The Boston Red Sox traded starting pitchers Jon Lester and John Lackey, outfielder Jonny Gomes, shortstop Stephen Drew and relief pitcher Andrew Miller in four separate deals on Thursday, unloading veterans of last year’s World Series championship team before the 4 p.m. trade deadline.

Boston traded Lester and Gomes to the Oakland Athletics for outfielder Yoenis Cespedes and a “competitive balance” draft pick next year.

The Red Sox then traded Lackey to the St. Louis Cardinals for pitcher Joe Kelly and outfielder Allen Craig. Later in the day, they traded Drew to the New York Yankees for third baseman Kelly Johnson and sent Miller to Baltimore for minor league pitcher Eduardo Rodriguez.

This season with Oakland, Cespedes, 28, was batting .256 with 17 home runs this season. His OPS (on-base percentage plus slugging average) is .767.

Cespedes, who defected from Cuba, was signed by the A’s in 2012 to a four-year deal worth $36 million. He has one year remaining on the deal, for $10.5 million, and will be a free agent after the 2015 season.

He is a solid outfielder with a strong arm that matches Red Sox outfielder Jackie Bradley Jr.

The Red Sox have been seeking a right-handed power-hitting outfielder and Cespedes seems to fill that need, at least for a year.

Both Lester, 30, and Gomes, 33, are free agents after this season. The Red Sox and Lester began negotiations for an extension beyond this year, but the talks never really got serious.

Lester was 10-7 with a 2.52 ERA. Gomes was batting .234, but .302 against left-handed pitching.

Boston got more outfield help in obtaining Allen Craig, who is slumping this season (.237, seven home runs), after batting over .300 the past two seasons with combined 35 home runs for St. Louis. Craig, 30, is under contract through 2017, with an option in 2018.

Kelly, 26, is in his third major league season. He started Game 3 in the World Series last year against the Red Sox, going 5.1 innings, allowing two hits and two runs. He has been hampered by a hamstring injury this year and is 2-2 with a 4.37 ERA.

To complete the deal with the Cardinals, the Red Sox reportedly sent minor league pitcher Corey Littrell, who has been in Class A Salem.

Drew hit .253 for Boston last year but did not accept a $14.1 million qualifying offer. He re-signed with Boston on May 22 and has hit .176 with four homers and 11 RBIs in 39 games. He will likely play second base for New York.

Johnson is hitting .219 with six homers and 22 RBIs in 77 games, and is on the disabled list.

Boston also sent cash to New York.

Miller provides the Orioles another solid left-hander in the bullpen. Miller, 29, has a 2.34 ERA in 50 appearances with the last-place Red Sox. His contract expires after this season, so there’s a chance he won’t be with the Orioles beyond this year.

Rodriguez, 21, is 3-7 with a 4.79 ERA in 16 starts with Double-A Bowie this year.

Augusta and Waterville news

Get news and events from your towns in your inbox every Friday.


  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.