Red Sox: Lester Out Cespedes In
The deal all of Boston was waiting to happen finally did. The Red Sox on trade deadline day morning have traded their ace and work horse Jon Lester along with slugger Johnny Gomes to Oakland. In return the Athletics sent outfielder Yoenis Cespedes. Almost a perfect exchange for both clubs based on the different directions each are headed.
For Oakland this was a the blockbuster deal they coveted. Uncharacteristic for GM Billy Beane to make not one but two giant moves in a season. The first of course was earlier in the month when the As acquired Jeff Samardzija and Jason Hammel from the Cubs. Now Oakland with this move to grab Lester may just have the most feared rotation in not only their division but in all of baseball. Featuring their young stud Sonny Gray who's already won 12 with a 2.65 ERA, Jason Hammel the veteran arm, the resurgence of Scott Kazmir with his 2.37 ERA paired with a dozen wins, of course the big hurler Samardzija and now the dominant lefty having a career year in Jon Lester.
For Boston this deal is certainly peculiar however somehow it just seems to make sense. After failed and almost non existent or at least on realistic contract negotiations with their home grown ace, the Sox had to ship Lester away. Boston's ownership group however unconventional you may think they are have over the last 12 years been true to two principles. The first is not wanting players particularly pitcher over 30 large contracts and especially lengthy deals. This was the disconnect to any real negotiations between
them and Lester. As he is looking for a six year note in the neighborhood of a $150 million. Which is market value for a guy of Lester's talent. The second principle the Sox have kept in practice is their wheeling and dealing. Boston has become almost known for is the big blockbuster deals. Not being afraid to make the huge franchise changing deal. They traded Nomar in 2004, Manny in 2008 and who could forget the Beckett, Crawford, Gonzalez deal a couple years ago. Now they've done it again.
In this deal the Sox traded one of the best arms in the game this season to Oakland for their clean up hitter. Think about that for a second. The number one offense in the American League sent their big bat packing for an all star lefty.
Boston desperate for a slugger in their outfield have gotten just that. Cespedes is pure raw talent that more then one scout will tell despite his accomplishments he maybe underachieving. He'll surely and immediately inject some pop. This season Cespedes is already at a career high in doubles at 26 and is on pace to break his personal record in RBIs. Cespedes's 17 home runs is more then the three current starting out fielders combined. He's a brilliant out fielder who covers a ton of ground. Paired with Jackie Bradley he also upgrades the Sox defensively.
However Sox fans beware there is indeed a lot of Manny in Cespedes. His lackadaisical antics are the reason h Cespedes was available in the first place. Much like league sensation and fellow Cuban Yasiel Puig, Cespedes at times makes ridiculous baseball decisions on the diamond. Cespedes also off the field has had more then a few team disciplinary situations. Although they've been more character issues then anything else. The 28 year old is under contract only until 2015.
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