Wednesday, October 1, 2014

The Oakland A's choke makes their Yoenis Cespedes for Jon Lester trade look really, really bad

This is a little redundant if you read regularly, but now that the final numbers are in I wanted to revisit it one last time.  At the MLB trade deadline (July 31) the A's had baseball's best record, 66-41.  It surprised me that Oakland was willing to deal its biggest bat, Yoenis Cespedes, for Jon Lester, especially considering the A's already had the lowest starters' ERA in the American League.  I wrote "I think it could backfire big time."

Counting yesterday's Wild Card Game loss to Kansas City, Oakland went 22-34 after the trade.

Cespedes is still under contract for one more year, while Lester is about to head of town via free agency.  Here's the sum total of everything the A's got from Lester in return for their All-Star slugger: Eleven regular season starts (Oakland did win seven of them), and the worst playoff outing of his career, in which Lester uncharacteristically gave up 6 earned runs in 7.1 innings.

One play from last night's defeat perhaps sums up the disastrous final third of Oakland's season more than any other:

After blowing a 7-3 lead in the 8th inning, and a 8-7 lead already in the 12th inning, the A's we're facing the winning run on first base with one out.  The Royals had 6 steals in the game to that point, and when Christian Colon took off for second base the A's had already made the right decision to pitch out.

But somehow catcher Derek Norris (pictured with Lester) dropped the ball, Colon easily took second, and Oakland's season was over one batter later.

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