Two Big Trades Highlight MLB Deadline

Lester
Lester
Jon Lester brings talent and championship experience to the Oakland A's.

The Major League Baseball trade deadline has come and gone and in some years, what is left in the wake is nothing more than a few small waves and debris. This particular trade deadline has left a tidal wave and the debris left behind is the rest of the baseball as far as a few of the teams involved are concerned.

The first trigger pulled yesterday was by Oakland who started an arms’ race by acquiring Jon Lester from Boston. Already with a very good starting rotation, the A’s got even better with Lester. Also included in the deal was Jonny Gomes who goes with Lester to Oakland and on his way to Boston is Yeonis Cespedes.

It’s expected that Gomes will platoon with Sam Fuld in an effort to replace Cespedes’ offensive production which was good, but not great. The A’s offense might take a slight step back, but they’ve been consistently good all year so it shouldn’t hurt too badly. The knock on Cespedes was his on-base percentage which was lacking significantly and that area will be improved by Gomes.

Lester is 10-7 with a very good ERA of 2.52 and a WHIP of 1.12. He also brings leadership to a young team and championship experience as well so this is a huge win for the Athletics and a nice pick-up for the Red Sox as well.

Price
The Tigers add a third Cy Young winner to the rotation by trading for David Price.

Once the A’s made their move, the Detroit Tigers countered by swinging a three-team deal to land Tamp Bay Rays’ ace David Price. It has to be a hard, somewhat sickening day for the few, real Rays’ fans out there who felt like the team was going to keep Price in light of their recent winning streak. It wasn’t to be and Price now becomes the third Cy Young Award winner in the Tigers’ rotation joining Justin Verlander and Max Scherzer.

The Rays receive left-hander Drew Smyly and minor-league shortstop Willy Adames who was considered one of the Tigers’ top three prospects. Smyly was 6-9 with an ERA of 3.93 and a WHIP of 1.35. He’s been basically all or nothing this year for the Tigers. He seems to pitch really well or is the complete opposite.

Also involved in the trade were the Seattle Mariners who get Tigers’ centerfielder Austin Jackson who was pulled in the middle of the game with Chicago yesterday as the trade was unwrapping. Seattle then sent shortstop Nick Franklin to Tampa Bay and quite frankly his stats aren’t even worth mentioning here.

Jackson was a fan-favorite in Detroit who had been the centerfielder throughout Detroit’s recent run of division titles and playoff appearances. He is currently hitting .273. Jackson has always been a defensive stalwart for Detroit covering tons of ground in Comerica Park and it appears the Tigers will platoon that position.

Rajai Davis who is already on the roster will share some time in center with Triple A call-up Ezequiel Carrera. Davis has played over 400 games at center and Carerra is a speed guy who has over 40 stolen bases at Toledo this season.

Most will want to pencil in Detroit and Oakland into the AL Championship Series right now and I understand that, but the Tigers still have a significant bullpen and closer problem that I still think will be addressed in August.

For Oakland, everything seems to be in place. If the offense maintains it’s consistency they should be able to hold of the Angels in the West.

Let’s remember this day when we get to October. That way we can decide whether these trades were were ultimately worth it.

 

 

MLB Trade Deadline Deals Move World Series Odds

The July 31 trade deadline has come and gone. Teams battling for a spot in the postseason and to win the World Series made trades to better their current rosters before 4:00 p.m. ET on Thursday.

A team can never have too much pitching. That is why the Oakland A’s have gone out and picked up as many of the top quality arms that are available on the market as they hope to win the American League pennant and battle for a World Series title.

On Thursday, prior to the trade deadline Oakland traded Yoenis Cespedes their power hitter to the Boston Red Sox for veteran southpaw Jon Lester.

Lester was one of the two top pitchers still available on the trade deadline.

Before the trade, the A’s on sportsbooks like Bovada and betonline, were already a co-favorite to win the World Series with odds of 9 to 2.

However, Lester adds one more dimension to the A’s chances. Oakland’s starting rotation before Lester joined was 3.32, which was tops in the American League. Lester this season has the lowest ERA of his career at 2.57.

Oakland following the trade for Lester saw their World Series odds shortened on topbet and sportsbook.com from 9 to 2 to 7 to 2.

Some insiders however question the move made by the A’s. Cespedes was their No. 4 hitter in the lineup and loved by everyone in the A’s clubhouse. A shakeup like this for the league’s current top team might end up as a negative over the short run.

Oakland general manager Billy Beane might have been tempted to make the trade after seeing one of the two pitchers in another deal he made struggle.

On July 5, Beane traded for Jeff Samardjiza and teammate Jason Hammel. Samardjiza has lived up to expectation, as Oakland is 4-1 with him on the mound since the trade. However, Hammel has been pummeled in each of his four starts. He is 0-4 with an ERA of 9.54 since joining the A’s.

Oakland has the best offense in the majors averaging 5 runs per game, but the question is how they will fare without Cespedes’ big bat in the fourth spot in the batting order.

He had 17 home runs and 67 RBIs along with 102 hits to lead the team. The A’s picked up Jonny Gomes in the same deal but he does not have the skill at the plate or on the field as Cespedes does.

The Detroit Tigers made a late traded prior to the trade deadline acquiring David Price the talented left-hander for Alvin Jackson and other players in a three-team deal.

CURRENT ODDS FOR 2014 WORLD SERIES TITLE

OAKLAND ATHLETICS 7 to 2

LOS ANGELES DODGERS 4 to 1

DETROIT TIGERS 11 to 2

LOS ANGELES ANGELS 8 to 1

MILWAUKEE BREWERS 6 to 1