Sports Radio 810 said the Royals had acquired the 29-year-old Crisp, who hit .283 with seven homers, 41 RBIs and 20 stolen bases in 361 at-bats in 2008. Crisp, who will earn $5.7 million in 2009 with a 2010 club option worth $8 million or a $500,000 buyout, started 98 games in center field for Boston but had to share playing time because of the emergence of Jacoby Ellsbury.
(SI.com has confirmed the report - it's official)
My immediate reactions:
1. Yay!! David DeJesus can now play left field full time! As a CF,DeJesus is good enough, but when he plays left he's one of the best in the game. I've been hoping KC could find someone to play center every day who is not Joey Gathright, but didn't think it was possible given the market and budget constraints.
With DeJesus in left and Crisp in center, that's the start of a pretty good (and rangey!) defensive outfield. Yeah, then there's Jose Guillen in right, but that's another concern for another offseason, I think.
2. This lends credence to the Mark Teahen to the Cubs rumors, but now suggests it will be for one of the infielders (SS Ronny Cedeno or 2B Mike Fontenot) instead of Felix Pie.
Crisp will play as an ever-so-slight offensive upgrade to Teahen except with a little less power. In 2008, Crisp walked more and struck out less, so he fits in with Dayton Moore's OBP plan a little bit better than certain other acquisitions thus far.
Mark Teahen stats: Baseball-reference and FanGraphs (which includes Bill James and Marcel projections)
Coco Crisp stats: Baseball-reference and FanGraphs
3. I rather liked RamRam, and wonder who will take his spot in the bullpen. This move definitely dashes the hopes of people who were hoping that Ramirez would emerge as the new closer as Joakim Soria is eased into a starter's role.
That said, I think trading Ramirez for Crisp straight-up is fabulous, and offer some form of applause to Moore for pulling it off.
4. I have to think at this point, after trading away two relievers, that Ron Mahay will stick around, and John Bale will find himself in the bullpen to start 2009 (which is as it should be).
More thoughts later...I have homework now. :(