When the Oakland Athletics re-signed Coco Crisp during the offseason, it seemed like business as usual for the team that had struggled in recent years. When the A's stunned the world a short time later by signing Cuban free agent Yoenis Cespedes to a four-year deal, it created an apparent logjam in the outfield. Both Crisp and Cespedes are natural center fielders.
There was a lot of speculation swirling about which of the two players would play in center, with Crisp in particular adamantly insisting he would retain his position. According to Joe Stiglich of the Mercury News, A's manager Bob Melvin has announced that it will be Cespedes patrolling center field on Opening Day in Japan, with Crisp shifting to left field ... for now.
Melvin stressed that the outfield isn't set in stone past Japan -- the A's will keep evaluating Cespedes in center once the team returns to the Bay Area and plays four exhibitions before resuming the regular season April 6.
But there's no reason to believe Cespedes won't stay in center if he plays capably and adjusts well to major league pitching.
Josh Reddick will complete the outfield as the everyday player in right.
For more on the A's and to discuss their outfield alignment, head on over to Athletics Nation.