Updates from Saturday, August 2
Ian Browne of MLB.com reports that Cespedes will make his debut in left field on Saturday:
Cespedes hitting cleanup and playing left In debut.— Ian Browne (@IanMBrowne) August 2, 2014
The first blockbuster of MLB trade deadline day is reportedly complete. The Boston Red Sox are set to acquire outfielder Yoenis Cespedes from the Oakland Athletics in exchange for starting pitcher Jon Lester and outfielder Jonny Gomes.
The Red Sox announced the details of the trade:
#RedSox acquired OF Yoenis Cespedes & 2015 competitive balance pick from Oakland for LHP Jon Lester, OF Jonny Gomes & cash considerations.— Boston Red Sox (@RedSox) July 31, 2014
Alex Speier of WEEI initially broke word of the deal:
Trying to confirm, but hearing Lester and Gomes might be moving for Cespedes— Alex Speier (@alexspeier) July 31, 2014
Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports filled out the details:
Final full trade: Jon Lester, Jonny Gomes and $ to Oakland for Yoenis Cespedes and the second pick in the competitive balance Comp B round.— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) July 31, 2014
Passan also spoke about the possibility of another trade coming prior to the deadline:
Interesting dynamic developing in Boston: With Papi, Napoli, Cespedes, Craig and Victorino, five guys for four positions. More to come?— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) July 31, 2014
David Ortiz spoke about the trade on Twitter:
Wishing my man Jon Lester all the best, Red Sox Nation and the Large Father will miss you! pic.twitter.com/7uWpXw8XnH— David Ortiz (@davidortiz) July 31, 2014
The Red Sox had been looking for an impact bat and Lester was one of the most talked about players on the trade market in recent weeks. Nobody made the connection with Cespedes, however, as his name was not active in rumors.
Which team do you think won the trade?
Given the fact Lester is scheduled to become a free agent at the season's end while the talented Cuban outfielder is under team control for another season, it's quite a coup for the Red Sox. It was unclear how much they could get for a potential rental.
Susan Slusser speaks about why the A's thought process:
It appears one reason #Athletics reacquired both Gomes and Fuld was so well-liked in clubhouse, helps mitigate shock over loss of Cespedes.— Susan Slusser (@susanslusser) July 31, 2014
#Athletics front office not big believers in chemistry but recognized impact of trading Cespedes on clubhouse, wanted to address in some way— Susan Slusser (@susanslusser) July 31, 2014
John Hickey of the Bay Area Media Group notes that the A's had been attempting to trade Cespedes for some time now:
Talked to baseball insider who said #Athletics Billy Beane has been exploring big trades for Yoenis Cespedes since the end of last year.— John Hickey (@JHickey3) July 31, 2014
John Shea of the San Francisco Chronicle provided another possible reason Oakland made Cespedes available:
Cespedes huge loss for #athletics, didn't help his status when he said he didn't want to play center field when he was needed there.— John Shea (@JohnSheaHey) July 31, 2014
Cespedes went to a teammate about not wanting to play CF, not Melvin. Leaving manager in uncomfortable position. #athletics— John Shea (@JohnSheaHey) July 31, 2014
However, Jane Lane of MLB.com provided insight into how the A's have performed with and without Cespedes in the lineup:
A’s were 228-131 with Cespedes in the starting lineup, 28-44 without.— Jane Lee (@JaneMLB) July 31, 2014
The Red Sox have fallen out of the playoff race, which means losing Lester for the rest of the season isn't a major setback. Adding a building block like the two-time defending Home Run Derby champion is a step in the right direction for the future.
He's hitting .256 with 17 home runs through 101 games. Boston would like to see his on-base percentage increase from its current .303 closer to the .356 mark from his rookie season, but he still represents a good haul for Lester and Gomes.