What it means for the Yankees: My first reaction from the Yankees' perspective is that Lester may have just gotten one step closer to the Bronx. Lester has told me personally and anyone else who would listen that he wanted to spend his whole career with the Red Sox. But Boston has lowballed him on every offer so far. Maybe they'll up the ante in the offseason and he'll return to the Fens in 2015.
However, I think there is probably a better chance that Lester will be a Yankee next year. Lester will be 31 in January, so the Red Sox might be smart in not signing him for more than four or five years.
The Yankees, though? They have proved they have the business model to spend and spend. (Yes, I know they talked about that $189 million limit for a few years, but ultimately they didn't stick to it.)
Consider this: Going into next spring, the Yankees will have these question marks in their rotation:
1. CC Sabathia will have missed most of this year after knee surgery.
2. Masahiro Tanaka, at best, will be pitching with a rehabilitated right elbow. At worst, he will need surgery and miss the entire season.
3. Ivan Nova will not join the club until sometime during the season after Tommy John surgery.
4. Michael Pineda will have pitched very little over the past three years, making him hard to count on.
5. Hiroki Kuroda probably won't be back.
So, yeah, there could be an issue with another older ace signing with the Yanks, but what are the alternatives?
Payroll: The Red Sox get Cespedes for next year and then he is a free agent. So they have added a plus outfielder and retained payroll flexibility. Same for the A's, who aren't expected to re-sign Lester. They would have had only one more year of Cespedes after this because he will probably make more than they can afford on the free-agent market. So the A's turned him into an asset and now have $10.5 million extra to play with during the offseason.
Cano: Should the Yankees have done this with Robinson Cano last year? I reported last year that Texas and Philadelphia called, looking into a deal for him. The Yanks never really listened.
Question: As a Yankees fan, what do you think of this deal?