When baseball fans woke up on Thursday morning, they had no idea what kind of day the trade deadline had in store for them. Early speculation made it seem that 2014 would be a repeat of last year’s somewhat slow day. Well, that certainly wasn’t the case. By 10 AM, MLB Network Radio had revealed the news that Red Sox ace Jon Lester was headed out west to the Oakland Athletics along with teammate Jonny Gomes. In return, Billy Beane and the A’s shipped Cuban slugger Yoenis Cespedes to Beantown.
Red Sox General Manager Ben Cherington was a guest on First Pitch with Jim Memolo and Todd Hollandsworth on Friday morning and discussed how the deal unfolded.
I talked to Jon [Lester] directly about it. We knew two or three weeks ago that this was a possibility. Jon and I talked about that and I said look ‘you’re a free agent, you’re doing well, we’re going to get calls. I wouldn’t be doing my job if I didn’t take those calls and we’re just both going to have to deal with this and he understood.’
But the Red Sox weren’t done. Later in the day, Cherington added Allen Craig and Joe Kelly from St. Louis for starter John Lackey, sent Andrew Miller to the division rival Orioles and even made a deal with the Yankees that sent Stephen Drew to New York.
Moments after the deal became official, Athletics outfielder Josh Reddick joined Jim Duquette and Mike Ferrin on Power Alley to talk about his new teammates.
I wasn’t expecting it, just like the rest of this world wasn’t expecting it. It’s a huge deal for both teams and it just shows that Billy is all in for this whole thing.
After seeing Lester leave, his former teammate David Ross joined Casey Stern and Jim Bowden on Inside Pitch to talk about catching the Sox lefty.
It hurts to lose a guy of that stature, especially a guy I’ve caught all year and built a relationship with and you know, won a World Series with. He was the guy who basically carried us on the mound through the World Series last year.
As we neared the 4 PM deadline, it appeared that the Lester-Cespedes deal would be the biggest of a busy day in baseball transactions. In the end, that wasn’t the case. Rays ace David Price was traded as part of a three-team deal to the Detroit Tigers. His former teammate Chris Archer joined Jeff Joyce on MLB Roundtrip and discussed the emotions involved in a move of this caliber.
Initially you take it on a personal level, like ‘man, I’m not going to see my friend, I’m not going to see the most influential person of my Major League career on a regular basis anymore. You know, I’ve been spoiled to be around somebody who is so special.
Archer added that he trusts what the Rays have done and welcomed Drew Smyly to Tampa Bay’s rotation.
Keep it tuned to MLB Network Radio, Sirius 209 XM 89 and on the SiriusXM app, as our hosts and analysts continue to give their takes on the many transactions that took place on Thursday and chat with the game’s decision makers.