July 31st is over, at least in the only way that should really matter to Red Sox fans. The deals are done, the players gone, others coming in. And for the Red Sox more than any other team, that means a very different roster.
The Red Sox are likely not a better team now than they were yesterday. Let's just go ahead and get that out of the way first. Joe Kelly looks like a decent back-end starter, and Yoenis Cespedes could be all sorts of fun in Fenway Park, but Allen Craig isn't going to get back to being his 2013 self overnight, and the Red Sox have lost their two best starters and one of their best relievers in the blink of an eye.
But the trade deadline is about more than immediate returns, and Jon Lester was not going to be here next year. At least not on this contract. Given John Lackey's rumored request for a trade, he might well not have been either. Ditto Andrew Miller. Cespedes, Kelly, and Craig will, so long as the Red Sox want them to be. Eduardo Rodriguez, Heath Hembree, and Edwin Escobar could be here for years and years to come.
I don't think I've ever seen a trade season quite so polarizing as this one, at least in the comments section and on Twitter, so I'm almost afraid to ask, but taken as a whole, how do you think the Red Sox did? Did Ben Cherington and co. make the best of a bad situation? Did they squander a rare opportunity to sell premium free-agents to be? Are you too confused by what just happened to make heads or tails of it? Did we really just make a trade, however small, with the New York Yankees?
Consider the following trades, and get back to me with a grade:
- Jon Lester and Jonny Gomes for Yoenis Cespedes and a collective bargaining pick
- John Lackey for Joe Kelly and Allen Craig
- Jake Peavy for Edwin Escobar and Heath Hembree
- Andrew Miller for Eduardo Rodriguez
- Stephen Drew for Who really cares basically James Loney in 2012 but maybe not even that.
- Felix Doubront for An open roster spot and fewer headaches.