The Oakland Athletics have solidified themselves as the favorites to win the World Series after acquiring starting pitcher Jon Lester in a trade with the Boston Red Sox. The Athletics will reportedly send Yoenis Cespedes to Boston for Lester and Jonny Gomes. The Red Sox will also send cash to the Athletics and will receive a 2015 draft pick.
Like numerous other contenders in the American League and National League, the Athletics have been linked to Lester for quite some time. Of course, it was rumored that he would land with an NL team, such as the Los Angeles Dodgers or St. Louis Cardinals.
Clearly, the best team in baseball dealing for Lester changes the landscape completely. Teams in the AL that thought they had a chance no longer do. Oakland was already considered the favorites to represent the AL in the World Series due to their outstanding pitching and ability to consistently put up runs. The addition of Lester solidifies that they are indeed the best.
The left-hander will join a rotation that has Jeff Samardzija, Scott Kazmir, Sonny Gray and Jason Hammel. If someone can make the argument that Oakland will not have the best rotation in the majors, I would like to hear it. Even the Dodgers cannot touch what the Athletics’ pitching staff will look like for the remainder of the season.
At this point, it will be Oakland’s season to lose. They have all the necessary pieces in place to make a serious run at a title. As long as the team keeps their mind clear and eyes open, they should have no problem crushing the competition down the stretch. The fact that no AL team can match up with what the Athletics can field on any given night proves that there is nothing that can stop them from achieving greatness.