Jon Lester was traded from the Boston Red Sox (along with Jonny Gomes) to the Oakland Athletics early Thursday morning for Yoenis Cespedes, starting “Deadline Day” off with a blockbuster of a bang. While the deal doesn’t impact the Indians directly since they were one of 28 non-participants in the transaction, it does impact them indirectly in the club’s run to the Wild Card.The A’s have a schedule the remainder of the way that includes:
- Six games against the Seattle Mariners
- Ten games against the Los Angeles Angels
- Three games against the Tampa Bay Rays
- Seven games against the Kansas City Royals
- Four games against the Chicago White Sox
So, why is that important?
That would be everyone around them in the Wild Card standings. The A’s now have 30 of their last 55 games against teams that the Indians are battling and chasing.
With the acquisition of Jon Lester, Jeff Samardzija, and Jason Hammel in recent trades, along with existing options Sonny Gray, Scott Kazmir, Jesse Chavez, and Tommy Milone, the A’s could make additional deals to continue to strengthen their roster to finally win Billy Beane a title.
Not only are the Indians the beneficiary of a strong Oakland team playing teams that they are chasing, but it would be interesting to see whether the Tribe could be in on Milone, who may have just been sent to Minnesota for Sam Fuld, in a possible deal for Asdrubal Cabrera today. If not Milone, someone else in the A’s system, maybe a Matt Olsen or Renato Nunez for future power would be an option.
The non-waiver trade deadline is today at 4 PM EST. This is only the beginning, and it was a huge, bold statement on talent value and the state of a sellers market, in which, teams can still acquire talent to compete today while also looking towards the future.