Jul 25, 2014; St. Petersburg, FL, USA; Boston Red Sox starting pitcher Jon Lester (31) reacts as he looks on during the first inning against the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Boston Red Sox trade Jon Lester to the Oakland A's

The Boston Red Sox have pulled the trigger, agreeing to deal Jon Lester and Jonny Gomes to the Oakland Athletics. Boston will reportedly receive Yoenis Cespedes in return, according to WEEI’s Alex Speier.

Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports adds that Boston will receive a competitive balance pick as well from Oakland.

Lester’s name has been atop the rumor mill for weeks now. Boston had been hoping to ink the left-hander to a contract extension but as the season progressed and talks continued to stall, that seemed more and more unlikely. With the team falling further out of the race, a trade appeared inevitable. Few likely would have predicted a blockbuster of this magnitude, however.

In Lester the A’s will receive one of the best arms in the game and further bolster a pitching staff that the team had already strengthened earlier this month with the acquisition of Jeff Samardzija and Jason Hammel. Lester is having a career year to boot, with a 2.52 ERA and 1.119 WHIP over 143.0 IP. His postseason success is also a clear positive for this team that is now a clear favorite to make it to the World Series.

Gomes, a California native who flourished in his lone season with the A’s in 2012, will likely see some time in left field making up for the loss of Cespedes. He’s been having a down year overall, but his production as a pinch hitter has been vital to the Red Sox this season.

While many expected Boston to seek prospects in return for Lester (near MLB-ready prospects), obtaining Cespedes is certainly a big move. The Boston outfielders have collectively underperformed all season long at the plate. The 28 year old is hitting .256/.303/.464 on the year, with 17 HR. His defensive value is also extraordinarily high. He’s an instant upgrade to the Red Sox outfield, likely slotting into the starting role in left alongside Jackie Bradley Jr.

Cespedes will be a free agent after the 2015 season. Lester and Gomes will each be free agents this winter.

Tags: Boston Red Sox Jon Lester Jonny Gomes Oakland Athletics Yoenis Cespedes

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