Jeff Passan and Tim Brown

  • Red Sox ace Jon Lester traded to Oakland A's in blockbuster

    Jeff Passan and Tim Brown at Yahoo Sports 11 mths ago

    The Oakland A’s on Thursday morning acquired Boston Red Sox starter Jon Lester, the playoff-tough left-hander who can be a free agent at season’s end, in an all-in effort to win the AL West and make a deep October run.

    The addition of Lester comes 26 days after the A’s acquired ace right-hander Jeff Samardzija from the Chicago Cubs, and so they have remade the top of their rotation. They already had Sonny Gray and Scott Kazmir.

    The agreed-upon trade will send Lester and outfielder Jonny Gomes to the A’s. In return, the Red Sox, embarking on their second roster makeover in two years, receive outfielder Yoenis Cespedes and, critically, a competitive balance pick in the 2015 draft. Cespedes, 28, can become a free agent after the 2015 season. In his third major league season, Cespedes is batting .256 with 17 home runs and 67 RBI.

    Gomes, 33, played in Oakland in 2012. He'll mix in with the platoon-heavy A's in the outfield.

    The Red Sox acquired the second pick in what is known as "competitive balance round B," which will come after the second round of the draft.

    Boston also is expected to attempt to move pitcher Andrew Miller by the deadline.

  • Sources: Pirates a dark-horse candidate to acquire Red Sox ace Jon Lester

    Jeff Passan and Tim Brown at Yahoo Sports 11 mths ago

    The Pittsburgh Pirates are a fast-emerging dark horse in the Jon Lester sweepstakes, joining the Los Angeles Dodgers in pursuit of the Boston ace as the Red Sox decide whether to trade him before Thursday's deadline, major league sources told Yahoo Sports.

    Pittsburgh, two games back of the Milwaukee Brewers in the National League Central and a half-game behind three teams competing for the two wild-card spots, boasts one of the best farm systems in the game and could use it to fortify its run at a second straight postseason spot. And one name at the center of the talks, according to sources, is switch-hitting prospect Josh Bell.

    The Red Sox continue to ask for an exceedingly high return considering Lester will be a free agent this offseason, sources said, targeting multiple high-end prospects in exchange for what amounts to a rental. The price is prohibitive, particularly with other aces, such as Tampa Bay’s David Price and Philadelphia’s Cole Hamels, nominally available, not to mention the strong perception that Boston must deal Lester now because it has no intentions of re-signing him in the offseason.

    More MLB coverage from Yahoo Sports:

  • Sources: MLB Players Association would expel Alex Rodriguez – if it could

    Jeff Passan and Tim Brown at Yahoo Sports 1 yr ago

    While Major League Baseball Players Association player representatives overwhelmingly agreed that Alex Rodriguez should be kicked out of the union during a 90-minute conference call the day he sued the MLBPA, union leaders said they could not legally pursue his expulsion, three sources on the call told Yahoo Sports.

    On a conference call of perhaps 40 players and board members held Jan. 13 from 4:30 p.m. to 6 p.m., outraged union members repeatedly requested that Rodriguez be expelled, sources said. Following a roll call of players present on the line, according to one participant and another familiar with the call, the first player to speak asked bluntly: Can we kick him out of the union?

    Advised by union leadership that was not possible, more players nonetheless expressed the same opinion. Not a single member defended Rodriguez, one player said, in a forum where there are frequent disagreements.

    [Also: Jhonny Peralta — ‘I know I can play baseball naturally’]

    Rodriguez did not immediately return an email seeking comment.

  • Sources: MLB plans to suspend A-Rod through 2014 season

    Jeff Passan and Tim Brown at Yahoo Sports 1 yr ago

    Major League Baseball plans on suspending New York Yankees star Alex Rodriguez through the 2014 season after his hardline stance against accepting significant discipline for his role in the Biogenesis scandal led to a stalemate Saturday evening, two sources told Yahoo! Sports.

    Baseball is expected to levy suspensions Monday using both the collective-bargaining agreement, which would banish Rodriguez immediately and keep him off the field before his planned return from injury that day, as well as the joint drug agreement, sources said.

    The 214-game penalty, first reported by the New York Daily News, would be the longest non-lifetime suspension in baseball history.

    Rodriguez and his attorney, David Cornwell, have said they would appeal a suspension. While the commissioner's office awaited expected plea agreements from most of the players revealed in its investigation of Biogenesis, a wellness clinic that distributed performance-enhancing drugs to more than a dozen players, Rodriguez has been resistant to striking any deal.

    Less than two weeks ago, Braun accepted a 65-game suspension after Anthony Bosch, the owner of Biogenesis, detailed his performance-enhancing drug use to MLB.