What will likely be the biggest deal of MLB’s trade deadline, the Boston Red Sox have traded staff ace Jon Lester to the Oakland Athletics. Lester, who is set to become a free agent following this season, couldn’t agree to a long-term extension with the team. What was an inevitability leading up to deadline day is now a reality.
— Chris Cotillo (@ChrisCotillo) July 31, 2014
The deal sending Lester to Oakland is surprising for a ton of reasons. First off, the A’s sent their top two prospects to the Chicago Cubs for Jeff Samardzija and Jason Hammel earlier this month. Still not satisfied that he has done enough to build a championship team, A’s general manager Billy Beane pulled a fast one today and sent All-Star Yoenis Cespedes back east in a deal for the ace.
Lester is having the best season of an already great career. He is 10-7 with a 2.52 ERA and 1.11 WHIP. Lester joins a rotation that’s already stacked. Sonny Gray and Scott Kazmir are having great seasons, while Samardzija brought ace-type stuff with him. It’s hard to imagine any team in baseball being able to match up with Oakland’s rotation in a potential five or seven games seires.
Lester traded for cespedes confirmed
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeymanCBS) July 31, 2014
The deal for Lester wasn’t made without giving anything up. Oakland sent star outfielder Yoenis Cespedes to the Red Sox in this deal. While Cespedes has struggled with injury and hitting for average, he’s considered a five-tool player and is under team control…something that had to attract Boston.
The defending two-time Home Run Derby Champion is hitting .256 with 17 homers and 67 RBI’s on the season.
Oakland also picked up Northern California native Jonny Gomes in the deal. He played with the team back in 2012 and was a clubhouse leader for the surprising AL West champions. Gomez is hitting .234 with six homers and 32 RBI’s on the year.
Photo: USA Today