At last year’s July 31 trade deadline, the A’s traded slugging outfielder Yoenis Cespedes for ace left-hander Jon Lester, indicating they were all in on winning in 2014. This season, their trade of Scott Kazmir for prospects appears to send the opposite message. Many still cite the Cespedes-Lester trade as a turning point for the A’s, who’ve struggled since. Here’s how the team has fared offensively in 152 games since last July 31 (entering Friday), compared to its 152 games before the trade:
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GM Billy Beane after the Cespedes trade: “It’s a zero-sum game, and in Jon Lester you’re dealing with someone who is one of the best at his position in the game and has been for a long time. We couldn’t pass up the opportunity.”
Beane after trading Kazmir on Thursday: “I think we had to be realistic where we were as a club. … When you make a trade with a guy like Scott at this time of year, there are some concessions you’re making, and understanding that the future is probably more important than the present.”