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Red Sox trade Lester to A's

Billy Beane may be going all-in this season. The A's have just acquired Jon Lester and Jonny Gomes from the Red Sox, in exchange for slugging outfielder Yoenis Cespedes. Lester joins a stellar A's rotation, recently bolstered by the acquisition of Jeff Samardzija, but will he be enough to bring Beane and the A's a coveted World Series title?

  • Which side got the better of the Jon Lester trade?

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  • Which trade will have a bigger impact in 2014?

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  • Which team will win the World Series?

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  • Who was a bigger acquisition for the A's?

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  • How will Yoenis Cespedes fare with the Red Sox?

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  • Which team will Jon Lester be playing for next season?

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How do the top left-handed starters in Major League Baseball stack up? That question has been answered by our experts in the latest installment of the Baseball Tonight 100 (#BBTN100), a project to rank the top players across all 30 teams. We'll reveal a new position each day and unveil the overall 1-100 rankings March 27.

Do you agree with the experts' take on lefties? Simply click on the images of the top 10 below to submit your ballot.

Rank: #BBTN100 Top Left-Handers

Madison Bumgarner

Madison Bumgarner

San Francisco Giants
BBTN Rank: 5

Gio Gonzalez

Gio Gonzalez

Washington Nationals
BBTN Rank: 8

Cole Hamels

Cole Hamels

Philadelphia Phillies
BBTN Rank: 6

Clayton Kershaw

Clayton Kershaw

Los Angeles Dodgers
BBTN Rank: 1

Cliff Lee

Cliff Lee

Philadelphia Phillies
BBTN Rank: 4

Jon Lester

Jon Lester

Boston Red Sox
BBTN Rank: 7

Francisco Liriano

Francisco Liriano

Pittsburgh Pirates
BBTN Rank: 10

David Price

David Price

Tampa Bay Rays
BBTN Rank: 2

CC Sabathia

CC Sabathia

New York Yankees
BBTN Rank: 9

Chris Sale

Chris Sale

Chicago White Sox
BBTN Rank: 3

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If there are two things Massachusetts is known for it's the Red Sox and, well, witch hunts. Jon Lester brought up the latter, thankfully not of the Salem variety, in responding to criticism that included the clubhouse actions he was reportedly a part of alongside Josh Beckett and John Lackey. Are you buying Lester's defense?


Is this a witch hunt?

Lester, Beckett and Lackey weren't good in September, but then again, neither were the Red Sox in the dugout. Are all of them being scapegoated?

SportsNation

Was it at least Sam Adams?

Lester played down reports of clubhouse beer drinking, suggesting it was just an occasional ''ninth-inning beer rally'' beverage.

SportsNation

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Cliff Lee hasn't had much difficulty polishing his Cy Young credentials against hitters in recent seasons. General managers, on the other hands, have mastered the art of keeping awards out of his hands.

Lee won the AL Cy Young in 2008 but any chance for a repeat in 2009 was derailed when the Indians traded him across leagues to the Phillies. Another offseason swap landed him back in the AL, but will a strong first half only serve to spark yet another trade? Or might Lee mount a Cy Young season from the depths of last place?

Mike W (Chicago)

Lets start this off with Cliff Lee. What are the odds he goes to Cincinnati for a playoff push and what would it take to get him?

Jerry Crasnick
Jerry Crasnick

Mike, I find the Reds to be a very interesting stealth Cliff Lee candidate. There's something special going on with that team, Walt Jocketty has a history of making deals like this, and the owner, Bob Castellini, is a very motivated guy. But Edinson Volquez's comeback clearly complicates matters. I think they'd like to give Volquez another couple of weeks before they jump in with both feet on Lee. Full transcript.

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