- Eric Karabell, ESPN.com Senior Writer
Thursday's trade deadline got started with the proverbial bang when the Oakland Athletics acquired lefty Jon Lester from the Boston Red Sox, but parted with slugger Yoenis Cespedes. What? Say that again? It's true, and quite shocking. From a fantasy perspective, Lester owners had been bracing themselves for change, but it's not as if his value was going to be altered too much, regardless of destination. The only risk for Lester owners was in AL-only formats if he ended up in the NL. He did not. Oakland is surely a nice place to pitch, but Lester, already the No. 13 starting pitcher on the ESPN Fantasy Player Rater, probably can't get much better than this. He's already terrific.
The shocking part is that the team with the best record in baseball moved on from starting left fielder Cespedes, a two-time Home Run Derby champion who had spent the majority of his at-bats this season hitting in the Nos. 3 and 5 lineup spots.