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2014 MLB Trade Deadline Deals: Price, Cespedes , Lester

Anyone who loves sports knows that the day of the trade deadline can be one of the most interesting of the year. In some cases, we expect blockbuster deals to go down, only to fizzle out at the last moment. Other years we may not expect much, only to be shocked with huge changes that impact the entire league. As the MLB trade deadline came this year, we certainly saw some big trades that bolstered the lineups of World Series contenders. Here is a look at a few of the huge trades that went down, as well as how they’ll impact the remainder of the season and playoffs.

The Tampa Bay Rays are 8-2 in their last 10 and many thought they’d be making a late season push for the playoffs. However, before their recent streak, there were plenty of talks of the Rays looking to trade their ace, David Price. There is no doubt that Price was the most touted deadline deal this year, as the Rays took up the offer from the Detroit Tigers, in a three team deal that also included the Seattle Mariners. In the deal, the Tigers added Price to their rotation, the Mariners acquired Austin Jackson, and the Rays got a potential prospect Drew Smyly.

With the acquisition of Price, the Tigers now have three former Cy Young winners as he teams up with Max Scherzer and Justin Verlander. They also have the last three AL MVPS in Verlander and two-time winner Miguel Carbera.

As for the other big piece in this deal, Drew Smyly achieved career highs in a variety of statistical categories in 2013. The former Second-Team All-SEC selection pitched 76 innings and had 81 strikeouts, and he also had four perfect innings in relief. The Rays will certainly be hoping that Smyly is able to keep up his production moving forward.

The Rays are still in the playoff hunt as they currently sit at 30/1 odds. However, the real winners in this deal are the Tigers, who moved to league-best 7/2 chances to win this year’s World Series.

Along with the Tigers, the Oakland A’s also have 7/2 odds to win it all this year. That is likely the reason that they aimed to bolster their pitching staff with a huge trade with the Boston Red Sox. The Sox, who are down to 100/1 odds to repeat as World Series champs, sent Jon Lester and Jonny Gomes to Oakland in exchange for Yoenis Cespedes.

Cespedes provided huge firepower for the A’s on offense, but it appears as if Oakland is more concerned with bolstering their pitching staff. On offense, they rank first in the league with 535 runs, as well as sixth with a .329 ONP, and eighth with a .405 slugging percentage. Their pitching is also top-notch, ranking second in WHIP and BAA. They also have the fourth best ERA at 3.19, and sixth most amount of quality starts at 65.

Lester and Gomes have been staples for the Red Sox over the last few years and they could only be with Oakland throughout the remainder of this year. However, the A’s made it apparent that they are making a run at the World Series this season and they’ll do whatever it takes to do so. Be sure to keep up with sportspicks.com handicappers throughout the rest of the season and deep into the playoffs for the best odds and insight into games.

A few other trades that may have big impacts include:

Red Sox trade John Lackey and Corey LIttrell to St. Louis for Allen Craig and Joe Kelly.

Atlanta Braves trade Victor Caratini to the Chicago Cubs for James Russell and Emilio Bonifacio.

The New York Yankees acquire Steven Drew from Boston in exchange for Kelly Johnson.