Athletics Swing Blockbuster Deal, Land Jon Lester
Known for their penny-pinching ways, the Oakland Athletics did something not many probably expected: they swung for the fences. Making a huge blockbuster move on Thursday morning, the A’s acquired ace pitcher Jon Lester and outfielder Jonny Gomes in a huge trade with the Boston Red Sox. In return, the Red Sox received outfielder Yoenis Cespedes.
The trade is catching a lot of ire from Athletics fans, but it’s actually a magnificent trade by the A’s. Cespedes was set to walk as a free agent after 2015 and was highly unlikely to re-sign with the team. While Lester will also be able to leave for more money elsewhere after this year, the Athletics at least get a big boost in their bullpen and also replace Cespedes with Gomes for the short-term.
Apparently unsatisfied with their starting pitching despite recently acquiring Jeff Samardzija and Jason Hammel, the Athletics made a move to solidify their 2014 pitching staff, once and for all. It’s potentially a clinching move for a team that is already sitting in first place in the AL West, but with just a 2.5 game lead over the Los Angeles Angels, Oakland clearly felt it needed to make one more big splash to hopefully distance themselves.
Boston, on the other hand, isn’t going anywhere this year as they sit at the bottom of the AL East with a 48-60 mark. Cespedes brings power and flash and could help make things interesting as the season wraps up, while he’s also under contract through the 2015 season. He’s also not likely to stick in town much longer after that, but he’s a solid talent to have around and potentially could get locked up to a long-term deal.
It was still a no-brainer for the Red Sox, either way, as both Lester and Gomes can walk after this year and they at least received a competitive-balance pick in the 2015 MLB Draft, as well.
The massive move starts out the MLB’s final day to make trades, as the MLB trade deadline hits the league at 4:00 pm Eastern time.
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