Will the Cespedes-Lester Trade Affect A’s Postseason?


Aug 2, 2014; Oakland, CA, USA; Oakland Athletics starting pitcher

Jon Lester

(31) comes off the field after warming up before the game against the Kansas City Royals at O.co Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Bob Stanton-USA TODAY Sports

It has been nearly two months since the Oakland Athletics’ lovable All-Star outfielder and two-time Home Run Derby champion, Yoenis Cespedes, was traded to the Red Sox in exchange for Jon Lester, Jonny Gomes and some cash. Is it coincidental that in the same two months the A’s went from being number one in baseball for four months, to being in danger of becoming the first team to miss the playoffs after holding the best record at the all star break? This collapse had many people pointing fingers and they all seemed to be pointing to the same place, Billy Beane and the Céspedes-Lester Trade. Now that the A’s have clinched playoff berth, should fans be lacking faith coming into the wild card round against Kansas City due to not having Céspedes?

Of course it is next to impossible to compare an outfielder to a pitcher, and I don’t think that’s what Beane did when making this trade. He has watched his team make postseason six times and only advance past the first round once. Beane knew the Athletics were in need of another starter and Lester offered great pitching skills along with something that is very valuable: post season success. The decision to add him to the roster was a no brainer and Billy stands behind his decision with no regrets. Lester’s 3-0 record in the World Series should help put Oakland fans heart’s at ease, and if that doesn’t do it for ya, will a post season ERA of 2.11 help? Sure the A’s have been struggling with offense and their runs have slowed down dramatically. But do we believe that adding Céspedes back into the lineup could have really single handedly saved the team from this steep of a fall? Placing all the blame of this collapse on a single deal is illogical.

With hearing the question “Where would the A’s be right now if they had kept Céspedes?” asked constantly, I have come to wonder why no one asks “Where would the A’s be right now if they didn’t acquire Lester?”  It comes down to how you look at it. Instead of focusing on entering this wild card round with out Céspedes, focus on entering this game with the help of Lester.  I’m excited to see what he brings to our Post Season and how well he does Tuesday on the mound in the single game elimination against KC.