The Boston Red Sox and the Oakland A’s have completed a trade that would send Cuban outfielder Yoenis Céspedes, who won his second consecutive Home Run Derby at this year’s All-Star Game, to Boston in exchange for ace starter Jon Lester and corner outfielder Jonny Gomes.
At 66-41, the A’s have the best record in baseball, and acquiring Lester—a durable 30-year-old lefty who is 10-7 with a 2.52 ERA so far this season—will help solidify the team’s playoff push.
At 48-60, the Red Sox are in last place in the American League East, 13 games behind first-place Baltimore.
Lester can become a free agent after the season, and the A’s are generally not a team that re-signs big stars, so the pitcher’s time in the Bay Area is likely to be short.
In his third season, the 28-year-old Céspedes is hitting .256 with 17 home runs and 67 runs batted in. On top of his production at the plate, he is considered a top-flight defensive leftfielder with an outstanding throwing arm.
The right-handed slugger is under contract for the 2015 season for a relative bargain price of $10.5 million, after which he will become eligible for arbitration. In six games at Fenway Park, Céspedes has batted .250 without any homers.