The Boston Red Sox went into Thursday’s Major League Baseball trade deadline as sellers. Somehow, they were able to sellers and buyers.
The Sox were arguably the busiest team on baseball’s craziest day, as general manager Ben Cherington was wheeling and dealing, trading away some big pieces for players the Sox hope can contribute right away. One of those players the Red Sox got in return that has fans excited is outfielder Yoenis Cespedes.
Boston was able to land the Cuban-born player in a trade that sent ace Jon Lester to Oakland. According to Red Sox assistant general manager Mike Hazen, the idea of acquiring Cespedes is one that had perked-up ears in the Boston front office.
“It’s just not typical that you have that option available to you,” Hazen said Friday morning on WEEI radio. “When you hear that name initially, immediately everyone was intrigued. The other deals that we had been talking about were prospect-related deals, so that really strikes a bold contrast to what you’re doing, then you start plugging in your major league roster because you’re constantly looking at the ’14 and ’15 roster as well.”
Many feel the Red Sox did a good job in finding a way to acquire major-league talent from teams in contention, teams usually unwilling to part with roster players prior to a stretch drive.
“I think we had had that in the back our mind the entire time,” Hazen said. “We wanted to make sure we put as much talent on the major league roster as possible. I will say, you can’t go into those situations with that plan. You can have the plan, that’s great, but it’s not typical that you would get offered or find teams that have the ability to give players off their major league club when they’re making a playoff push.
“So that’s not something you can necessarily go in there and say, ‘We really want to do it.’ Every trade takes two to tango. We can go to a team and say, ‘Hey, we’ve got Jon Lester, we’ve got John Lackey, guys that we believe will really help you down the stretch.’ On the flip side, they can say, ‘Great, but we can’t take guys off our major league club.'”
That was especially the case with the Cardinals, as the Red Sox were able to pluck two major leaguers off their roster in exchange for Lackey.
“In a lot of cases you end up talking to most clubs with prospect packages because they’re major league club’s in deep. I think what we ended up finding was that there were a lot of clubs that had depth on their major league roster. The Cardinals, everyone talks about the talent they have. Obviously the A’s have the best offense in baseball, so they were able to sacrifice something off of those major league clubs in order to get something in their rotation.”
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