Grading the Jon Lester, Yoenis Cespedes Deal for the Boston Red Sox

Jon LesterThe Boston Red Sox started looking toward the 2015 season with four trades at the deadline after completing two other deals earlier in the week.

The first deal of the day came Thursday morning in which Jon Lester and Jonny Gomes were sent to the Oakland Athletics for slugger Yoenis Cespedes. The deal also included cash considerations sent from the Red Sox and a competitive balance draft pick from Oakland.

For the Red Sox, losing Lester is the biggest loss of the trade deadline. He was the accomplished ace of the staff—with two World Series’ under his belt as well as a 6-4 record with a 2.11 ERA in the postseason, and a 3-0 mark with  0.46 ERA in the World Series. The 30-year-old compiled 110 wins over parts of nine seasons while ranking fourth in starts and strikeouts in team history.

Both Lester and Gomes helped win the World Series in 2013 with clutch performances and both are free agents at the end of the season.

The three-time All-Star will be missed, but the Red Sox knew they could get something of value for the ace, and they did.

Cespedes has 17 home runs in 2014, which is three more than the current Red Sox outfielders combined. The Cuban slugger has 23 or more home runs his previous two seasons and is under contract until after the 2015 season due to options in his contract to avoid arbitration. If the Red Sox can strike a deal to keep the right-hander in Boston long-term, then this deal could really benefit the team in the long run.

The Red Sox were going to trade Lester due to the last place play through the first 108 games, and getting a proven power bat was great for Ben Cherington and Co. If the Red Sox can sign Lester in the offseason, while also hanging on to Cespedes, then this trade will be an A+ all the way.

Grade: A- 

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