It was a busy day for Red Sox General Manager Ben Cherrington, moving five players off the major league roster.

The St. Louis Cardinals are further bolstering their starting rotation for the stretch run. MLB Network reports the Cards have acquired right-hander John Lackey, minor league pitcher Corey Littrell and cash from the Boston Red Sox in exchange for pitcher Joe Kelly and first baseman/outfielder Allen Craig.

Lackey is 11-and-7 with a 3.60 ERA this season. The 26-year-old Kelly is 2-and-2 with a 4.37 ERA in seven starts this year. Craig is batting .237 with seven homers and 44 RBI. St. Louis acquired right-handed starter Justin Masterson from the Cleveland Indians on Wednesday.

Earlier, the Oakland A's bolstered their starting rotation for the stretch run. They acquired pitcher Jon Lester, outfielder Jonny Gomes and cash from the Boston Red Sox in exchange for slugging outfielder Yoenis Cespedes.

Boston also gets Oakland's 2015 competitive balance draft pick. Lester is 10-and-7 with a 2.52 ERA this season, but will be a free agent after this season. Gomes is batting .234 with six home runs and 32 RBI. Cespedes has a .256 average with 17 home runs and 67 RBI.

Also on Thursday, the Red Sox have obtained third baseman Kelly Johnson from the New York Yankees for shortstop Stephen Drew.

Drew hit .253 for the World Series champion Red Sox last year but did not accept a $14.1 million qualifying offer. He re-signed with Boston on May 22 and has hit .176 with four homers and 11 RBIs in 39 games.  He will likely play second base for New York.

And lefty reliever Andrew Miller is heading to an American League East rival.  The Boston Red Sox have traded the left-handed reliever to the Baltimore Orioles for minor league left-hander Eduardo Rodriguez.