Beane Acquires Lester + Gomes For Cespedes: Then Acquires Fuld For Millone

Jon Lester, 30, is in the last year of his contract, which will make him around $4 MIL for the last 2 months of the 2014 season.  While there is no way he signs with Oakland past this campaign, this is a calculated move to land a playoff assassin that can front a franchise a #1 starter for a playoff series - or as the pitcher in a Play in Wild Card game should the Angels run the A's down for the AL West.  Much like Samardzija, the Athletics brass knows these guys could never be acquired via Free Agency, and have the wherewithal to know that inking longterm aces to deals past the age of 30 is just not in the cards for the franchise.  The A's were put in the position to rent them because of Beane's nice deals to build the organization's depth.

Jon Lester, 30, is in the last year of his contract, which will make him around $4 MIL for the last 2 months of the 2014 season. While there is no way he signs with Oakland past this campaign, this is a calculated move to land a playoff assassin that can front a franchise a #1 starter for a playoff series – or as the pitcher in a Play in Wild Card game should the Angels run the A’s down for the AL West. Much like Samardzija, the Athletics brass knows these guys could never be acquired via Free Agency, and have the wherewithal to know that inking longterm aces to deals past the age of 30 is just not in the cards for the franchise. The A’s were put in the position to rent them because of Beane’s nice deals to build the organization’s depth. Lester features a 2.11 ERA in 76.2 IP worth of work in the Post season lifetime.  Lester is 10 – 7, with a 2.52 ERA in 143.2 IP this season in 21 Game Starts.

By Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Analyst/Website Owner):

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Billy Beane has been adamant about his team winning the World Series in 2014, and he fired yet another salvo on the July 31st deadline.

The A’s GM acquired Jon Lester and Jonny Gomes for the popular Cuban OF Yoenis Cespedes.

Lets have the finances out of the way 1st.

Jon Lester, 30,  is in the last year of his contract, and will be a Free Agent after this year. 

There is no shot at the man signing with the Athletics after this year. however the A’s will receive a compensatory pick for giving him a qualifying offer following 2014.

The LHP wll make approximately $4 MIL the rest of the season.

Yoenis Cespedes, 28,  is signed through the 2015 at $10.5 MIL per year the next 2 seasons, and will become a Free Agent after next year. 

As per the article 20B section of the CBA, he negotiated that he would be free and clear once his original 4 YRs/$36 MIL deal with the A’s was completed – prior to the 2012 campaign.

The 2013 and 2014 HR Derby winner will make just south of $3.3 MIL for the rest of this year.

Jonny Gomes 33, will make about $1.5 MIL for the duration of the 2014 year, and will become a Free Agent this winter.

There is no doubt that he breakout A's club coincided with the Free Agent signing of the 28 year old Cespedes. While he has shown flashes of super stardom, the OF was only signed through 2015 - and would need to be moved next year - as to not lose the asset.  Cespedes will help Boston for the next 14 months, by hitting cleanup potentially, give the Beantowners a power threat to protect David Ortiz, and they may net themselves Jon Lester back in the offseason anyway.  After posting a .861 OPS during his rookie campaign Cespedes has hit for OPS's of .737 and .767 over the last few years.  He is a great force at the plate, but the A's could sacrifice some of their vaunted offense to strengthen their Starting Staff.

There is no doubt that he breakout A’s club coincided with the Free Agent signing of the 28 year old Cespedes. While he has shown flashes of super stardom, the OF was only signed through 2015 – and would need to be moved next year – as to not lose the asset. Cespedes will help Boston for the next 14 months, by hitting cleanup potentially, give the Beantowners a power threat to protect David Ortiz, and they may net themselves Jon Lester back in the offseason anyway. After posting a .861 OPS during his rookie campaign Cespedes has hit for OPS’s of .737 and .767 over the last few years. He is a great force at the plate, but the A’s could sacrifice some of their vaunted offense to strengthen their Starting Staff.  Cespedes could even win over the town of Boston and sign an extension past 2015.  This is a win-win deal for both clubs.

This trade works on so many levels.

Red Sox End

The Red Sox acquire a cleanup hitter to protect Ortiz in the lineup, and a guy who can mash the hell out of the ball.  Cespedes could hit 30+ HRs and add 100+ RBI quite easily with Boston next year.

If Lester signs back with the Red Sox past this year for the future, they have essentially added a potent bat to a 2015 Boston squad,

Cespedes also helps the team immediately, which is never a bad thing.

The Red Sox have struggled for offensive production out of their Outfield this year, with injuries to Shane Victorino, inconsistent play from Jonny Gomes, and struggles from players such as: Grady Sizemore, Jackie Bradley JR and Daniel Nava (early).

One guy who is not struggling is rookie Brock Holt, and he has hit exceptionally well in the bigs this season.

Lester for a 4th hitter in the Majors for one more year, plus divesting yourself of about $2.5 MIL for the remainder of this season in salary.  You can add that savings into the hopper to sign Lester back in Free Agency.

Also, with not having to spend a ton of cash on a much needed OF bat for 2015, you may save even more cash for the club to sign Lester next campaign.

Gomes was key part of the 2012 Oakland A's AL West title, with 18 HRs in just 99 Games Played for the AL Bay area franchise, before he won a World Series with the Red Sox in 2013.  The 33 Year old veteran still mashed LHP quite well, and could find a platoon situation going with Josh Reddick.

Gomes was key part of the 2012 Oakland A’s AL West title, with 18 HRs in just 99 Games Played for the AL Bay area franchise, before he won a World Series with the Red Sox in 2013. The 33 Year old veteran still mashed LHP quite well, and could find a platoon situation going with Josh Reddick.  The A’s could also use the man at DH in lieu of Jaso, who also struggles against LHP.  Gomes will be a Free Agent after the 2014 season as well.

A’s End.

Lets make no bones about it, this deal was all about arming themselves for the playoffs.  With the conditional pick and the compensation pick likely evening out, this was about receiving the bonafide #1 for post season.

The Athletics road to a World Series may find them through the Detroit Tigers, and they have just brought on a playoff assassin – with a 2.11 ERA in 76.2 IP worth of work in October.

Lester has been on 2 World Series staffs, and will not be a victim of experience.

As good as Jeff Samardzija has been, he has only ever appeared in 1 inning in his postseason career.

Another thing on this accord, is that the A’s are still fighting it out with the Angels for 1st place in the AL West.  With just a 2.5 Games lead, and s big series coming down the pike versus the Halo’s at the end of August, the division is still in question.

Oakland may win 95 games and be the 1st Wild Card, forcing a play in game for the Wild Card. A contest that may see Felix Hernandez or James Shields be the opposite pitcher, or a vaunted offense like the Toronto Blue Jays.

Lester is 15 – 9 lifetime versus Toronto with a respectable ERA of 3.82.  Not bad when you consider all the tilts are hosted at SkyDome or Fenway Park.

Lester is also 15 – 4 versus the Baltimore Orioles, and a 2.78 ERA career versus the Orioles.

Jonny Gomes has played with the A’s before, and should fit right into the atmosphere as a OF/DH off of the bench.

The A’s still have Coco Crisp, Josh Reddick and Brandon Moss available for OF if necessary.  Gomes could be the DH or 4th OF.

The 1B position could be used for either Stephen Vogt, who has hit for a .911 OPS in 151 AB, or you can see Nate Freiman see more reps at the defensive position too.

Against LHP, Gomes could be used as the DH.  He has a .831 OPS with 19 RBI in just 116 AB.

John Jaso handles LHP really bad, but has an .856 OPS versus RHP.  Look for these two to be in a defined platoon.

Not even an hour after this deal went down. Beane traded Tommy Millone for OF utility man Sam Fuld. No doubt the Moneyball GM had this transaction in the can already

Billy Burns recent promotion could also be a factor.  He started in CF last night, and has stolen 51 bags in 91 Games for Midland (AA affiliate).  Bob Melvin may give him a chance to play while Craig Gentry recovers from his broken hand.

Burns could definitely be used nicely when the rosters expand to 40 players in September.

The Athletics are one of the deeper power teams in the game of MLB right now, with Moss and Donaldson both having 23 HRs apiece.

The combination of Jaso, Vogt and Norris has accounted for 22 HRs and 101 RBI in 638 AB, with all of them having OBP’s north of .358 and OPS’s north of .824.

Josh Reddick also has crushed RHP in 2014, with a .843 OPS.  His play in the last week or so has seen him put up a .978 OPS in 31 AB.

The staff now looks like this of :  Jon Lester, Jeff Samardzija , Sonny Gray, Scott Kazmir and Jason Hammel/Jesse Chavez.

Chavez could be moved back to the Bullpen as his Innings have mounted up higher than he has ever.

The salary ramifications actually bode well for the A’s, as they have cleared up $9 MIL off of the books for the 2015 campaign.

Beane has figured out a way to have a #1 and #2 starter this season without breaking the bank with multi year big contracts.

By the way. the pitching staff looks good for 2015 as well with Samardzija. Kazmir and Gray topping the staff, with a combination potentially of Chavez/Pomeranz to back end it, or the returning starters of A.J. Griffin and/or Jarrod Parker coming back from TJ Surgery.

Yes it was a big price tag in dealing Cespedes away, but the slugger would have been leaving Oakland following the 2015 season anyway.

Perhaps with some health next year, the team could dole out a deal with one of their Starters for a slugger, or even this winter.  Who knows, Beane may have another ‘Ace of Spades’ up his sleeve today – and rattle off another impressive move.

Billy Beane has shown an urgency that is unique in the MLB.  The A's GM realizes the time is now, and has armed his squad with an exceptional starting rotation to head into the playoffs with.  Whether it is Detroit, Baltimore, Seattle, Los Angeles, Toronto or New York, I like the A's chances more than ever, to represent the AL in the Fall Classic come October.

Billy Beane has shown an urgency that is unique in the MLB. The A’s GM realizes the time is now, and has armed his squad with an exceptional starting rotation to head into the playoffs with. Whether it is Detroit, Baltimore, Seattle, Los Angeles, Toronto or New York, I like the A’s chances more than ever, to represent the AL in the Fall Classic come October.  The Moneyball GM has find a way to acquire to front end starters midway through this year, only for a commitment of what may be $26 MIL for one playoff run with both Lester and Samardzija, and 2 kicks at the can for Samardzija.  Both will not be retained when they hit Free Agency, as it is not in Beane’s way to pay for Starters past age 30.  All you have to do is look at how Hudson, Mulder and Zito were handled.

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About chuckbooth3023

I played competitive baseball until 18 years old and had offers to play NCAA Division 1 University Baseball at Liberty University. Post-concussion symptoms from previous football and baseball head injuries forced me to retire by age 19. After two nearly made World Record Attempts in 2008, I set a New World Record by visiting all 30 MLB Parks (from 1st to last pitch) in only 24 Calendar Days in the summer 0f 2009. In April of 2012, I established yet another new GWR by visiting all 30 Parks in only 23 Calendar Days! You can see the full schedule at the page of the www.mlbreports.com/gwr-tracker

Posted on July 31, 2014, in MLB Player Profiles, MLB Teams: Articles and Analysis, The Rest: Everything Baseball and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

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