Saturday, February 28, 2015
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

A’s get Lester, Gomes from Red Sox for Cespedes

Red Sox Athletics Trade Baseball

FILE - From left are 2014 file photos showing Oakland Athletics' Yoenis Cespedes, and Boston Red Sox players Jonny Gomes and Jon Lester. A person with knowledge of the trade says the Athletics have won the Jon Lester sweepstakes, acquiring the left-hander along with outfielder Jonny Gomes from the Red Sox for slugging outfielder Yoenis Cespedes before Thursday's, July 31, 2014, trade deadline. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because neither club announced the deal. (AP Photo/File)

By
From page B7 | August 01, 2014 |

OAKLAND — Billy Beane considers Jon Lester a proven ace who can carry a pitching staff through the playoffs, just like he did last fall. The general manager acquired Lester to make sure Oakland gets there first.

The baseball-leading, small-budget A’s won the mighty Lester sweepstakes Thursday, acquiring the left-hander and outfielder Jonny Gomes from the Boston Red Sox for slugging outfielder Yoenis Cespedes.

“Once again players like this really don’t come along too often,” Beane said. “When you get a guy who’s a legitimate No. 1 starter in the middle of the season and we currently sit in first place, we’re excited. … There’s no looking ahead. The way the playoff system is now, you want to win the division.”

Oakland, with the best record in baseball at 66-41, also received cash from Boston in another blockbuster deal by Beane. The Red Sox also receive a draft pick.

“I believe that the deliberations leading to the two trades we did today were deeply analyzed, thoughtful and value-added,” A’s owner Lew Wolff said in an email. “The best trades are when all parties have potential benefits, and what Billy accomplished is an example of such a win-win. The calls I have received from other owners were very complimentary.”

Lester is 10-7 with a career-best 2.52 ERA in 21 starts in another outstanding season. He has allowed seven earned runs in his last eight games with 54 strikeouts and nine walks. But the Red Sox put him on the trading block because he can become a free agent after the season — and Beane isn’t ready to commit to re-signing the lefty.

Lester, 30, was sought by many teams, including Pittsburgh and the Los Angeles Dodgers. The three-time All-Star originally was scheduled to start Wednesday night for the slumping Red Sox, who instead scratched Lester ahead of Thursday’s non-waiver trade deadline.

After winning their third World Series in 10 seasons last year, with Lester getting two of the four wins with a 0.59 ERA against St. Louis, the Red Sox are last in the AL East with a 48-60 record. They had Thursday off after losing for the eighth time in nine games to drop 13 games behind first-place Baltimore.

While the Red Sox look to next season, the A’s are determined to take the next step after losing in each of the past two Octobers in five-game division series to Detroit. Oakland was off Thursday before returning home to begin a weekend series with Kansas City on Friday night.

Lester is scheduled to start Saturday’s game against the Royals.

“Well I am awake,” Friday starter Sonny Gray posted on Twitter when the trade news broke early Thursday. Oakland later sent lefty Tommy Milone to the Twins for outfielder Sam Fuld, who will help fill a void in center field with Coco Crisp and Craig Gentry sidelined.

Beane believes in starting pitching depth, and the A’s sure have it. Lester joins Gray (12-3), Scott Kazmir (12-3) and recently acquired Jeff Samardzija and Jason Hammel, obtained in a July 4 trade with the Chicago Cubs.

Gomes, a fan favorite who grew up in nearby Petaluma, provides a veteran presence who was invaluable during the A’s run to the AL West title in 2012. He also was a respected clubhouse leader in Boston, which signed him as a free agent before last season. He is hitting .234 with six homers and 32 RBIs in 78 games.

For Boston, this marks another big move of a starting pitcher to the Bay Area after Jake Peavy was traded to San Francisco on Saturday for two pitching prospects. The Red Sox traded John Lackey to St. Louis later Thursday.

The 28-year-old Cespedes won the past two Home Run Derby titles at the All-Star game. The Cuban left fielder is in the third season of a $36 million, four-year contract he signed before spring training 2012. Cespedes is batting .256 with 17 homers and 67 RBIs.

“He’s a tremendous talent, we’ve had a tremendous amount of success since he’s been here,” Beane said. “It is difficult. But if you’re going to separate yourself from everybody else and try to get a player like Lester, you have to do something that’s unique.”

Speculation had centered on the Red Sox seeking prospects to add to their already deep farm system. That would have given them more young players to use in another deal for an established player, possibly a power-hitting outfielder.

They got that in Cespedes, whose 17 homers is the exact number hit this season by the nine Red Sox players who spent time in the outfield. And Gomes’ six were the most.

Lester has said leaving the Red Sox doesn’t rule out a return to the team next season. He had said he would take a hometown discount to stay in Boston, but the team’s four-year, $70 million offer in spring training fell far short of what he could get on the open market.

Lester leaves his only pro baseball organization. The Red Sox drafted him in the second round in 2002. He made his major league debut June 10, 2006, and got a no-decision in a 7-4 loss to Texas.

In his nine major league seasons, Lester is 110-63 with a 3.64 ERA. He’s also a proven postseason star with a 3-0 record in his two World Series. He pitched 5 2-3 shutout innings against the Colorado Rockies in the clinching fourth game in 2007.

“In Lester’s case, we’re also dealing with a guy who’s one of the best at his position in the game,” Beane said, “and has been for a long time. It was just too good an opportunity to pass up.”

 

The Associated Press

The Associated Press

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | No comments

The Daily Republic does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

  • Recent Articles

  • Enter your email address to subscribe and receive notifications of new posts by email.

  • .

    US / World

    Man shoots wife, himself at Northern Calif. retirement home

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A3

     
    Commuter with measles also dined at Bay Area restaurant

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A3

    Orange County case challenges legality of tiered water rates

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A4

     
    Thieves crash car through electronics store in San Francisco

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A4

     
    Some California farmers to go without federal water

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A4 | Gallery

    Congress OKs 1-week bill to keep Homeland Security open

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A5, 1 Comment | Gallery

     
    US rescinds rule requiring judges to move to Guantanamo

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

    US, Liberia start 1st formal test of ZMapp Ebola virus drug

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

     
    US appeals court: Marathon bombing trial can stay in Boston

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

     
    Woman knocked out by eggs

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A9

    Mexico official: Police capture top capo ‘La Tuta’ Gomez

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A10 | Gallery

     
    Well-educated ‘Jihadi John’ no surprise to experts

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

    Unmasking of ‘Jihadi John’ as a London lad shocks Britain

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

     
    .

    Opinion

    How GOP can resolve immigration mess

    By Ramesh Ponnuru | From Page: A8, 1 Comment

     
    Unlikely winners of Greece’s surrender on euro

    By Mark Gilbert | From Page: A8

    A remedy for veterans’ care

    By Bill Frist And Jim Marshall | From Page: A8

     
    Editorial Cartoon: Feb. 28, 2015

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

    .

    Living

    Today in History: Feb. 28, 2015

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

     
    Community Calendar: Feb. 28, 2015

    By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

    Horoscopes: Feb. 28, 2015

    By Holiday Mathis | From Page: A7

     
    Poem about heaven helps dog owners when beloved pet dies

    By Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar | From Page: A7

    Coca-Cola bottle as art? Atlanta’s High Museum takes a look

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

     
    .

    Entertainment

     
    TVGrid

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B9

    .

    Sports

    Thompson scores 25 points, Warriors rout Raptors 113-89

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

     
    Casey McGehee’s move to Giants a homecoming of sorts

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

    SCC women’s basketball out of playoffs after 74-47 loss

    By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B1

     
    Vaca advances three wrestlers into semis at Masters

    By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B1

     
    Spurs snap 4-game skid, beat short-handed Kings 107-96

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

    Travis Kvapil’s NASCAR car stolen from hotel before race

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

     
    McIlroy to miss cut at Honda Classic; Reed leads

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

    NHL fines Sharks’ Couture $5,000 for tripping from behind

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

     
    Browns agree to terms with quarterback Josh McCown

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

    Kyle Busch released from hospital following foot surgery

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

     
    Bulls expect Derrick Rose back this season from knee surgery

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

     
    Testimony: Several Hernandez texts are missing from phone

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

    Approaching ‘last call’ for NHL GMs to tweak rosters

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

     
    PGA Tour to move Match Play to Texas

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

    Notre Dame president credited for transforming school dies

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

     
    MLS Commissioner Garber: Hopeful season will start on time

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

     
    This date in sports history for Saturday, Feb. 28, 2015

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

    .

    Business

    Gas prices soar in California as supply shrinks

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A1 | Gallery

     
    5 reasons US economy is stronger than Q4 GDP suggests

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B5 | Gallery

    Tribes from around US gather to discuss legal marijuana

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B5

     
    Uber says database containing driver info was breached

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B5

    Signed contracts to buy US homes rise to 18-month high

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B5

     
    Fiat Chrysler recalls 467K SUVs for possible stalling

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B5

    US consumer sentiment slips in February on icy weather

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B5

     
    Southwest nearly done inspecting planes that were grounded

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B5

    .

    Obituaries

    Gabriel T. Traub

    By Nancy Green | From Page: A4, 1 Comment

     
    Maria Kraszewski

    By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

    .

    Comics

    Wizard of Id

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

     
    Baby Blues

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

    Frank and Ernest

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

     
    B.C.

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

    Peanuts

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

     
    Rose is Rose

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

    Zits

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

     
    Pickles

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

    Baldo

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

     
    Sally Forth

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

    Garfield

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

     
    Blondie

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

    For Better or Worse

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

     
    Get Fuzzy

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

    Beetle Bailey

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

     
    Dilbert

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

    Cryptoquote

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A7

     
    Sudoku

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A7

    Bridge

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A7

     
    Crossword

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A7

    Word Sleuth

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A7

     
    .

    Home Seller 2/28/2015

    Right at Home: Decor made of bicycle parts

    By The Associated Press | From Page: HSR2Comments are off for this post | Gallery

    Real estate transactions for Feb. 28, 2015

    By Daily Republic | From Page: HSR3

    Average US rate on 30-year mortgage rises to 3.80 percent

    By The Associated Press | From Page: HSR3