Yoenis Cespedes for Jon Lester
This was a huge surprise as the Oakland Athletics traded for the best pitcher on the market and Boston filled a gaping hole in their outfield. But how does it add up in terms of value?
Oakland, who already has a strong rotation, now has one of top five staffs in the league. A frontline of Lester, Sonny Gray, Jeff Samardzija and Scott Kazmir is formidable and should help them immensely in the postseason.
However, Lester is a free agent at season’s end and is likely to wind up being a two-month rental.
Cespedes burst onto the scene in 2012, but his production has dropped off fairly sharply since his debut. Since 2013, he’s posted OBPs of .294 and .303.
He’ll be 29 in October and has an out clause in his contract after 2015. Moving to a ballpark like Fenway could cure his offensive ills.
Could the Dodgers Have Matched? Maybe.
The closest thing the Dodgers have to Cespedes is Matt Kemp (not Yasiel Puig). Kemp has actually outhit Cespedes over the past two seasons, thanks to .044 points in OBP. However, brutal defense in center field gives Yoenis a considerable advantage in terms of overall value.
And, don’t forget, Kemp still has over $100 million left on his contract. Unless the Dodgers were willing to pay a significant portion of that, it’s doubtful the Red Sox would have considered it.
It looks like the Red Sox are building for 2015, so Cespedes makes much more sense as a short-term solution for their outfield. Taking on a guy like Kemp, who’s signed through 2019, didn’t fit into their plans.
Next Page: Another Pitcher Missed