Here are four things to know about the reported deal.
1. Not the same Coco Crisp
Crisp’s base-stealing abilities have aged as poorly as a nose ring. Whereas he was once among the elite thieves, he’s gone just 7-for-12 on the year — thanks in large part to injuries and age. Ouch.
His other offensive attributes have been impacted by the aforementioned ailments, too. For instance, he’s a switch-hitter only in the nominal sense, as he’s struggled with lefties. On the plus side, his work against righties suggests he’s a tolerable fixture in the regular lineup.
2. Setting the Indians up for the postseason
From the Indians’ perspective, Crisp should come cheap and provide additional outfield depth. Remember: Abraham Almonte is ineligible for the postseason due to his suspension. That means Crisp, who is postseason-eligible, could play a bigger role than expected in the coming weeks. First, however, the deal will have to be made official before the calendar flips to September.
3. A’s getting less famous in the outfield
Oakland entered the season with Billy Burns, Josh Reddick, Crisp, and Khris Davis in their outfield picture. Only Davis remains, and he’s being flanked by the likes of Jake Smolinski, Brett Eibner, and Danny Valencia.
Of course, there’s nothing inherently wrong with a low Q rating — ask Smolinski, who has a 104 OPS+ in 234 plate appearances. Just don’t expect most fans to know who any of these guys are anytime soon.
4. More to the story for the A’s?
Remember back a few weeks ago, when Crisp publicly questioned the A’s for cutting back on his playing time — seemingly to prevent his option from vesting? You have to think that could have played a role in Oakland’s decision to make a deal.
If so, consider that an unfortunate development. Crisp was a key part of a few good A’s rosters, and while moving veterans is part and parcel of being a rebuilding team, here’s hoping this is more than the baseball equivalent of discarding an ex’s jacket.
Source: CBS Sports / Indians reportedly nearing trade to bring Coco Crisp back: 4 things to know