MLB Trade Deadline: A's GM Beane Lauded For Going "All In" With Lester Trade
A's GM Billy Beane on Thursday "pushed all his chips to the center of the table" by trading for P Jon Lester and LF Jonny Gomes from the Red Sox for LF Yoenis Cespedes, according to Marcus Thompson II of the OAKLAND TRIBUNE. The move is "desperate and a little crazy," but the A's "emerge on the other side of the trade deadline with a team even more suited for the postseason." If the A's "do not make the World Series, criticism will be worthy" because the '15 squad will "have some holes." Thompson: "But who's doubting whether Beane can, down the line, fill the holes this move left behind?" (OAKLAND TRIBUNE, 8/1). MLB.com's Richard Justice wrote under the header, "Fearless Beane Shows He's All-In With Lester Trade." The move came after a trade with the Cubs earlier in the month that brought over Ps Jeff Samardzija and Jason Hammel, and Beane has now "exhausted his resources in putting his team in the best position to win" (MLB.com, 7/31). In N.Y., Joel Sherman writes while most MLB front offices "operate out of fear at this time of year, Beane’s A’s stand out: Bold. Aggressive. Unafraid" (N.Y. POST, 8/1). An NL exec said, "I tip my hat to Billy Beane. He's got a lot of guts to do what he did ... You can't be scared if you're trying to win, and he's never scared" (ESPN.com, 7/31).
OAKTOBER OR BUST? SPORTS ON EARTH's Wendy Thurm writes in the wake of the Lester trade, the postseason "is not enough" for the A's. It is now "World Series or bust." The trade was a "gutsy and creative move" by Beane. It is "not every day that a first-place team trades a middle-of-the-order power threat to strengthen a rotation" (SPORTSONEARTH.com, 8/1). In Baltimore, Peter Schmuck wrote Beane has "decided that it’s now or never." It "certainly would be galling to A’s fans if the club does not go deep into the playoffs and they have to watch a retooled Red Sox club featuring both Lester and Cespedes return to the top" of the AL standings next season and beyond (BALTIMORESUN.com, 7/31). In S.F., Ann Killion writes this is "the A's moment, and Beane knows it" (S.F. CHRONICLE, 8/1). In Sacramento, Marcos Breton writes under the header, "A's GM Billy Beane Bets A's Future In Blockbuster Trade" (SACRAMENTO BEE, 8/1). In S.F., John Shea writes Beane is "looking at the present like never before, and that's not unnoticed in the clubhouse." A's P Sean Doolittle said, "It goes to show you, no matter how well the team's playing or how well we've come together as a group, our front office is continuously looking to find ways to improve the team. It's exciting they work as much as they do to get us the pieces to get the job done come postseason time" (S.F. CHRONICLE, 8/1).