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It has been a whirlwind 24 hours with Jon Lester rumored to be going everywhere from Baltimore to Los Angeles. In the end, A’s GM Billy Beane was the most aggressive and was able to bring Jon Lester to Oakland. The additions of Jon Lester and Jonny Gomes make the Athletics, already a postseason contender, an immediate World Series favorite. In return for their ace, the Red Sox are getting 28 year old outfielder Yoenis Cespedes. The 28 year old Cuban outfielder is a career .262 hitter ad has more home runs this year (17) than the entire Red Sox outfield (14). He also is known for his strong defense and powerful throwing arm and should be a welcome addition to the struggling Red Sox outfield. The right-handed power bat will be crucial if the Red Sox have any plans to contend in 2015.
While Cespedes is an intriguing player, he is only signed through 2015 which is a short amount of time considering that the Red Sox gave up Jon Lester. Oakland is also sending a competitive balance draft pick to Boston, but that will amount to about a third round pick. It is too early to know exactly what this trade means for the Red Sox, but at the moment it looks to be a decent return for Jon Lester. Cespesdes will give the Red Sox needed power in the outfield, but to make the deal worth it Boston needs to sign Cespedes beyond the 2015 season.
Yoenis Cespedes is clearly an exciting player, but the trade does seem to be a small return for the Red Sox. Perhaps as the Red Sox make more deals, a clearer picture for 2015 will emerge with Cespesdes being a piece rather than the answer.
Trading Lester and Gomes is clearly the first move of many of what seems to be a Red Sox fire sale today. Who will we see going next? John Lackey? Andrew Miller? Stephen Drew? The trade deadline is five hours away. Let the speculation begin.