The A's have just completed a blockbuster deal with the Red Sox that sends Yoenis Cespedes to Boston in exchange for left-handed ace John Lester and outfielder, and former Athletic, Jonny Gomes, according to CBS Boston.
With the trade deadline only hours away, the Red Sox have effectively thrown in the towel on the season, as they are 48-60 and at the bottom of the AL East. Lester, who is 10-7 this season with a 2.52 ERA, has two World Series titles and is set to become a free agent after this season. The move to Oakland is more than likely a loan, as the A's try to make a run in the playoffs and Lester will be commanding top dollar after the season.
As for Cespedes, 28, A's fans will certainly hate the move, as the Cuban was one of the most well-liked Athletic and is coming off of two back-to-back Home Run Derby titles. He is hitting .256 this season with 17 home runs and has a .767 OPS, but was under contract only through the 2015 season, after which a new contract may be too pricey for Oakland to keep the slugger.
Oakland also recently made deals for pitchers Jeff Samardzija and Jason Hammel, which puts their prospective starting rotation for the playoffs as Sonny Gray, Scott Kazmir, Samardzija and Lester - not bad at all.
Billy Beane and the A's have yet to make an official statement about the trade but there's no doubt that the team is going all in this season, as they've played well the last few years, winning their division but have been knocked out of the playoffs by the Detroit Tigers in two consecutive seasons. It may be now or never for Oakland and the added muscle in the rotation will certainly help.
While the loss of Cespedes leaves a big hole in the line-up as far as power is concerned, the A's at least pick up another outfielder in Gomes, who also has a World Series ring with Boston and returns home to Oakland where he played in 2012. This season, Gomes was batting only .234 however, with 6 home runs and 32 RBIs this season. In 2012, he bated .262 with 18 HRs and 47 RBIs.
As part of the deal, the Red Sox also get a Round B draft pick from the A's in 2015.
So will this move be beneficial for Oakland? Only time will tell but if we assume that Cespedes would be too expensive to be re-signed after the 2015 season, then perhaps the timing was right for the move in order to get the most bang for Billy Beane's buck. Still, this will be a hard pill to swallow for A's fans who love Cespedes, but if the A's can put together a more effective run in the playoffs and take it to the World Series, then the trade may pay off in spades.