January 22, 2006

Cuckoo For Coco Crisp

According to baseball sources, the Red Sox and Cleveland Indians have agreed in principle on a deal that will bring outfielder Crisp to the Sox in a multi-player trade. The deal was agreed upon several days ago under the condition that Cleveland be able to acquire another outfielder to replace Crisp, presumably Jason Michaels from the Philadelphia Phillies. ...

The Red Sox will send a package including reliever Guillermo Mota and prospect Andy Marte to the Indians. ... Beyond the acquisition of Crisp, the Sox also are about to sign free agent Gonzalez.
I do not like dealing Marte, but Crisp (26) is not bad. And with Lowell and Yook at the corners, Marte was seen by some in the Sox front office as a top-notch chip to acquire exactly what they needed.

Crisp has some pop (though he seems a bit allergic to walks) and he won't be a free agent until after 2009. He hit .323/.370/.518 on the road last season in about 300 PA (his road OPS from 2003-05 is .780). He hasn't hit that well in the leadoff spot, though the Sox will likely play him there. While he played left field for Cleveland, he was a center fielder in the minors.

The lineup should look something like this:
Crisp, cf
Loretta, 2b
Ortiz, dh
Ramirez, lf
Varitek, c
Nixon, rf
Lowell, 3b
Youkilis, 1b
Gonzalez, ss
Chris Snow reports that
conversations with a handful of general managers and agents indicate that Epstein never completely left, inasmuch as co-GMs Jed Hoyer and Ben Cherington regularly consulted with Epstein and operated this offseason much as he would have ...

[T]he perception widely held within Red Sox Nation that the team's baseball operations department was rudderless is not an opinion shared by San Diego GM Kevin Towers, Oakland GM Billy Beane, Cleveland GM Mark Shapiro, Ricciardi, and prominent agent Scott Boras, all of whom have dealt with the Sox this offseason.
Which is just what I've been saying all along! :>)


Sean O said...

Crisp can't field, can't hit for power, and got lucky with his .300 BA this past year. The fact that we are trading our #1 prospect and a good reliever for what the Indians are getting for just a middle reliever... it's astonishing.

I honestly don't know if the team is simply incompetent, or they want to lose. And I don't know which is worse. I'm going to go work on selling my tickets for the upcoming season, then watching the '04 videos again, since it's the last championship for a long goddamn time.

Marte, a top 5 prospect and our hope for the future, thrown away from a crap outfielder. The front office that I defended for the past 2 months has proven me wrong, they don't give a damn about what's best for this team.

Zenslinger said...

Two things:

1) The deal does indeed seem too expensive, but we are supposed to be getting something along with Crisp if we move Marte and Mota, and

2) how can you get lucky with a .300 BA? I really want an explanation. You can go 3 for 5 in a game getting lucky. You might make ESPN Player of the Week getting lucky. Can you tell me how you bat .300 for a season through luck?

Sean O said...

The league average BABIP is .300, and it's something that tends to stay the same. The last two years, Crisp somehow managed to beat the odds with around a .325 BABIP, which means he was essentially lucky .025 more than the mean. BABIP is not something that tends to remain higher than average, since even Barry Bonds moves above and below it regularly.

He's roughly a .275 hitter who's gotten lucky for two straight seasons, and whose OPS puts him barely in the top 70 of MLB players. For this, we give up someone who could easily have a .900+ OPS with gold glove defense. It's a horrendously stupid move by our worthless GMs.

redsock said...

sean o:

I think you are selling Crisp short. He had a 119 OPS+ last year and will be 26 this year. Just entering his prime.

By comparison, Damon was 113 and Varitek 125 last season. Another CF candidate, Jeremy Reed, was 89 with Seattle.

redsock said...

Just checked the OPS+ of some 2005 MFY: Jeter 121 and Shemp 125.

I'd say Crisp is underrated as a hitter.

Mike said...

Crisp is less an underrated hitter, more a hitter who would benefit from the shorter outfield in Fenway. His 16 homeruns belie his power - there were so many doubles he hit off the wall in Jacobs Field its easy to imagine him hitting 30 homers in Fenway.


Sean O said...

If you look at the mlb.com hitting chart, the results aren't good for the Jake->Fenway switch. Last year he had one fly ball out that would've been a monster-scraper, while many of his doubles could easily turn into singles. Unless he's hitting a ton of Moon Shots to left, Fenway is similar enough to the jake that I don't see him benefitting extensively.

I see his numbers dropping next year, big time, as he regresses back to mean. And I'm upset about this trade because I seriously doubt Crisp will ever have a breakout season where he hits .330 or gets 30 homers, while Marte could become great.

I'm praying this means next year's outfield is Manny, Andruw Jones and Crisp in right, so we only have one year of Crisp's terrible defense in center.

Donald said...

Hey, I don't want to trade Marte either, but give us a better option for centerfield.

Okay, I'll admit Crisp isn't going to shine in centerfield with his glove, but he's adequate. I wish he'd walk more, but he's still developing with the stick.. He's got a real shot at .300/20HR/20SB this season!

Jim M said...

Dont sell Crisp short in the field. He was a solid CF in Buffalo in AAA and was only moved to LF because Sizemore exploded onto the scene. Remember the name Grady Sizemore...he's gonna be one of the top CF's in the AL for years to come. That doesnt mean Crisp is a slouch.
As far as equating his BAPIP of .325 for two straight seasons being lucky.....seems more like the norm than luck.
And if we are going to base everything on another obscure computer stat such as the BAPIP... Andy Marte's BAPIP last season during his major league debutwith the Braves was a whopping .182 ...Holy Cow he was REALLY unlucky.
Maybe unhealthy also as many reports speculate. A bad elbow rumor has been making the rounds, as many of you might have heard, and his less than steller play in winter ball just adds fuel to that fire.
(.232avg 2hr/9RBI in 34 games).
Im not ready to annoint Marte as the chosen one quite yet. baseball America has been wrong so many times its not even funny...do we need to go any farther than the cant miss Hanley Rameriez. Remember when he was gonna be our next big star.
I think Crisp will fit in nicely and play well in CF for years to come. Well worth the gamble for a prospect and his press clippings.

dezex said...

Holy negativeland sean... Only Sox fans could be so vitriolic, whew. Too many beanings as a kid? yikes!

Thank god there are some level headed individuals who aren't willing to crucify Crisp before he's had a chance to prove himself. I believe Crisp will prove to be, while not equal to Damon in the short run, a solid replacement, with a potential upside and a younger, less abused frame - not to mention the cash break on this compared to the Damon deal. I'm sure the Sox aren't feeling too bad about getting close numbers and fielding for about 10mil a season less...

And it's hilarious how sean o asserts that crisp got 'lucky' last year - this is crisp's second full year, twice, hitting near .300. That's some pretty good luck. thanks zen for pointing this fact out as well - that hitting .300 doesn't have much to do with 'luck', but then again, anything to roast a ball player who hasn't had a chance to prove anything yet.
Maybe on the first day sean, you can run out and see if you can break Crisp's legs just to prove your point. man o man... You probably said the same thing about Damon when he first came to the Sox. give the guy a chance

dezex said...

sorry Jim...didin't give you the 'lucky' strike heads up. acknowledged