LINKEDINCOMMENTMORE

Jon Lester and Jonny Gomes have been traded to the Oakland Athletics in exchange for outfielder Yoenis Cespedes and a competitive balance pick in 2015, according to two baseball officials with direct knowledge of the trade.

The officials spoke to USA TODAY Sports on condition of anonymity because the trade has not yet been announced.

Lester, the left-hander who keyed World Series titles in 2007 and 2013, will head to the team with baseball's best record as the Athletics continue a stunning re-tooling of an already solid club.

Lester's acquisition comes less than a month after the A's acquired Chicago Cubs ace Jeff Samardzija and Jason Hammel for two of their top prospects.

Hammel, however, has been ineffective with the A's, going 0-4 with a 9.53 ERA.

In acquiring Lester, the A's present a dominant starting quartet that by far gives them the best chance to overcome a frustrating history of first-round playoff exits. Each of the past two seasons, the A's have been eliminated in decisive Game 5s of the American League Division Series by the Detroit Tigers.

This year - assuming they maintain control of the AL West - the A's will trot out Sonny Gray, Scott Kazmir, Samardzija and Lester at a potential playoff foe.

Read or Share this story: http://www.nwcn.com/story/sports/mlb/mariners/2014/08/18/14026108/