A Jon Lester trade to the Oakland Athletics has just gone down. In the Lester trade, the Boston Red Sox acquire Yoenis Cespedes in a surprising return. According to a report from CBS Sports on Thursday (July 31), the Red Sox will also send outfielder Jonny Gomes as part of the deal. Gaining yet another starting pitcher could easily give the Athletics the best rotation in baseball and prime the team for a successful run in the postseason.
In the latest MLB standings, the Athletics boast a 66-41 record to lead the American League West by 2 1/2 games. This might be viewed as a direct result of the Los Angeles Angels (63-43) playing so well lately and the front office of the Athletics trying to ensure that the team becomes a division champion again. Suddenly what looked like an already really good rotation has taken another step forward, even if they had to give up a big bat to make it happen.
Losing a player like Cespedes is going to make the middle of the lineup for the Oakland Athletics much less intimidating, especially with the raw power that he has at the plate. It might frustrate fans of the team that have enjoyed rooting for him the past few seasons, but it will certainly open the eyes of Red Sox fans. The defending World Series champions acquire the bat they have been looking to get for a while now and he will be a key piece to the team in the 2015 MLB season.
The debate can now begin about which starting pitcher is the top ace on the staff for the Athletics. This season, Lester had made 21 starts for the Boston Red Sox, posting a 10-7 record in that time. He has a 2.52 ERA and 149 strikeouts over 143 innings, making him one of the best players on the team. When the two sides couldn't come to an agreement on a contract extension, it made him expendable, leading to an interesting trade over to the West Coast.