The AL West-leading Oakland Athletics (66-41) made another huge move Thursday as the trade deadline neared, further separating them from the Mariners. The A’s acquired three-time All-Star LHP Jon Lester, OF Jonny Gomes and cash from the Boston Red for OF Yoenis Cespedes. Boston will also receive Oakland’s competitive balance pick in the 2015 draft. Lester, a Tacoma native, will hit free agency after the season, so the trade means Oakland is going all-in now.
The acquisition of Lester, 15-8 with a 3.75 ERA and 177 strikeouts in 213.1 innings, and Gomes is the second major deal executed by Oakland GM Billy Beane. The Athletics added Jeff Samardzija and Jason Hammel from the Cubs a few weeks ago and will go into the postseason with Lester, Samardzija, Sonny Gray and Scott Kazmir in their rotation.
Cespedes, 28, is hitting .256 with 17 home runs in 101 games. He is a career .262/.318/.470 (119 OPS+) hitter with 66 homers since signing with the Athletics in 2012.
The Mariners (55-52) have yet to make a deadline move and have until 1 p.m. Thursday to do so.
The Mariners, who wind up a three-game road trip at Cleveland Thursday night, are coming off a 2-0 loss Wednesday. Cleveland starter Corey Kluber threw just 85 pitches in his nine-inning shutout performance, the fewest needed to beat Seattle since June 29, 2012, when Aaron Cook of the Red Sox recorded a 5-0 win over the Mariners with just 81 pitches.