Hot Stove Monday

Let’s start the week with a little rumor-mongering.

Nick Cafardo in his Sunday baseball column mentions the Sox are likely to trade Coco Crisp:

Theo Epstein is bound to receive inquiries on Coco Crisp at this week’s general managers’ meetings in Orlando. The Red Sox are sitting pretty with Jacoby Ellsbury ready to take over, and Crisp is seen as major trade bait, with many teams in need of a center fielder.

Nothing new there. But a couple other paragraphs caught my eye:

In the AL Central, look for the White Sox to dangle pitching – Jose Contreras and/or Jon Garland – to get help in center field, left field, or shortstop …

The A’s might blow it up and rebuild, which would make righthanders Joe Blanton and Dan Haren available

Nearly everyone thinks the Red Sox won’t re-sign Curt Schilling, which would leave the Sox’ starting rotation a bit shallow (unless you’re just superthrilled about the prospect of Julian Tavarez backing up a rotation made 60 percent of rookies and Tim Wakefield). What better to flesh it out with than a 28-year-old, durable righty coming off a season viewed as subpar but was in fact one of the best of his career, or a 27-year-old, also durable righty coming off far and away the best season of his career (and I could be talking about either Oakland starter, couldn’t I)?

Coco Crisp alone isn’t bringing Garland, Haren or Blanton. But if pitching of that caliber is actually made available by teams seeking center fielders, surely his relative youth, cheap contract and Gold Glove-caliber defense could be used as key selling points for a deal that could include one or two mid- to high-tier prospects.

It’s certainly an option worth considering.

13 comments… add one
  • How much value does Crisp have, I wonder, after two undewhelming seasons in Boston?
    Maybe those interested will assume that he may bounce back, but his trade value seems kinda diminished to me.

    Hudson November 5, 2007, 7:25 am
  • “How much value does Crisp have, I wonder, after two undewhelming seasons in Boston?”
    Come on. Quite a bit. Did you read the article? He’s young, not too expensive, and a gold glove outfielder. Add to that the shortage of quality center fielders and you’re asking a silly question.
    Crisp has never seemed comfortable in boston. Without the pressure his hitting could come around. Boston is in an excellent position with crisp to dangle for new talent.

    james November 5, 2007, 8:33 am
  • I don’t think Crisp alone is going to bring a big name, no way. But Crisp as part of a package is a huge chip – he’s got a decent contract, he’s an everyday player, and he’s perhaps in the top three defensively at his position, league-wide. That’s nothing to sniff at. I imagine Crisp + A-level minor leaguer (not named Clay) plus a B+ minor leaguer might bring back a very, very good player. Or, how about Crisp/Lester as a starting point for Haren?

    SF November 5, 2007, 8:54 am
  • The A’s have a great contract on Haren for the next 3 years, paying him $4, $5.5, and $6.75. I dont see why they would trade this away to get a CF that would be making slightly more than this over this time period unless they got some nice prospects in return too. Beane usually keeps players like this locked down til the end unless he is overwhelmed.

    sam-YF November 5, 2007, 9:26 am
  • I must admit that I’m extremely excited about the possibility of landing Dan Haren. I agree with SF in that Coco wouldn’t be enough by himself, but I don’t think someone of Lester’s calibre is needed. Maybe Devern Hansack or David Pauley can fill the roll?

    Atheose November 5, 2007, 11:51 am
  • Devern Hansack and Crisp for Haren? I’m not sure I understand why the A’s would do that.

    Nick-YF November 5, 2007, 11:54 am
  • Any conversation for Haren with the Sox is going to start (supplemental to Crisp, assuming Beane is interested in Coco) with Clay, Lester, Masterson, Bowden, Lowrie, at the least. Hansack isn’t a factor, unless he’s player #4 or 5 that the Sox throw in.
    Considering Haren’s contract, Beane can ask for the world, and might even get it.

    SF November 5, 2007, 12:01 pm
  • Probably not Nick, but you never know. The A’s had the best pitching in the American League this season but had poor offense and defense. Coco upgrades both of the latter, and his value will increase after he wins the Gold Glove next week.

    Atheose November 5, 2007, 12:05 pm
  • Yeah I guess you’re right SF. For a few minutes I let wishful thinking get the better of me.
    In any case, I think Crisp is gone this offseason no matter what happens. Despite his lack of offense, it has been nothing short of a pleasure watching him play Center Field this season.

    Atheose November 5, 2007, 12:08 pm
  • I thought the A’s had excellent defense (in fact, I thought that was one of the reasons that the run prevention side of things was go good in Oakland even with the likes of Gaudin and Loaiza pitching every five days).
    I think Crisp has value because it is generally recognized that his defense is elite. But Haren’s value is at its peak right now. I’m not sure I understand why the A’s would be trading him in the first place. If they did, I imagine it would be to rebuild for two years from now, and that implies they would want a big-time prospect. Lester might do. But I wouldn’t be surprised if they asked for Buccholz.

    Nick-YF November 5, 2007, 12:10 pm
  • Maybe both, Atheose, but not either/or, I wouldn’t think. If Crisp had shown any ability whatsoever to hit get on base above a .300 rate beyond his one hot month last season, that would have helped a lot, but as it is, his offensive value is so bad, you almost have to either include one top prospect or two or more middle prospects for a pitcher of Haren’s caliber.

    Paul SF November 5, 2007, 12:14 pm
  • Oh, my mistake Nick. For some reason I had it in my head that Oakland’s defense is mediocre at best. The internet is slow at work today so I can’t look it up.

    Atheose November 5, 2007, 12:15 pm
  • I was under the impression that the A’s thought this (2007) was their blow up year, and I’d imagine they’ll be making moves to get more competitive for 2008, not shed salary. It seems really unlikely to me that they’ll get rid of either Haren or Blanton… and if they do, I think they’ll want players who can contribute in the very near future if not immediately.
    I’d be excited about Garland, though. Think we could get him for Moss + Coco (+ AA prospect?) ?

    Jackie (SF) November 5, 2007, 10:42 pm

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