Earlier this morning, the Boston Red Sox traded pitcher Jon Lester and outfielder Jonny Gomes to the Oakland Athletics for Yoenis Cespedes in a deal that very few saw coming. On the surface, both teams seem to have come out of the trade equally successful — the struggling Red Sox add outfield power to regroup for 2015, and the A’s add another impressive arm to their rotation for a deep postseason run. However, perhaps the Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington just pulled off the greatest baseball heist of our time.
For years, Lester has been adamant about his desire to stay and see his career play out in Boston. Beloved by the fans, Lester’s tenure in Boston was an impressive one. Although the two sides were unable to agree upon a deal to bring the ace back after his deal was set to expire at the end of 2014, no love was lost between the two.
Since this morning’s trade, there have been whispers that the Red Sox purposefully chose to discuss a Lester trade with teams that seemed unable (or unwilling) to re-sign the starter following the 2014 season. The Sox reportedly chose to go this route with the intention of re-signing their homegrown starter in 2015. Some might roll their eyes at the possibility, but wouldn’t it make sense? Lester loves Boston and many would assume he would be willing to return given the right contract offer. Meanwhile, the Red Sox could face 2015 with Lester and Cespedes in the fold as they look to rebound from a disappointing 2014.
If such a scenario comes to be, Ben Cherington and the Red Sox front office would have just pulled off one of the greatest trade deadline heists in baseball history.