First, it was Jon Lester and Jonny Gomes. Then, John Lackey. A few hours later, Andrew Miller. Finally, with just minutes to spare, Stephen Drew.
Within the span of about seven hours last Thursday, the Boston Red Sox traded away five players — five members of a team that won the World Series just last year.
The Boston Globe’s Peter Abraham penned an in-depth look Monday at exactly how these four deadline deals went down, complete with a few interesting tidbits about each player’s final day in Boston.
Some highlights from Abraham’s piece:
— The Red Sox discussed deals with all but three of the 29 other major league teams. They “came close” to trading Lester to the Baltimore Orioles and received “another attractive offer” for the left-hander from the Miami Marlins.
— The deal that finally sent Lester out of town — he and Gomes were shipped to Oakland — was agreed to shortly after 3 a.m. Thursday. Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington was in the clubhouse when the pitcher arrived to clean out his locker a few hours later.
“That was a thank you, an appreciation for everything he’s done, and good luck,” Cherington told Abraham.
— Lester had a birthday party for his 4-year-old son, Hudson, planned for Thursday. Despite the trade, the party went on as scheduled, with several of Lester’s now-former teammates in attendance.
— Gomes scooped up a cup full of Fenway Park dirt before departing the ballpark and left behind a signed jersey for first baseman Mike Napoli (“No. 5 to Nap: Brothers and champs for life. Jonny Gomes.”).
— Napoli was fast asleep when news broke of the Gomes and Lester-for-Yoenis Cespedes trade, finally waking up around 11 a.m. after repeated texts from second baseman Dustin Pedroia.
“Pedey finally got me and he was like, ‘You won’t believe all of this,’ ” Napoli said. “Our team was like a family after last year, and now it was being broken up.”
— It was New York Yankees general manager Brian Cashman who initiated talks on the Drew trade, with the intention of shifting the infielder from shortstop to second base.
“I threw an idea Boston’s way when they started moving and shaking as much as they were,” Cashman said. “Once they declared themselves the way they did, I floated a text Ben Cherington’s way and we worked really quickly off of that.”
— Drew and the man he was traded for, Kelly Johnson, swapped uniform numbers. Johnson took the No. 7 worn by both Drews (Stephen and J.D.) in Boston, and Drew chose No. 33 with the Yankees, who have retired all single-digit numbers with the exception of Derek Jeter’s No. 2.
— Red Sox clubhouse manager Tom McLaughlin said this year’s deadline day “might have been the busiest day I’ve had in 29 years on this job.”
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