The Oakland Athletics have made yet another huge deadline move to prove that they are “all in” for 2014 as they have acquired Jon Lester from the Boston Red Sox in exchange for outfielder Yoenis Cespedes.
a’s, all over lester, appears to have deal for him. #mysteryteam
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeymanCBS) July 31, 2014
Despite acquiring Jeff Samardzija and Jason Hammel from the Chicago Cubs right before the All Star Break, general manager Billy Beane went out of his way to make yet another savvy move. Adding Lester and his 2.52 ERA gives Oakland even more firepower to go along with their rotation ERA of 3.32, fourth best in all of baseball. Not only do the A’s boast arguably the best rotation in baseball now, but statistically they already have the best offense in baseball as well — their 535 runs scored are the best in all of baseball.
With Lester and Samardzija anchoring this loaded Oakland rotation, the Athletics continue to put themselves at the top of the conversation as the team to beat in the American League. Lester’s skill as well as veteran presence will do wonders for manager Bob Melvin‘s team down the stretch.
The deal is a bold one — more bold than most Billy Beane deadline moves. However, even if the A’s choose not to re-sign Lester in the offseason, their compensated return (if he doesn’t accept their qualifying offseason offer) in form of draft picks will allow Oakland to reload in the way they know best — drafting and developing prospects. Giving up Cespedes makes the deal at least a little questionable for Beane and the Athletics, but the possibility of adding Lester to their stud rotation was an opportunity many would be hard-pressed to pass up.
2014 has already been an exciting year in Oakland, and now Athletic fans have even more reason to be excited as the A’s make a push to the postseason with arguably their most loaded team since 1990.