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Big deals! Price, Lester, Lackey and more stars traded to contenders in deadline day flurry

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David Price, Jon Lester and John Lackey were among the big names changing teams in a flurry of deals on baseball's trade deadline day Thursday.

With all but a few teams still in genuine contention for the playoffs in what is a remarkably even season, many made upgrades to their roster.

World Series champion Boston, mired in last place in its division, was the most busy. The Red Sox sent Lester and outfielder Jonny Gomes to Oakland in exchange for slugger Yoenis Cespedes, traded Lackey to St. Louis, dealt shortstop Stephen Drew to the New York Yankees and moved pitcher Andrew Miller to Baltimore.

Miami, often sellers as deadline day approaches, became buyers when they acquired pitcher Jarred Cosart from Houston in a six-player trade.

Teams can still make trades through Aug. 31 to have players eligible for the post-season, but it becomes tricky. Now a player must first clear waivers, meaning every club in the majors has a chance to claim him before he can be traded.

A look at the deals, and what they meant:

SEE YA, RED SOX

A year after winning their third crown in a decade, Boston bailed out. The Red Sox picked Oakland as the landing spot for the coveted Lester, then swapped Lackey for St. Louis pitcher Joe Kelly and outfielder Allen Craig.

"It speaks to where we are as a team," Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington said. "There's nothing sort of celebratory about this. These moves are made because, collectively as an organization, we haven't performed well enough, in this year anyway."

STRAIGHT A'S

Looking for its first World Series title since 1989, Oakland kept dealing. After getting pitchers Jeff Samardzija and Jason Hammel from the Chicago Cubs in July, the team with the best record in the majors added Lester and outfielders Gomes and Sam Fuld.

PRICE IS RIGHT

A lot of teams wanted Price, who now joins an intimidating rotation for the Tigers alongside Max Scherzer and Justin Verlander. Austin Jackson went from Detroit to Seattle while pitcher Drew Smyly and minor league infielder Willy Adames joined Tampa Bay in the three-team swap.

"The question that we asked ourselves is: What gives us the best chance of winning the world championship this year?" General manager Dave Dombrowski said. "We thought adding him to our rotation at this point would give us the best chance to do that."

CABRERA CRIES FOR CLEVELAND

Asdrubal Cabrera was moved to tears as he talked about being traded from Cleveland to Washington for infielder Zach Walters. The trade came a day after the Indians sent pitcher Justin Masterson to St. Louis.

"This was the team that gave me the opportunity to play," Cabrera said. "It's hard. It was like I grew up here."

"That's the business," he said. "It surprised me a little bit, but there is nothing I could do. I knew this was going to be possible. Today when I got here, I didn't even know it was happening."

MORE TO COME?

Chase Headley, Jake Peavy, Huston Street, Joakim Soria and others were dealt well before the trade deadline. And if history is any guide, there will be at least a couple more trades before September. Philadelphia pitcher Cole Hamels drew plenty of interest leading up to Thursday, and could be in play.

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