The Boston Red Sox stuck with Jon Lester through cancer and the chicken-and-beer controversy. But enduring a first-to-worst season and facing an expensive price-tag to retain the soon-to-be free agent, the Red Sox decided to deal Lester in the hours before Thursday’s trade deadline.
The Sox sent the lefty to the A’s along with Jonny Gomes and cash for Yoenis Cespedes. The addition of Lester gives an already feared A’s rotation yet another fright for opposing batters. If Billy Beane’s addition of Jeff Samardzija and Jason Hammel didn’t signal he was all-in on 2014, then the Lester acquisition clearly does. At 66-41, the small-market A’s boast the best record in baseball and appear poised to challenge for their first World Series win in a quarter century.
The slugger Cespedes gives Boston an outfielder who carries a big bat rather than prospects who may of may not work out. The 28-year-old has blasted 17 home runs this season. Boston looks to be a player in landing Lester in the offseason, so the pitcher rental may prove a big boost for the Red Sox come next season.
Lester compiled a 110-63 record with a 3.64 ERA in nine seasons in Boston. More importantly, he played a key role in winning two World Series. Lester boasts a 10-7 record with a 2.52 ERA this season despite the woes of the team.