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A's deal bolsters rotation

By The Associated Press

This article was published August 1, 2014 at 2:45 a.m.

OAKLAND, Calif. -- The Oakland Athletics won the Jon Lester sweepstakes, acquiring the left-hander and outfielder Jonny Gomes from the Boston Red Sox for slugging outfielder Yoenis Cespedes before Thursday's trade deadline.

Oakland, with the best record in baseball at 66-41, also received cash from Boston in another blockbuster deal by A's General Manager Billy Beane. The Red Sox also will receive a draft pick in a deal confirmed by both teams.

"I believe that the deliberations leading to the two trades we did today were deeply analyzed, thoughtful and value-added," A's owner Lew Wolff said in an email. "The best trades are when all parties have potential benefits, and what Billy accomplished is an example of such a win-win. The calls I have received from other owners were very complimentary."

Lester, 30, has a 10-7 record and career-best 2.52 ERA in 21 starts. He has allowed 7 earned runs in his past 8 games with 54 strikeouts and 9 walks, but the Red Sox put him on the trading block because he can become a free agent after the season.

He was sought by many teams, including Pittsburgh and the Los Angeles Dodgers. The three-time All-Star originally was scheduled to start Wednesday night for the slumping Red Sox, who instead scratched Lester ahead of the trade deadline.

After winning their third World Series in 10 seasons last year, with Lester getting two of the four victories with a 0.59 ERA against St. Louis, the power-poor Red Sox are last in the American League East with a 48-60 record. They had Thursday off after losing for the eighth time in nine games to drop 13 games behind first-place Baltimore.

Gomes, a fan favorite who grew up in nearby Petaluma, provides Oakland with a veteran presence that proved invaluable during the A's run to the American League West title in 2012. The A's reached the playoffs for the first time in six years.

Gomes is hitting .234 with 6 home runs and 32 RBI in 78 games this season.

Cespedes, 28, won the past two Home Run Derby titles at the All-Star game. The Cuban left fielder is in the third season of a $36 million, four-year contract he signed before spring training 2012.

Cespedes is batting .256 with 17 home runs and 67 RBI, 26 doubles and 3 triples.

CARDINALS-RED SOX

St. Louis gets Lackey

BOSTON -- The Boston Red Sox traded right-hander John Lackey to the St. Louis Cardinals for right-hander Joe Kelly and outfielder Allen Craig before Thursday's deadline.

The deal leaves the Red Sox without their top two starters. Both teams announced the move a few hours after the struggling Red Sox said they had sent their No. 1 starter, left-hander Jon Lester, to the Oakland Athletics with outfielder Jonny Gomes and cash for slugging outfielder Yoenis Cespedes and a 2015 draft pick.

The Red Sox also sent cash and minor league left-hander Cory Littrell to St. Louis.

Lackey is 11-7 with a 3.60 ERA in the fourth year of a five-year, $82.5 million deal.

Kelly is 2-2 with a 4.37 ERA in 7 starts. He has made four starts since being activated from the disabled list July 11. Craig is batting .237 with 7 home runs and 44 RBI.

Lackey has had two strong seasons since being sidelined for all of 2012 after undergoing Tommy John surgery.

He was 10-13 with a 3.52 ERA last year when he pitched his second World Series-clinching game, allowing one run in 6 2/3 innings in a 6-1 victory over the Cardinals in Game 6. In 2002, he won Game 7 for the Anaheim Angels over the San Francisco Giants, a 4-1 victory in which he gave up one run in five innings.

ASTROS-MARLINS

Miami acquires Cosart

MIAMI -- The Miami Marlins were shoppers instead of sellers for a change at the trade deadline, and they added a starting pitcher to help make a playoff push.

Miami acquired right-hander Jarred Cosart from the Houston Astros in a six-player deal Thursday. The Marlins also acquired infielder-outfielder Kiki Hernandez and outfielder Austin Wates for third baseman Colin Moran, outfielder Jake Marisnick, right-hander Francis Martes and a 2015 compensatory draft pick.

The Marlins, often out of the race before August, were in the market to upgrade their young, thin rotation after a recent six-game winning streak put them back in the playoff picture.

Cosart, 24, is 9-7 with a 4.41 ERA in 20 starts this year but has struggled lately, allowing 21 runs in 21 1/3 innings over 4 starts in July.

The Astros made the deal Thursday while 22 1/2 games out of first place in the American League West.

Hernandez batted .284 in 24 games for Houston this year and hit .337 in 67 games for Class AAA Oklahoma City. Wates, a third-round draft pick in 2010, batted .299 in 74 games for Oklahoma City.

Cosart and Hernandez will join the Marlins today. Wates will be assigned to Class AAA New Orleans.

Moran was the sixth overall pick in last year's draft after playing at the University of North Carolina. He batted .294 with 5 home runs in 89 games this year at Class A Jupiter.

Marisnick batted .277 with 10 home runs in 89 games this year for Class AAA New Orleans. He has a career average of .178 in 58 major-league games.

YANKEES-RED SOX

Boston swaps for Johnson

BOSTON -- The Boston Red Sox have obtained third baseman Kelly Johnson from the New York Yankees for shortstop Stephen Drew.

Drew hit .253 for the World Series champion Red Sox 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 4 home runs and 11 RBI in 39 games.

He will likely play second base for New York.

Johnson is hitting .219 with 6 home runs and 22 RBI in 77 games and is on the disabled list.

Boston also sent cash to New York.

NATIONALS-INDIANS

Cabrera to Washington

WASHINGTON -- The Washington Nationals have acquired two-time All-Star infielder Asdrubal Cabrera and cash from the Cleveland Indians for shortstop Zach Walters.

Cabrera, 28, has spent most of his career at shortstop but has played 162 games at second base -- his likely position in Washington -- most recently in 2009.

Third baseman Ryan Zimmerman is out with a strained right hamstring, and regular second baseman Anthony Rendon has shifted over to third.

Cabrera is in the last year of a three-year contract, and with top prospect Francisco Lindor at Class AAA Columbus, Cleveland had the flexibility to make the move.

Often injured, Cabrera is a career .270 hitter with 82 home runs and a .331 on-base percentage in 8 seasons. He is batting .246 with 33 extra-base hits this season.

Walters, 24, has hit .234 with 3 home runs and 6 RBI in 40 games for the Nationals over the past 2 seasons.

PADRES-MARINERS

Denorfia joins Seattle

CLEVELAND -- The Seattle Mariners have acquired veteran outfielder Chris Denorfia from the San Diego Padres for a pair of minor leaugers.

Seattle announced the deal about 90 minutes before baseball's non-waiver trade deadline Thursday. The Mariners sent outfielder Abraham Almonte, their opening day starter in center field, and right-hander Stephen Kohlscheen to the Padres. Almonte made the club out of spring training but lasted only 27 games before being optioned to the minors.

Denorfia, 34, was hitting .242 with 1 home run, 10 doubles and 16 RBI in 89 games for the Padres. He's a career .275 hitter and last season hit .279 in 144 games for San Diego.

D'BACKS-BREWERS

Milwaukee picks up Parra

MILWAUKEE -- The Milwaukee Brewers have acquired outfielder Gerardo Parra from the Arizona Diamondbacks for two minor leaguers.

The Brewers added a left-handed bat and two-time Gold Glove winner Thursday ahead of the non-waiver trade deadline. The National League Central leaders are sending outfielder Mitch Haniger and left-hander Anthony Banda to Arizona.

Parra was hitting .259, about 25 points lower than his career average, with 6 home runs and 30 RBI. The Brewers could use him in a platoon with right-handed batter Khris Davis, who is hitting just .232 against right-handers.

Sports on 08/01/2014

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