5 Teams That Will Enter the Coco Crisp Trade Market After Angel Pagan's Signing
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Of course, if general manager Billy Beane keeps to his word, Crisp isn't going anywhere. After acquiring Chris Young, many thought it meant the end in Oakland for Crisp. However, Beane noted Crisp's off-the-field worth according to the Associated Press (h/t: ESPN): "I really like our outfield. Everybody knows how important this guy is to this team and also has the benefit of being a personal favorite of mine."
It's true, the A's are in need of a veteran presence. With the departures of Johnny Gomes to the Boston Red Sox and Brandon McCarthy to the Arizona Diamondbacks, and the likelihood Brandon Inge signs elsewhere, Oakland will be lacking in that department.
That doesn't stop teams in need from asking.
Teams who were interested in Pagan for his speed and abilities as a leadoff man may now turn their attention to Crisp. He is, after all, a cheaper option than Pagan ($7 million to Pagan's $8.25 million). Worst-case scenario, if Crisp doesn't do well for an inquiring team who pulls off a trade, he is a free agent at the end of the season.
Here are five potential trade partners who—though they may not succeed—could try to snag Crisp from the A's.
New York Mets
When the A's visited the Mets in 2011, those seats sure looked empty.
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The New York Mets need outfield help—badly.
Current incumbents are Lucas Duda in left, prospect Kirk Nieuwenhuis listed in center on New York's official depth chart and Mike Baxter in right.
Last year's outfield crop included Jason Bay, Andres Torres and Scott Hairston. All three are gone now. Duda hit .239 in 2012. Baxter hit .263, and Nieuwenhuis hit .252.
While Crisp's .259 average doesn't catapult him over any of those current options, it's his other talents that may produce more quality results. He can effectively hit first or second in any lineup as a speedy threat. Once he's on base, he is even more dangerous. He also has the experience and range to solidify center or left field.
However, it's power the Mets' lineup lacks most. Crisp wouldn't add much there.
How would Crisp looks in Red?
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According to Buster Olney's Insider-only post (h/t: MLBTradeRumors.com), the Cincinnati Reds have been in the market for a left fielder and leadoff batter. MLB.com's Mark Sheldon confirmed the Reds' minor interest in Crisp and Dexter Fowler, quoting Reds general manager Walt Jocketty as saying, "We haven't talked to either club...I'm not sure Colorado is moving Fowler."
He specifically addressed Fowler, but not Crisp.
However, with Cincinnati's re-signing of left fielder Ryan Ludwick, the outfield seems set, although a cycle of Ludwick, Crisp, Drew Stubbs and Jay Bruce would be quite intimidating.
Tampa Bay Rays
Crisp has experience playing in this dome from when he was with the Red Sox.
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Though he is a right fielder, Nate Schierholtz' talents were desired by nine teams, according to ESPN's Buster Olney. Before Schierholtz signed with the Chicago Cubs, the New York Yankees were thought to be the front-runner, with the Rays also "in the mix" (h/t: MLBTradeRumors.com).
Heading into 2013, the Rays looked to be left with Sam Fuld in center and Desmond Jennings in left field.
Even if Myers is deemed ready for the bigs, insurance wouldn't hurt, and a veteran presence to show him the ropes would be even better.
Jennings hit admirably in his first season as an everyday major-league player, matching B.J. Upton in nearly every category except home runs and RBI. Fuld is a career .246 hitter who has yet to see everyday experience.
Coco Crisp's .274 lifetime average, along with slightly more power and speed, would be an immediate upgrade over Fuld.
The Rays attempted to sign Crisp before the start of 2012. According to Bob Nightengale of USA Today, Crisp chose the A's for an opportunity at more playing time. With Upton manning center field in Tampa, there were no promises.
Upton's gone and Myers remains a question mark. Crisp might fit better now than he would have last year. And he'd be a nice stopgap until the Myers era officially begins.
Crisp hasn't played at Turner Field since 2004 when he was with the Indians.
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Even though the Atlanta Braves signed B.J. Upton, insiders still claim the team desires another outfielder.
First, Dave O'Brien of the Atlanta Journal Constitution tweeted that the team had interest in Ryan Ludwick, Shane Victorino and Cody Ross. Ludwick and Ross play left field and Victorino is a center fielder. Either way, it's clear that the Braves are seeking an additional talent.
On the same day, ESPN's Jim Bowden tweeted that the Braves were "trying to trade for LF lead-off type hitter."
Crisp fits that mold perfectly.
Los Angeles Dodgers
Coco Crisp slides in under Dee Gordon's tag.
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A trade between the Los Angeles Dodgers and Oakland Athletics does nothing good for Coco Crisp—but then again, teams rarely make trades to benefit anyone else but themselves.
Bob Nightengale of USA Today tweeted on Dec. 2 that the Dodgers were "letting teams know...Dee Gordon is available."
Of course, the A's are definitely one of the teams in most need of a shortstop.
The 24-year-old shortstop could very well find a future in Oakland while replacing Crisp's speed on the basepaths. If his hitting rebounds, Gordon could fill the vacated leadoff position in the lineup too.
According to MLB.com's Ken Gurnick, the Dodgers aim to acquire "a fourth outfielder who can play center field." Crisp would fill that need nicely.
Oakland has a plethora of outfielders, and Crisp is the low man on the totem pole. They also need a shortstop. The Dodgers want to add a fourth outfielder and are dangling a shortstop.
There seems to be a match here.