The Oakland A’s have the best record in baseball, but to insure they do more than win the regular season they added Red Sox ace Jon Lester to the staff.
Of course the downside to doing so was that they had to trade away a player of comparable value–outfielder Yoenis Cespedes.
After contract talks had stalled between Lester and the team prior to the start of the season the Red Sox risked seeing him walk away once he became a free agent in the off-season. So rather than see one of the best pitchers in the game walk away they traded him to a contender–making him happy–and received a talented young outfielder in the process.
For the A’s the move shows how much they want to win this season. Cespedes was a popular and talented player who they traded away for 10-11 starts (not counting post season play). If they want to keep him going forward they are going to have to do better than the four-year, $70 million deal the Red Sox offered–and he turned down.
His addition will go a long way towards making the A’s even harder to beat this season. Their pitching staff is already ranked No. 4 in the league with an ERA of 3.19. Lester has been pitching well this season after a down year in 2013 and currently has an ERA of 2.52
The A’s also got outfielder Jonny Gomes in the deal and the Red Sox will get a competitive balance pick in the 2015 draft.[Yahoo]