BOSTON (CBS) – Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington told reporters at the baseball winter meetings in Nashville that he expects Jacoby Ellsbury to be the team’s starting center fielder come opening day.

Ellsbury, who will be a free agent after this season, has been involved in trade rumors throughout the week. While Cherington doesn’t foresee the team trading Ellsbury, he is still willing to listen to what teams have to offer for the former All Star.

“You answer the phone and take the calls and listen to ideas. Our expectation is Jacoby will be here and be our center fielder,” Cherington said Wednesday night.

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“That’s not our intent,” he said of trading Ellsbury. “We’re expecting Jacoby to have a really good year and he’s a huge part of what we’re doing.”

Cherington said Ellsbury isn’t the only player on the Boston roster drawing interest from other teams, but it is not their intentions to subtract from what they already have.

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“We’re not looking to move guys off our roster. We’re looking to add talent to the roster, not move guys off at this point,” said Cherington. “We’ll see. You’ve got to listen and learn and have the conversation. We wouldn’t be doing our jobs if we didn’t at least have the dialogue and gather the information and see what other teams are interested in doing.”

Ellsbury hit .271 with 43 runs scored and 23 RBIs in 74 games for Boston last season.


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