When Oakland Athletics general manager Billy Beane traded popular Cuban slugger Yoenis Cespedes to the Boston Red Sox on July 31, 2014, it sent shockwaves around the league. Yes, the club received Jon Lester in return, but A's players were caught off-guard by the deal, as was pretty much everyone else (especially initially).
In the months since the deal, Cespedes has moved from the Red Sox to the Detroit Tigers, where he is currently playing well on a disappointing Tigers club that might be interested in moving him.
Given that context, Mark Purdy of the San Jose Mercury News recently floated the idea of a reunion between Cespedes and the A's. Purdy may have made this suggestion prior to Oakland dealing away veteran Scott Kazmir on Thursday, but it would still make sense within the 'give the fans something to feel good about' angle that Purdy suggests in his column.
To wit: during his time in Oakland, Cespedes hit .262/.318/.470 with 66 home runs and 229 RBIs and was a strong performer in the A's pair of ALDS losses in 2012 and 2013.
While trading for someone such as Cespedes would generally not be part of a 'rebuilding plan' suggested by the purge of Kazmir (and likely trades of Ben Zobrist and Tyler Clippard), Beane is notorious for being unpredictable.
And even though Cespedes has indicated he'd be interested in re-signing with the Tigers in the offseason even if he's traded before the July 31 deadline, a brief return engagement would definitely inject a bit of life into an A's fan base eager for something to cheer about given the club's frustrating year so far. After all, Cespedes left as a fan favorite and is still revered by many A's supporters.
With the prospect of Cespedes being a two-month rental, it might keep the A's from burning any future assets for the novelty of a reunion, especially if they're not trying to contend this season...but again, Beane thrives on shock and awe.