly what the team is going to look like on Opening Day because we don't have to do [that yet].

"But we're fortunate that Jackie is in the organization and we'd feel good if he's in center field if that's the way it works out."