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.

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

CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman indicated the Red Sox are expected to net a major league-ready outfielder and pitcher from St. Louis.

Update, 12:58 p.m.: The Red Sox will get right-handed pitcher Joe Kelly and outfielder Allen Craig, while surrendering a minor leaguer.

More to come as details emerge.

Blog Author: 
Alex Speier
Sam Fuld

Sam Fuld

In a move that was overshadowed by the Red Sox‘ trade of Jon Lester to the Athletics, the Twins acquired left-handed starter Tommy Milone from Oakland in exchange for New Hampshire native Sam Fuld.

Milone, a 27-year-old lefty, lost his spot in the A’s rotation when the team acquired the services of Jeff Samardzija and Jason Hammel from the Cubs. Milone recently asked to be traded to a team where he would have the opportunity to start. Before the trade, Milone was in Triple-A, where he was 1-1 with a 6.43 ERA in four starts. In the majors in 2014, Milone is 6-3 with a 3.35 ERA.

In his career, Milone is 32-22 with a 3.84 ERA in parts of four seasons in the big leagues.

The 32-year-old Fuld hit .274/.370/.354 with one home run, 12 stolen bases in 43 games with the Twins this year. Fuld started the year with Oakland but was claimed off of waivers by the Twins in April. Fuld likely will be a part of an outfield platoon with Jonny Gomes for the A’s.

– Talks on David Price have intensified since Lester was dealt, according to Jon Morosi of Fox Sports.

– The Red Sox are fielding a lot of offers for lefty Andrew Miller, according to Bob Nightengale of USA Today.

– The Royals, who are looking for starting pitching, are said to be asking about Rockies lefty Jorge De La Rosa. The team also reportedly is looking at Ian Kennedy of the Padres.

 

– The Royals also are talking to the Phillies about A.J. Burnett but a trade is not close, according to Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports.

Blog Author: 
Joon Lee
Yoenis Cespedes

Yoenis Cespedes

While parting ways with ace Jon Lester and outfielder Jonny Gomes was no easy move for the Red Sox, the addition of power-hitting outfielder Yoenis Cespedes should soften the blow.

Even though the 28-year-old slugger has only played in the majors for 2 1/2 seasons after defecting from his home county of Cuba in the summer of 2011, he has already established himself as one of the most intriguing and energizing players in the American League.

“This game’€™s won and lost on pitching, we all know that. But this guy is  not going to shy away from putting some points on the board by any means. This guy’€™s a heck of an athlete and a heck of a game-changer you guys are getting back,” Gomes, who played with Cespedes in 2012, said in an appearance on Middays with MFB shortly after news of the trade broke. “The Executive of the Year, Ben Cherington, I’€™m sure did his homework on him. And I can vouch for him, this guy can hit.’€

Considered to be one of the hyped Cuban prospects of the past decade along with players such as the White Sox‘€™ Jose Abreu and the Dodgers’€™ Yasiel Puig, Cespedes signed a four-year, $36 million contract with the Athletics on Feb. 13, 2012.

The arrival of Cespedes in the United States was an event that most scouts had anticipated for years, as young outfielder was viewed as a potential five-tool player. His hype was only further generated by an impressive workout video that spread like wildfire during the 2011 offseason.

“Everyone’s under the impression that this video is what’s hyped him,” one international scouting director told Baseball America in 2011. “That all of a sudden he’s a cult hero because of his video. That is crazy. For those of us who’ve done our jobs, who’ve seen this guy for years, this guy is no video surprise. This guy’s been known forever. The perception I’m reading out there is that he’s a new video cult hero. Everyone’s been waiting for this guy to come out for years.”

Cespedes made his presence felt during his first season in Oakland, finishing second behind Mike Trout in the AL Rookie of the Year voting after posting a .292/.356/.505 line while finishing second amongst major league rookies in RBIs (82) and OPS (.861) while ranking third in home runs (23).

During his tenure in the Bay Area, Cespedes established himself as a reliable power hitter, blasting at least 23 home runs during his first two full seasons and has already recorded 17 dingers this year. He has also won the last two All-Star  Home Run Derby contests, becoming the first batter since Ken Griffey Jr. (1998-99) to accomplish the feat.

“I’m somebody who’s very conscious of the power that I have,” Cespedes said after this month’s event. “So I don’t need to put more of a swing or more of an effort in order to hit a home run. I just have to look for a good pitch and put a good swing on it, and it usually takes care of it.”

While Cespedes is know for his power, he is no slouch in the outfield, as he posses on of the strongest arms in baseball, perhaps best put on display June 11, when the outfielder threw a perfect strike from over 300 feet away from home plate to nail Angels baserunner Howie Kendrick at the plate.

“You don’t expect something like that,” A’s manager Bob Melvin said after the game. There aren’t that many guys able to throw it that far on the fly.”

Cespedes is tied for first, along with new teammate Jackie Bradley Jr., in the AL in outfield assists with 12. Boston now boasts two of the top 11 outfielders in baseball in terms of defensive runs saved with Bradley (+14) and Cespedes (+9).

Cespedes, who can opt into free agency after next season, is set to make $10.5 million in 2015.

Blog Author: 
Conor Ryan

Outfielder Jonny Gomes, who was traded from the Red Sox along with Jon Lester to the Athletics on Thursday morning for Yoenis Cespedes, joined Middays with MFB to discuss the move and his time in Boston.

Outfielder Jonny Gomes, who was traded from the Red Sox along with Jon Lester to the Athletics on Thursday morning for Yoenis Cespedes, joined Middays with MFB to discuss the move and his time in Boston. To hear the interview, go to the MFB audio on demand page.

Jonny Gomes

Jonny Gomes

Gomes returns to Oakland, where he played in 2012 before joining the Red Sox as a free agent and helping Boston win the 2013 World Series.

“I’m in a situation right now where I’m getting packaged up with the best pitcher in the game, heading over to the team with the best record in the game. So I’m a little bit excited there,” Gomes said. “At the same time, you talk about a soft spot in my heart and a soft spot with some of the relationships I’ve made in Boston. This chapter, for the time being, has come to an end.”

Added Gomes: “I definitely didn’t want to go anywhere. I just can’t fathom a baseball player saying he’d ever want to get out of Boston, to tell you the truth. I came here on a whim. I came here when this team finished in last place and I wanted to join this club when it was in last place. Rode a pretty magical wave last year. This year things haven’t gone as well. We were hoping.

“But at the same time, this is the Boston Red Sox, at the end of the day. To be able to toe into that batter’s box where some of the greats have, and just to wear that uniform and at the same time share relationships, hit in the same BP group as David Ortiz and [Mike] Napoli and Dustin Pedroia. Jim Rice and Luis Tiant walking around, all the greats from the pictures up there. That’s the stuff that I don’t take for granted, by any means.”

Gomes had high praise for the player with whom he’s leaving Boston, noting that Lester refused to be distracted by constant talk of contract negotiations.

“This guy’s as professional as it gets,” Gomes said. “This guy worries about one thing, and that’s every fifth day, going on the rubber, throwing that ball downhill. He’s such a positive guy. He doesn’t have that in his bag of tricks. He doesn’t have that in his characteristic, to throw people under the bus and to get mad, not treat it the right way. He doesn’t even have that in his bag of tricks. Since the day I got to Fort Myers, and I guess we’re leaving together, but I’ve never seen this guy be negative. He just puts all his energy, all his thoughts, all his work ethic into helping the ball club win every five days. Even in between, he’s doing what he can with the young kids.

“I never saw him pouting around the clubhouse, I never saw him come to the yard late, I never saw him leave early because the negotiations weren’t going well or whatever. You can’t control what you can’t control. He lived his life like that.”

Added Gomes: “We talked this morning. This guy wasn’t throwing pots and pans. This guy was just worried about his next start and asking about the rubber and the clay — like I’d have any idea. But it just shows where his mind is. He’s already looking to get guys out for the A’s.”


Following are more highlights from the conversation. For more Red Sox news, visit the team page at weei.com/redsox.

On his emotions upon being traded: “You have to accept that [he's a "second-tier" player who bounces around]. I’ve done my best and kind of put my thumbprint wherever I have gone, to do my best to play as hard as I can, respect the game as much as I can, to not be just kind of forgotten, the non-tender guy. It’s all there. It’s a whirlwind of emotions. Definitely not angry by any means. I’m not angry at anyone. I can honestly say that I came here, I played in Boston for a year and half, I ran out every single ground ball, I never came out of a game for a physical reason, a physical reason never stopped me from playing a game, and I never went on the DL. I think I might be the only one from 2013 spring, position player, who can say that about themselves that the durability was there. I was ready when No. 5 was called every single time. And I was treated right by the manager and the GM. So, definitely not angry.

“But we all know me being a fan of the game and the history of the game. To be able to leave this place, not ideal. But at the same time, I can go back to Game 6 in Fenway and put a smile on my face. And of course, going to Oakland, where I’m from, born and raised. I was a diehard A’s fan as a kid growing up. In 2012 I was able to put an AL West champs sticker on the wall. Now I’m taking the best pitcher in the game heading over to the best record in the game. So that’s pretty exciting.”

On the Red Sox’ struggles this season: “I don’t think it was one thing more than the other. We pitched and we didn’t hit, and we’d hit and we didn’t pitch. But I would say there’s hundreds of ways to lose in this game: You can not pitch, you can not hit, you can not play defense, the chemistry, the development, the coaching, people are ready, people are not ready, people are in the wrong spot, this position, that position. There’s so many ways to lose a Major League Baseball game.

“But in reality there’s not that many ways to win a game. We were just finding a couple of ways to lose games, different than what we did last year. But at the same time, that was a different team. Obviously you’d like to win every single year, but how about this to chew on? In 2012 [with the Athletics] I was two more games back, 14 1/2 back August 4th, and we came back and we won the division. So there’s still a possibility. I didn’t throw in the towel. One at-bat, one rout, one anything. The season’s not over.”

On parting from his close friends on the Red Sox, specifically Pedroia and Napoli: “It truly is going to be tough to part from [Napoli] and everyone’€¦ This was different than a team last year that we built. It was like a brotherhood, it really was. You never get traded away from your brother, but it truly seems like we are.”

On Cespedes, with whom Gomes played in 2012: “This game’s won and lost on pitching, we all know that. But this guy is  not going to shy away from putting some points on the board by any means. This guy’s a heck of an athlete and a heck of a game-changer you guys are getting back. The Executive of the Year, Ben Cherington, I’m sure did his homework on him. And I can vouch for him, this guy can hit.”

On his message to the fans: “I know this year hasn’t gone as we’d all like it. But please, please, everyone do not forget about that 2013 season — the worst to first, the tragedy of the Boston Marathon, everyone rallying around the city, the finish line, the duck boats, everything, celebrating at home. Might be down a little bit in the win-loss column right now, but do not let that erase any of those memories from last year that I get to wear a ring on my finger for. I’m proud to be a Red Sox for those times.”

Blog Author: 
Jerry Spar
Former Red Sox outfielder Jonny Gomes reacts to the news that he, along with Jon Lester, have been traded to the Oakland Athletics for Yoenis Cespedes