The long-rumored Jon Lester trade has been culminated.
The Boston Red Sox traded their ace lefty, along with outfielder and clubhouse leader Jonny Gomes, to the first place Oakland A’s according to multiple sources. The Sox will receive home-run hitting outfielder Yoenis Cespedes in return. Other A’s players or considerations may also be part of the deal, when more details emerge.
Despite all the money ball hoopla, the A’s have a history of underperforming in the playoffs, although the addition of Lester to the teams rotation could make this year’s post-season outcome far different.
Lester is a free agent after this season, and contract negotiations for a long-term deal seemed to be contentious, with the parties far apart on both dollars and years. With the Red Sox going from worst to first to worst over the past three seasons, the team seems to be cleaning house to some degree, for example having traded pitchers Felix Doubront to the Chicago Cubs yesterday and Jake Peavy to the San Francisco Giants last week. John Lackey may also be traded before the end of the day.
The MLB trade deadline is today at 4 pm Eastern, so more player movement seems likely.
Over a nine-year career, fan-favorite and clutch performer Lester, a two-time World Series champion and cancer survivor, has posted a 110-63 win-loss mark, with an ERA of.364.
According to the Boston Globe, “Lester, 30, leaves the Red Sox at the top of his game, having gone 10-7 with a 2.52 earned run average in 21 starts. His 149 strikeouts are sixth in the American League and he is fifth in ERA.”
Lester previously admitted that even if traded, he would like to return to the Red Sox after this season if his agent and the team can reach an agreement on a new contract. “But the trade was seen throughout baseball as a sign the Red Sox were not willing to give Lester the kind of contract he was seeking and decided to generate some value by trading him now,” the Globe added.
Given that many long-term investments in stars in their 30s have backfired on MLB teams, Boston Red Sox ownership/management in general has appeared reluctant to enter into huge guaranteed contracts with players.
As far as the Red Sox new outfielder is concerned, WEEI explains that “Cespedes, 28, represents the potential middle of the order corner bat that the Red Sox have been missing. Still, there are questions about the aggressiveness of his approach. He is hitting.256 with a.303 OBP and.464 slugging mark with 17 homers in 101 games this year, after hitting.240/.294/.442 in 2013. But his massive right-handed power represents an obvious fit for Fenway Park.”
The MLB Home Run Derby champion in 2013 and 2014, Cespedes will be a free agent after the 2015 season.
Unlike last year’s championship run, the Red Sox offense has sputtered this entire season, which is the primary reason why the team is languishing in last place in the American League East. As such, Cespedes will be a welcome addition to the Red Sox everyday lineup.
Do you think that Boston Red Sox management, given the circumstances made a wise business decision in trading Jon Lester?