The Detroit Tigers and Boston Red Sox have completed a trade sending outfielder Yoenis Cespedes to the Tigers in exchange for pitcher Rick Porcello, according to reports.
Along with Cespedes, the Red Sox are trading righty Alex Wilson and lefty Gabe Speier to Detroit.
This deal had been in the makings prior to the Winter Meetings, as it was reported that an offer for a Cespedes-for-Porcello deal was made. However, it never seemed to pick up steam, while the Red Sox did want to move Cespedes after signing Hanley Ramirez to play left field earlier this offseason.
The 29-year-old Cespedes becomes a free agent at the end of next season, after a four-year, $36 million deal was signed with Oakland back in the 2011-2012 offseason. This past year, Cespedes posted the highest fWAR of his career, as he hit .260/.301/.450 with 22 homers and 100 runs driven in over 645 plate appearances. Cespedes was worth 11 runs in the outfield.
Porcello is a fantastic return for the Red Sox, who have needed pitching after losing out to the Cubs in the Jon Lester sweepstakes. Porcello, who turns 26 soon, is a free agent at the end of next season. He has been so solid with the Tigers over his career. He posted a 3.43 ERA in 204.2 innings pitched last season, which goes along with a 3.67 FIP and 3.1 fWAR.
The Red Sox have desperately needed pitching. Just last night and today alone, they acquired Wade Miley from the Diamondbacks, signed Justin Masterson, and acquired Porcello to give them a really formidable top three in the rotation. However, all three are either still young (Porcello, Miley) or coming off a poor season (Masterson), so the rotation could be the make-or-break for the Red Sox' 2015 season.
With Torii Hunter gone to the Twins, the Tigers filled a much-needed outfield spot with a really good player in Yoenis Cespedes. While Cespedes is also a free agent at the end of next season, he was the odd man out in Boston, and the Tigers took advantage. While Cespedes is a free agent at the end of next season and cannot be offered a qualifying offer, it would not surprise me if the Tigers were able to lock him up longterm. Whatever the case, he fills a need with a team that is very much in win-now mode.