Jul 30, 2014; Boston, MA, USA; Boston Red Sox pitcher Jon Lester (31) takes a sip of water during batting practice prior to a game against the Toronto Blue Jays at Fenway Park. Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

Red Sox Trade Deadline: Grades & Thoughts

With the trade deadline now officially behind us, it’s time to evaluate what Ben Cherington has done with this Red Sox roster and the club’s outlook going forward.

No doubt collectively that the haul the Sox brought in will help this team compete in 2015, but let’s dissect each trade individually and see how Cherington fared.

Boston sends LHP Jon Lester and OF Jonny Gomes to Oakland for OF Yoenis Cespedes

This is the deal that everyone is talking about. The trade that shows how Billy Beane and the Athletics are really going for it all this season as they don’t generally sign players to lucrative contracts like the one that Lester will sign this offseason. As for Boston, they have Cespedes under control for the rest of this year and next, and will likely look to sign the Cuban outfielder for a three- or four-year extension before he hits the market. Cespedes can find himself playing in right or left field and his arm strength will fit well on nights when he plays in the spacious right side of the outfield. The Red Sox had to move Lester due to his contract issues, and to acquire a Major Leaguer with the star-quality and on-field potential as Cespedes means they are serious about putting together a competing club in 2015.

Grade: B+

Boston sends RHP John Lackey to St. Louis for RHP Joe Kelly and INF/OF Allen Craig

My favorite Boston trade since the Adrian Gonzalez-blockbuster from just a couple of years ago. Lackey is nearing the down-slope of his career and wasn’t going to offer the Sox anything this year or next of great value. In return, Boston gets a capable swing-man in Kelly, who can be part of the rotation, but will more likely settle into a bullpen role if he returns after this year. They also acquired Craig, who is not far removed from being one of the best hitters in the National League. A foot injury has slowed Craig this year, and the hope is that next season he will be ready to contribute at a fair price of $5.5 million. The middle of the order for next season looks much better now with a group of Dustin Pedroia, David Ortiz, Cespedes, and Craig.

Grade: A-

Boston sends LHP Andrew Miller to Baltimore for LHP Eduardo Rodriguez

Miller has been a viable commodity for the Sox in a year where normally, they would never consider moving an arm like his from the bullpen. However, the Orioles may have paid a steep price for Miller by sending one of their top prospects to a division rival. Entering the 2013 season, Rodriguez was the club’s number three prospect according to MLB.com, and currently is only 21 years old. Prospects are always from a guarantee but Boston has positioned themselves well with another strong arm in the farm, giving up a guy who probably wasn’t going to make a big impact for the club next season.

Grade: B

Boston sends INF Stephen Drew and cash to New York (AL) for INF Kelly Johnson

This trade is only significant because it’s the first time the two fierce-rivals have completed a deal since Mike Stanley was sent to the Yankees in 1997. This deal is a blip on the radar screen and will only make an impact of Drew is platooned with the shortstop in Yankee Stadium. Who may that be….?

Grade: Meh

Tags: Boston Red Sox Jon Lester MLB Trade Deadline

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