Tag:Coco Crisp
Posted on: December 16, 2010 12:17 pm
Edited on: December 16, 2010 4:08 pm

A's swap for Nats' Willingham

Josh Willingham You know, it might be time to start keeping an eye on the Athletics.

They went 81-81 last season, and their weakness was clear: They pitched great, but they couldn't hit. But Oakland has made big moves on offense so far this winter and could be poised to make another. Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com reports that the A's are in "serious discussions" to get outfielder Josh Willingham from the Nationals.

When you consider that the three outfielders who made the most starts for the A's last season combined for seven homers -- yes, seven -- they're looking at a big outfield upgrade. Coco Crisp played in just 75 games last season due to injuries, but if he returns to form he'll be productive in the leadoff spot. The A's got David DeJesus, a high average guy with a little power, in November. Adding Willingham, who's good for 20-plus homers when healthy, would give Oakland a formidable outfield.

The Nationals' motivation for moving Willingham would be money. He made $4.6 million last season and is arbitration-eligible, and Washington needs to pay Jayson Werth. They also could have other moves in the works, reportedly pursuing trades for pitchers Zack Greinke and Matt Garza and bidding on first basemen Adam LaRoche and Derrek Lee.

Rosenthal said the Nationals would get two minor leaguers from the A's in exchange for Willingham.

UPDATE: Buster Olney of ESPN.com says via Twitter the teams have a deal in principle, with the Nats getting "two young players, one of whom has major league experience."

-- David Andriesen

UPDATE : The deal is done. Washington receives fireballing reliever Henry Rodriguez, who can touch 100 mph, and minor-league outfilelder Corey Brown. Reports had GM Mike Rizzo demanding more for Willingham so this is a bit of a surprise, but the motivation may have been to get the left-fielder out of town after Rizzo refused to extend Willingham.

Rodriguez is the man with MLB experience and threw the second-fastest fastball in the bigs in 2010, touching 103.2 mph. He appeared in 29 games, hurling 27 2/3 innings of a 4.55 ERA, punching out 33 but walking 13. The 23-year-old will compete for the closer's job in Washington, which is wide open.

Brown, meanwhile, is a left-handed outfielder who appeared in Triple-A for the first time in 2010 as a 24-year-old. He hit just .193/.253/.378 in 148 plate appearances. He did, however, bash Double-A to the tune of .320/.415/.502 in 386 PA. With 22 stolen bases on the season, Brown could develop into a solid fourth outfielder for Washington.

Still, this package feels light for Willingham. Oh well, that's to Oakland's benefit who now have to figure out which starting outfielder hits the bench.

-- Evan Brunell

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb  on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.

Posted on: November 3, 2010 10:52 am
Edited on: November 3, 2010 2:47 pm

A's pick up option on Crisp

Crisp Who needs mass media when Athletics can take things into their own hands on Twitter?

"I'm happy, I just found out today that the A's are picking up my option for 2011," Coco Crisp tweeted early Wednesday.

Crisp, the former Indian, Red Sox and Royal, had a $5.75 million option that Oakland unsurprisingly picked up after his most successful offensive season since leaving Cleveland after the 2005 season. Although Crisp missed time due to injury (shocker), he hit .279/.342/.438 in 329 plate appearances and provided his usual excellent defense in his first season with Oakland.

Oakland has a glut of outfielders, but none were the quality of Crisp. He figures to be flanked by Ryan Sweeney in right and a hybrid of Chris Carter and Rajai Davis in left. Oakland could yet still bring in another outfielder as well.

UPDATE : The A's have confirmed Crisp's option was picked up, adding that second baseman Mark Ellis also had his $6 million option picked up. Ellis is a defensive wizard, offers leadership and finished with a team-best .291 batting average.

In other news, the A's cut ties with Eric Chavez, bringing an end to what may have been the worst contract signed in franchise history. After Chavez posted an OPS of no lower than .850 in the five seasons preceding 2005, he signed a six-year, $66 million deal and appeared in just 451 games over these six years, hitting .249/.322/.434. Chavez is likely to retire at age 32 after suffering major injuries the last few years.

-- Evan Brunell

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.

Posted on: October 10, 2010 7:29 pm
Edited on: October 13, 2010 10:35 am

R.I.P. A's: Injuries just too much

As the sports world waits for the crowning of a champion, 22 other teams are busy preparing for spring training. What went wrong for these teams, and what does 2011 hold? MLB Facts and Rumors here at CBS Sports will be answering those questions through all of October. Today: The Oakland Athletics.

Is there a more anonymous team in baseball right now than the Athletics? OK, maybe the Brewers.

The A’s are a clear No. 2 in a two-team market, they play on the West Coast, so nobody sees their games, they don’t have any high-profile stars because the roster is always filled with kids, and they’re neither good enough nor bad enough for you to really notice them.

With the exception of Dallas Braden’s perfect game, the A’s kept their usual low profile in 2010, finishing a perfectly average 81-81, nine games out in the American League West. They pitched well, but injuries and a lack of offense kept them from ever being a factor.


The A’s just didn’t hit well.  They were 11th in the AL in runs, 13th in total bases, 13th in slugging and 13th in home runs (thank goodness for the horrendous Seattle offense for padding the bottom of the barrel).

Their three players who made the most starts in the ever-rotating outfield combined for seven home runs. Seven! Nobody hit more than Kevin Kouzmanoff’s 16.

When you field a team with the lowest payroll in the league, you need everything to go right, and the punishing number of injuries the A’s had to deal with gave them no chance. They had 26 disabled list trips made by 23 different players, costing them a total of 1,399 games.

Where do we start? Eric Chavez made it 33 games before a bulging disc forced him out, and he might retire. Coco Crisp was limited to 75 games. Justin Duchscherer made just five starts, and Ben Sheets was lost on July 20. They got Conor Jackson in a midseason trade and got just 57 at-bats out of him.

The list goes on, but you get the idea.


The A’s got some great solid pitching at the top of the order, with Gio Gonzalez winning 15 in his first full season, Trevor Cahill winning 18 and Braden winning 11, including his May 9 whitewashing of the Rays. Oakland had the third-lowest ERA for starting pitchers in all of baseball.

Daric Barton had an outstanding year at first, batting .273 but finishing fifth in on-base with a .393. He also played good defense, as did the A’s in general, best in the AL by some defensive metrics.

The A’s also got good results from their bullpen, notably Craig Breslow and All-Star Andrew Bailey.

The rash of injuries among the veterans left a lot of playing opportunities for young players, and several have shown they will be big contributors, including Cahill and Gonzalez. And Brett Anderson is going to put up big numbers if he can stay healthy.

Outfielder Chris Carter had an ugly introduction to the majors, but is still a big prospect. Another top outfield prospect, Michael Taylor, is on the way, and will bring some power with him.

Nobody is going to be picking the A’s to win the World Series, but with their young, strong pitching and considering the extent to which injuries hampered them in 2010, they’ll certainly be expected to put up a winning record.


They need bats, but where do they get them? They have pitching to dangle, but trading young pitching isn’t exactly Billy Beane’s way. Crisp is one trade option (they’d have to pick up his $5.75 million option first), as the A’s are deep in the outfield.

The biggest decision the A’s face is whether to pick up second baseman Mark Ellis’ option at $6 million. He’s one of their few veteran leaders and is very good defensively, but that’s a decent chunk of change for the A’s and they have Eric Sogard on the way.

Without a big payroll move, which isn’t going to happen, there are no easy answers for the A’s. It’s going to be a balancing act between recovering injured players, developing organizational pieces and cut-rate free agents.


Considering they’re bound to be healthier and they have talent that is still maturing, the A’s should improve next season. But considering the AL wild card had 95 wins this season, it’s going to take a big improvement to get into playoff position.

Check out the rest of the R.I.P. reports here.

-- David Andriesen

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed .

Posted on: September 20, 2010 9:03 pm

Crisp's season likely done

Coco Crisp Coco Crisp is done for the year -- unless the Athletics make the playoffs, as Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle reports .

That's rather far-fetched, thanks to Oakland's nine-game deficit in the AL West. So let's call it a season for the center fielder.

And what a season it was. Even though Crisp continued his injury-prone streak, he had his best season according to OPS since his final year with Cleveland in 2005. That means he outproduced what he did in his first four years with the Red Sox and 2009 with the Royals.

A .279/.342/.438 mark with 32 stolen bases as a 30-year-old in 328 plate appearances has the team heavily considering exercising the switch-hitter's $5.75 million club option.

The Athletics are steeped in outfielders, having Rajai Davis, Ryan Sweeney, Jack Cust, Gabe Gross, Eric Patterson, Jake Fox, Conor Jackson, Matt Carson, Jeff Larish, Travis Buck, Chris Carter, Matt Watson and Jeremy Hermida along with Crisp appearing in the outfield in 2010.

However, Patterson and Fox are no longer with the organization and the future's of Cust, Gross, Carson, Buck and Watson likely don't include the A's in 2011 -- and of all the outfielders, Crisp has been the most productive.

Seems like an easy call to exercise the option.

-- Evan Brunell

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed .
Category: MLB
Posted on: August 20, 2010 3:59 pm

A's likely to pick up Crisp option

Coco Crisp The Athletics have been so pleased with Coco Crisp that it is expected the center fielder's 2011 option will be picked up, reports Mychael Urban of CSNBayArea.com.

The team holds a $5.75 million option on the lefty, who has impressed the team with "a terrific personality, a nice all-around game and an appropriate amount of swagger," as Urban writes.

Despite missing 48 days with a fractured left hand, Crisp has made an impact on the A's by hitting .288/.352/.473 in 213 plate appearances, swiping 19 bags and delivering 11 doubles and four triples. Crisp is also one of the best defensive center fielders in the game, which only adds to his value.

Indeed, Crisp is third on the team in wins above replacement player despite missing all that time. He's 0.2 points behind Cliff Pennington with Daric Barton pacing the position players with a 2.9 WAR. Crisp could very well end the season tops on the list if he doesn't miss any more time.

It's been a long time coming for Crisp who was acquired by the Red Sox to replace Johnny Damon for 2006. Alas, he slogged through injuries and ineffectiveness before being traded to Kansas City where he repeated his ineffectiveness and injuries before becoming a free agent, at which point Oakland bought low.

That's been to their benefit, as Crisp is hitting like he never has before, curious given that he is now playing in a pitcher-friendly park. That hasn't fazed him as he's hitting drastically better home than away -- a .311/.376/.557 line as opposed to .256/.318/.359 on the road.
It took a long time for Crisp to live up to the expectations that his bright career seemed to foretell when with the Indians, but he may have finally reclaimed that promise.

-- Evan Brunell

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter.
Category: MLB
Posted on: July 16, 2010 1:50 am
Edited on: July 16, 2010 10:28 am

Are A's buyers or sellers?

Coco Crisp As the second half of the season gets going, the buyers and sellers are pretty clear -- except, for maybe, the Oakland A's.

The A's are 43-46, eight games behind the Rangers and Joe Stiglich of the San Jose Mercury News looks ahead to the second half and talks to Billy Beane, who doesn't sound much like a buyer at this point.

"Certainly wins and losses are ultimately the most important thing," Beane told Stiglich. "[But] I always think you have to be careful and understand that with a young team, and a challenging financial situation, you have to temper your expectations somewhat and exercise patience."

Hardly the sound bite of a man willing to go for it all.

The A's trail the Rangers and the Angels, but of the 13 teams with losing records, the A's are the closest to a division lead.

As a seller, the A's have starter Ben Sheets (4-8. 4.63 ERA and a 2-to-1 strikeout-to-walk ratio) and outfielder Coco Crisp (.277/.333/.554).

As a buyer, Oakland could use another starter because of the recent injuries to Brett Anderson and Dallas Braden and more help in the bullpen -- but who isn't looking for bullpen help at this point?

Beane will have to make his decision soon -- but it shouldn't take long to push it. Although Texas usually flounders later in the summer , any misstep by the A's in the next couple of series (at Kansas City and against Boston) and the direction will be made easy.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter.

Posted on: June 23, 2010 2:48 pm
Edited on: June 23, 2010 4:31 pm

Athletics need strong offer to move Sheets, Crisp

Ben Sheets With a 2-7 record and 4.95 ERA, Ben Sheets hasn't exactly been worth the $10 million the Athletics are paying for his services.

And yet, Oakland may not be interested in trading the right-hander. And if they do, it won't be financially motivated, says FOX Sports' Ken Rosenthal.

Sheets is not available unless an offer truly makes sense as the organization can absorb his $10 million deal without any difficulty. The fact he is proving to be a mentor for the squad's young pitchers is also factoring into the decision.

Rosenthal notes that even with this revelation, it doesn't mean the A's won't be sellers at the trade deadline. Coco Crisp, who was just activated off the disabled list and will finally get his season started after just three games at the big-league level. Crisp hit over .500 in his most recent rehab assignment and if he keeps it up, could be an intriguing option for teams seeking an outfielder. (Crisp was part of a discussion on Wednesday's fantasy baseball podcast , talking about the impact of the A's activating the center fielder.)

Like Sheets, however, it would take a compelling offer to move Crisp. The team has a $5.75 million option on the center fielder, and Rosenthal notes the figure can easily be fitted into the 2011 squad, where the team has a scant $39 million committed.

-- Evan Brunell

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter.

Category: MLB
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