Report: Coco Crisp to Remain with Oakland A's Under 2014 Club-Option
The news was confirmed by Oakland's general manager Billy Beane within 24 hours of being eliminated from the playoffs.
Crisp provides the A's with a proven leadoff hitter who can get on base (he had an OBP of .335), and he showed a rare amount of power as he hit a career-high 22 home runs. Crisp didn't compromise his speed with that power as he stole 21 bases as well.
Crisp is now 33 years old, and while his amount of steals did drop from 39 to 21 from 2012 to 2013, Crisp shows that he still has great speed when he is in the outfield. There is never a ball hit to center field that Crisp doesn't have a chance to catch up to.
Billy Beane has much more work to do including possibly extending Crisp's contract beyond 2014, but this is a good start to the offseason. Although it was a very easy decision to retain Crisp for $7.5 million, there is always a small chance that the low-budget A's could have been tempted by his $1 million buyout to make him a free agent.
How important is a contract extension for Coco Crisp?
Crisp sounded open to contract extension talks after the Game 5 loss in the ALDS, courtesy of Joe Stiglich at CSNBayArea.com: "I’ve always stated my comfort here. It’d be nice if they enhanced the years in (a contract) and kept me here for a while. The ball’s in their court. I enjoy playing here.”
The A's have two players set for free agency at this time, but those are two very important players in 18-game winner Bartolo Colon and the closer with 38 saves and an All-Star appearance, the enraged Grant Balfour.
Oakland is at risk to lose one or both of those free-agent pitchers, but at least the A's know they will still have Coco Crisp in center field and batting first in 2014.
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