The Boston Red Sox made very clear at the trade deadline that they intend to focus on 2015 and beyond.
The last-place Red Sox may debut newcomers Yoenis Cespedes and Allen Craig on Friday night at home, where they’ll face one former teammate in New York Yankees starter Chris Capuano and possibly another in shortstop Stephen Drew.
Boston (48-60) won four straight after the All-Star break but has lost eight of nine, a slump that likely signals the end of its hopes of contending.
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Those woes prompted a flurry of Red Sox deals before Thursday’s deadline, with two major ones occurring that day with Oakland and St. Louis that brought Cespedes, Craig and pitcher Joe Kelly to the club. The Red Sox sent ace Jon Lester to the Athletics and right-hander John Lackey to the Cardinals to cap a week in which they also traded away two other starting pitchers in Jake Peavy and Felix Doubront.
Cespedes is batting .256 with 17 homers and 67 RBIs, 26 doubles and three triples. Craig is hitting .237 with seven homers and 44 RBIs.
Boston also sent Drew, batting .176, to New York on Thursday for fellow infielder Kelly Johnson in the teams’ first trade since 1997.
It’s uncertain if Drew will play Friday, but the Yankees (55-52) will have a New England native on the mound who began 2014 with Boston.
Capuano (1-1, 4.30 ERA), designated for assignment by the Red Sox on June 25, was signed to a minor-league deal by Colorado on July 4 before being dealt to New York 20 days later.
The left-hander turned in a strong debut for the Yankees, giving up two runs over six innings of a 6-4 loss to Toronto on Saturday. Capuano, who didn’t get the decision, has never started at Fenway Park.
"It was a tough last month (with Boston), but really it was a tough last week. I grew up in New England, I grew up in Springfield, Mass., where it’s pretty much a 50-50 Yankees-Red Sox split," Capuano told MLB’s official website. "To have the opportunity to play for both teams in one year I think is unique and pretty special, and more than anything, I’m just excited to be back in the big leagues and starting."
The Yankees made another deal Thursday, acquiring third baseman Martin Prado from Arizona.
New York has dropped four of five after Wednesday’s 3-2 defeat in Texas capped a stretch of 13 straight days with a game. The Yankees’ last 11 contests have been decided by one or two runs.
"Every game that we lost was by two runs or one run and all but one of those (last 13) games was a one- or two-run game for either side," manager Joe Girardi said. "So if we get the consistency in our offense, we’re going to win a lot more."
Brett Gardner went 8 for 14 with four solo homers in the three-game series in Arlington while Carlos Beltran was 6 for 13. Brian McCann figures to return to the lineup after he was rested Wednesday.
Boston will recall Anthony Ranaudo from Triple-A Pawtucket to start in his major league debut. The right-hander went 12-4 with a 2.24 ERA in 21 starts with Pawtucket.
Rookie starters are 5-5 with a 3.91 ERA against the Yankees this year.