BOSTON (WPRI) – As the trade deadline swiftly approaches, the Red Sox are making some drastic changes to their roster.
Thursday morning, it was announced Boston would send ace Jon Lester and Jonny Gomes to the Oakland Athletics for power-hitting outfielder Yoenis Cespedes and a 2015 draft pick.
In 101 games, Cespedes is hitting .256 with 102 RBIs and 17 home runs, not to mention he recently won the Home Run Derby for the second year in a row. A Cuban defector, the 28-year-old made his debut in 2012, signing a four-year, $36 million deal with Oakland, meaning he’s under contract through next year.
On the defensive side, Cespedes also brings a monstrous arm to Boston’s outfield.
Lester so far this year is 10-7 through 21 starts with a 2.52 ERA and 52 runs allowed. He was scratched from his scheduled start against Toronto Wednesday night in anticipation of a last-minute trade.
After leading the Sox to a World Series championship in 2013, he’ll look to continue his postseason success this year with the first-place Athletics.
Gomes is batting .234, while knocking in 32 RBIs and 6 homers in 209 plate appearances. He previously played for Oakland in 2012, before signing a two-year deal with Boston.
Just three hours later, reports indicated that the team dealt John Lackey to the St. Louis Cardinals for OF/1B Allen Craig and SP Joe Kelly.
Lackey currently stands at 11-7, with a 3.60 ERA and 116 strikeouts on the year. Along with the recent trades of Felix Doubront and Jake Peavy, Clay Buchholz stands as the only starter left from the team’s Opening Day rotation.
As an outfielder/first baseman, 30-year-old Craig is another welcome addition to Boston’s defensive lineup, which seems to change with every game. He’s no slouch at the plate though, batting .237 with 87 hits and 44 RBIs.
As for Kelly, 26, he’s 2-2 in seven starts with a 4.37 ERA in 2014.
It didn’t end there though. Later in the day it was reported Andrew Miller was dealt by the Red Sox to the Baltimore Orioles for AA pitching prospect Eduardo Rodriguez. The team then sent shortstop Stephen Drew to the New York Yankees for 2B/3B Kelly Johnson.
Johnson, 32, brings a little bit more of a bat to the plate than Drew, though he’s currently injured and isn’t expected to be healthy for a couple of weeks.