Dan Shaughnessy: ‘Surprised They Got Cespedes On A Rental’

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Yoenis Cespedes (Credit: Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

Yoenis Cespedes (Credit: Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

In a blockbuster trade before Thursday’s deadline, Boston sent ace Jon Lester and left-fielder Jonny Gomes to Oakland for clean-up hitter Yoenis Cespedes, who has hit 66 home runs since 2012.

“On the surface of it, I really like it,” Boston Globe columnist Dan Shaughnessy said on The John Feinstein Show. “I’m surprised they were able to get Cespedes out of Oakland on a rental. Generally you’re looking at prospects with this kind of a deal because Oakland is not going to have Jon Lester after the World Series or whenever their season ends. So they’re going for it. We’ve seen this with their trade with the Cubs last month. But for Boston, they got a player with some value.”

Cespedes, 28, hit .256 with 17 home runs, 67 RBIs and 62 runs in 101 games for Oakland this season. He’s also won the home run derby in back-to-back years

“That’s a big bonus for Boston,” Shaughnessy said. “They’ve needed a power bat in the outfield desperately. And given that this season is over for the Red Sox and given that they were never going to seriously negotiate with Jon Lester – because they don’t want to get into that kind of contract – they have gotten something significant for him that will help them next year. I think they should have signed Lester. Absent that, I think this is a pretty good move for them.”

Cespedes is signed through next year and then becomes arbitration-eligible.

Lester, meanwhile, was having a career year for Boston. He was 10-7 with a 2.52 ERA and 149 strikeouts in 143 innings. It’s possible that the Red Sox could re-sign the 30-year-old ace this offseason, but that appears unlikely.

“This is them having a philosophy and it’s pretty hard and fixed right now,” Shaughnessy said. “Part of it goes back to the Adrian Gonzalez, Carl Crawford and Josh Beckett (deals) where they gave them hundreds of millions of dollars in salary and then got the Dodgers to pick (that) up. (The Red Sox) break out in hives at the thought of those deals at this point. They’re not going there again.”

Thus, the Red Sox finished in last place in 2012, won the World Series in 2013 and seem destined to finish in last place in 2014. Boston is 48-60 entering play July 31 – 13 games back of Baltimore (60-46) in the AL East and five games back of Tampa Bay (53-55) for fourth place in the division.

“We’ve never had a worst to first to worst, which (could) happen this year,” Shaughnessy said. “But they’re going for first again next year, so how’s that?”

Shaughnessy was asked if the Red Sox should also trade John Lackey.

“I certainly wouldn’t,” Shaughnessy said. “I think you can extend him for a year or two. He’s pitched very well for them. I think you can extend him and keep him here.”

Minutes later, Lackey – 11-7 with a 3.60 ERA – was traded to St. Louis for Allen Craig and Joe Kelly.

Just a day in the trade-deadline life.

In other news, Detroit acquired David Price right before the deadline, meaning the Tigers and Athletics are on a collision course for a third consecutive postseason. In fact, that could be our ALCS: Oakland, with its small market and sandbox stadium, taking on Detroit, with is downtrodden economy.

“It really makes the playoffs kind of interesting,” Shaughnessy said. “I like to see those cities really going for it.”

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