Allen Craig joined the Red Sox in a trade with the Cardinals on Thursday. (AP)

Allen Craig joined the Red Sox in a trade with the Cardinals on Thursday. (AP)

Among the two pieces coming the Red Sox way in exchange for John Lackey is Allen Craig. Craig was a key member of the 2013 St. Louis Cardinals team that the Red Sox defeated en route to their World Series championship.

While many may know Craig from the infamous obstruction play with Will Middlebrooks, the 30-year-old has had a solid career to date.

Craig was a drafted as a shortstop in the eighth round of the 2006 First Year Player Draft by the Cardinals out of University of California, Berkeley and made his major league debut in 2010 at the age of 25.

Craig had his strongest seasons in 2012 and 2013. In 2012, Craig hit .307/.354/.522 with 22 home runs, 92 RBIs, 35 doubles and a 2.3 WAR according to Baseball Reference. In 2013, Craig hit .315/.373/.457 with 13 home runs, 97 RBIs, 29 doubles and 2.6 WAR according to Baseball Reference.

The first baseman/outfielder has struggled in 2014, hitting .237/.291/.346 with seven home runs, 44 RBIs, 17 doubles and -0.6 WAR in 97 games according to Baseball Reference.

In his career, Craig has been a solid postseason performer, hitting .260/.359/.480 with five home runs, 14 RBIs and five doubles in 118 plate appearances.

Throughout his career, Craig has displayed an ability to hit with runners in scoring position, hitting .363/426/.575 in 513 plate appearances. With runners in scoring position and two outs, Craig is hitting .321/.417/.561 in 247 plate appearances.

Craig has performed similarly against left-handed and right-handed pitching in his career, hitting .290/.349/.432 against righties and .293/.327/.533 against lefties.

Throughout his career, Craig has played every position in the field with the exception of pitcher, shortstop and catcher, although he has primarily settled into first base and the outfield.

Blog Author: 
Joon Lee

According to an industry source, the Red Sox have sent left-handed reliever Andrew Miller to the Orioles in exchange for left-handed starting prospect Eduardo Rodriguez.

According to multiple industry sources, the Red Sox have traded shortstop Stephen Drew to the Yankees in exchange for

According to multiple industry sources, the Red Sox have traded shortstop Stephen Drew to the Yankees in exchange for Kelly Johnson. The deal is most stunning for the participants — the Red Sox and Yankees hadn’t consummated a trade since 1997, when the team acquired Tony Armas Jr. in exchange for Mike Stanley — with Armas, a pitcher, getting dealt that offseason to the Montreal Expos as the second piece in a deal for Pedro Martinez.

Johnson, 32, is hitting .219/.304/.373 in 77 games this year while playing first, second, third and both outfield corners. He is playing on a one-year, $3 million deal.

Drew, playing on a prorated one-year, $14.1 million deal, is hitting .176/.255/.328 in 39 games, and has seen a considerable offensive upswing in his last 14 games, hitting .255/.386/.489.

The departure of Drew will clear the way for the Sox to have Xander Bogaerts play shortstop and to have Will Middlebrooks play third base.

Blog Author: 
Alex Speier

According to an industry source, the Red Sox have sent left-handed reliever Andrew Miller to the Orioles in exchange for left-handed starting prospect Eduardo Rodriguez.

Rodriguez, 21, is viewed as perhaps the Orioles’ fourth-best pitching prospect, behind largely untouchable young starters Kevin Gausman, Dylan Bundy and Hunter Harvey. The 21-year-old out of Venezuela was rated by Baseball America as the No. 65 overall prospect in the game and the No. 3 Orioles prospect entering the year. He struggled this year in Double-A Bowie, going 3-7 with a 4.79 ERA with 7.5 strikeouts and 3.2 walks per nine innings in 82 2/3 frames, but Baseball America described the 6-foot-2 southpaw as a pitcher who sits at 92-93 mph and can touch 95 mph with a slider and changeup that give him a back-end starter projection.

He contributes to the Sox’ massive stockpiling of young starting pitching prospects in the upper minors and big leagues. The Sox now have:

Rubby De La Rosa (majors)

Allen Webster (majors)

Brandon Workman (majors)

Anthony Ranaudo (Triple-A, but likely to be called up by Friday)

Matt Barnes (Triple-A)

Steven Wright (Triple-A)

Eduardo Escobar (Triple-A)

Henry Owens (top pitching prospect, now in Double-A)

Brian Johnson (Double-A)

Eduardo Rodriguez (Double-A)

That’s a staggering volume of pitchers who project as potential big league starters. Of those, Owens (No. 40), Escobar (56), Rodriguez (65) and Webster (88) ranked in Baseball America’s pre-2014 top 100 prospects in the game. Johnson has likely pitched himself into consideration for a place on that list prior to next year.

In short, the Sox will have many options from which to add to their rotation entering next year, while also having the sort of inventory depth to make deals in the offseason.

As for Miller: The left-hander transformed his career in Boston. The No. 6 overall pick in the 2006 draft agreed to sign with the Sox as a minor league free agent after the 2010 season. He showed flashes of promise in the rotation that year, but after moving to the bullpen in 2012, he enjoyed a breakthrough, with a simplified delivery and pitch-mix (mid-90s heater, wipeout slider) turning him into one of the most dominant bullpen arms in the game. Miller had a 2.34 ERA with 14.7 strikeouts and just 2.8 walks per nine innings in 42 1/3 innings this year, showing game-changing abilities at the back end of the bullpen.

Miller discussed his career arc in this podcast on Sunday.

Blog Author: 
Alex Speier

The domino effect following the Jon Lester trade is in full force. David Price will be traded before the trade deadline, according to Joel Sherman of the New York Post. There are multiple teams that are in on Price. The Tigers are interested in the lefty’s services, according to Jon Morosi of Fox Sports.

The Dodgers are in talks with the Rays and are willing to part with top prospect Joc Pederson, according to Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports. Peter Gammons, however, reports that the Dodgers are not in on Price.

Among the other teams said to be interested in Price are the Pirates and Mariners.

– The Reds are dangling Mat Latos in trades, according to Jayson Stark of ESPN.

–The Brewers acquired Gerardo Parra for minor leaguers Mitch Haninger and Anthony Banda. John Gambadoro of KTAR first reported the trade.

– The Athletics reportedly are getting numerous calls on Jason Hammel following the Lester trade.

The Mariners acquired Chris Denorfia from the Padres, according to Jon Heyman of CBS Sports.

Blog Author: 
Joon Lee

Now that Jon Lester and John Lackey have been dealt, all eyes turn to what the Red Sox are going to do with lefty reliever Andrew Miller.

Miller is garnering a lot of interest, according to multiple reports. The Red Sox are being swarmed with offers, as Bob Nightengale of USA Today tweeted. The Orioles are interested, according to Joel Sherman of the New York Post. The Tigers have strong interest in Miller to bolster their bullpen for the playoffs, according to Bruce Levine of WSCR-AM/670 The Score.

The impending free agent has been one of the most reliable arms out of the Red Sox bullpen in 2014, posting a 2.34 ERA with 14.7 K/9 and 2.8 BB/9.

Alex Rios trade talks reportedly are starting to intensify. The Royals, Giants and Mariners are all in the mix for the Rangers outfielder’s services, according to Jon Heyman of CBS Sports.

– The Dodgers are said to be going hard after Padres reliever Joaquin Benoit.

–The Royals and Braves reportedly are in the lead to land Chris Denorfia of the Padres. The Mariners also are said to be interested in Denorfia if they cannot acquire Rios from the Rangers.

Blog Author: 
Joon Lee

According to multiple industry sources, the Red Sox have sent Jon Lester and Jonny Gomes to the Athletics in exchange for p

The Red Sox sent out a press release shortly after noontime Thursday confirming that they have traded Jon Lester and Jonny Gomes to the Athletics for Yoenis Cespedes and a draft pick (as first reported by WEEI’s Alex Speier). The Red Sox also are sending cash to Oakland.

Following is the team’s release.

The Boston Red Sox today acquired outfielder Yoenis Céspedes and a 2015 competitive balance draft pick from the Oakland Athletics in exchange for left-handed pitcher Jon Lester, outfielder Jonny Gomes, and cash considerations. Both Céspedes and Lester were All-Stars in 2014.

Executive Vice President/General Manager Ben Cherington made the announcement.

Céspedes, who will wear No. 52 for the Red Sox, is batting .256 (102-for-399) with 26 doubles, three triples, 17 home runs, 67 RBI, and 28 walks in 101 games this year, his first All-Star season.  Among American League leaders, the 28-year-old ranks tied for sixth in extra-base hits (46) and tied for ninth in RBI.  Since the All-Star break, he has hit .326 (15-for-46) with five doubles, three home runs, and 11 RBI.

In three seasons since joining the major leagues from Cuba in 2012, the right-handed batter has hit .262 (371-for-1,415) with 72 doubles, 12 triples, 66 home runs, and 229 RBI. Beginning in 2012, he places among the top 15 American Leaguers in both homers and RBI. In his three seasons with the team, Oakland went 228-131 (.635) with Céspedes in the starting lineup compared to 28-44 (.389) when he did not start.

As a major leaguer, he has hit .296 with a .366 on-base percentage, and a .494 slugging percentage with runners in scoring position. In 142 career big league games after the All-Star break, is a .293 hitter with an .859 OPS.

Among players who debuted in 1987 or later, the only others with at least 20 home runs and 80 RBI in each of their first two major league seasons are Evan Longoria, Ryan Braun, Dan Uggla, Mark Teixeira, and Albert Pujols.

Céspedes hit safely in all 10 of Oakland’€™s postseason games over the last two years, batting .350 (14-for-40) with two doubles, one triple, one home run, and six RBI.

Last season, he hit 26 home runs in 135 games. He finished second among American League Rookie of the Year voting in 2012 after batting .292 with 23 home runs, 82 RBI, and 16 stolen bases in 129 games.

Prior to his major league career, Céspedes played for Granma in Cuba’s Serie Nacional for eight seasons. Over his last six seasons in Cuba, he hit .323 with 119 doubles, 145 home runs, 464 RBI, and a .604 slugging percentage in 528 games.  In 90 games during his final Cuban season in 2010-11, he led the league in runs (89) and RBI (99), and tied for the lead in home runs (33), while batting .333. He also played for Cuba in the 2009 World Baseball Classic and hit .458 with two home runs and five RBI in six games.

Defensively, he has appeared primarily in left field in 2014 (82 games, 79 starts) and in his career (232 games, 226 starts), but also has major league experience in center field (75 games, 65 starts).  He is tied for the major league lead this season with 12 outfield assists, along with Boston’€™s Jackie Bradley Jr. His 31 career assists from the outfield rank third among all major leaguers since the start of 2012, trailing only Alex Gordon (40) and Gerrardo Parra (33).

Céspedes has won each of the last two MLB Home Run Derbies, joining Ken Griffey, Jr. as the only players to win it in back-to-back seasons (1998-99).

Lester, 30, was 10-7 with a 2.52 ERA in 21 starts for the Red Sox this year, his third career All-Star campaign (2010, 2011). In 143.0 innings pitched this season he has struck out 149 batters and issued just 32 walks.  Entering today, Lester ranks among AL leaders in ERA (5th), strikeouts (6th), wins (T-6th), and innings (9th), and has surrendered seven earned runs over his last eight starts (1.07 ERA). A two-time World Series Champion with Boston (2007, 2013), Lester helped the club to last year’€™s title with four wins in five postseason starts. Signed by the Red Sox as a second-round selection in the 2002 June Draft, the left-hander went 110-63 with a 3.64 ERA (615 ER/1,519.1 IP) in 242 career major league outings, with all but one appearance as a starter. He threw the 18th no-hitter in franchise history against the Kansas City Royals on May 19, 2008 at Fenway Park.

The 33-year-old Gomes batted .234 (49-for-209) in 78 games for Boston this season, which included a .302 (35-for-116) mark against left-handed pitching. Defensively, he appeared in 65 games in left field (45 starts), and 11 in right field (8 starts). Over his two seasons with the Red Sox, he hit .242 (126-for-521) with 24 doubles, 19 home runs, 84 RBI, and 71 runs scored in 194 games. Gomes’€™ six pinch-hit homers for Boston rank second on the club’€™s all-time list behind Hall of Famer Ted Williams (7). A Petaluma, CA native, Gomes has hit .244 (772-for-3167) with 147 doubles, 14 triples, 155 home runs and 495 RBI in 1,074 major league games between the Tampa Bay Rays (2003-08), Cincinnati Reds (2009-11), Washington Nationals (2011), Athletics (2012), and Red Sox (2013-14). He was signed by the Red Sox as a free agent on December 1, 2012.

Blog Author: 
Jerry Spar

A source confirmed to WEEI a report that John Lackey is being traded to the Cardinals.