OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) Billy Beane considers Jon Lester a proven ace who can carry a pitching staff through the playoffs, just like he did last fall. The general manager acquired Lester to make sure Oakland gets there first.
The baseball-leading, small-budget A's won the mighty Lester sweepstakes Thursday, acquiring the left-hander and outfielder Jonny Gomes from the Boston Red Sox for slugging outfielder Yoenis Cespedes.
"Once again players like this really don't come along too often," Beane said. "When you get a guy who's a legitimate No. 1 starter in the middle of the season and we currently sit in first place, we're excited. ... There's no looking ahead. The way the playoff system is now, you want to win the division."