Monday, January 23, 2006

The Crisp Trade

I had to go with a very generic title for this one, because all of those awful cereal jokes are making me cringe. In fact, I'm so ticked off that I'm going to ruin your day with this zinger from Baseball Musings' David Pinto:

It's unknown if Snap, Crackle and Pop are included in the deal.


I have mixed emotions about this one. On one hand, I like Crisp. His numbers have been improving steadily over the past few years (his OPS going from .655 to .790 to. 810). The guy's got some speed, and is a potential 20-20 guy. Someone mentioned that he had 42 doubles last year, and that in Fenway, many of those can turn into homers. That's encouraging.

And his OBP of .345 last year isn't great, but it's not a huge dropoff from Damon's, which was .366. And he batted .324 against righties last year; that's gonna be good against the Junkees, who, aside from the Big Unit, are stacked with righties.

But Boston is giving up a lot here. Andy Marte has received a lot of hype, being heralded as one of the top 5 prospects in the game. But again, once upon a time Gregg Jeffries was supposed to be the next big thing. So you can never take these things too seriously. But if Marte turns out to be a Scott Rolen type, then this will turn out to be a bad move. Crisp is a pretty good everyday player, but he's no all-star. He's not worth it for an all-star caliber player.

And I like Mota, so I wouldn't want to see him go. If they get Riske in return, then it's not as bad. Riske quietly put up some good numbers last year. But Mota definitely has a higher upside. The only thing I would hope for would be for Mota to continue to have bad years like last season.

The Sox are clearly at a disadvantage here, as they're desperate for a center fielder. So the Indians are getting the better of the deal no matter what. But the Red Sox have to make this deal. Should they have kept Damon? Totally different debate. But if this deal goes through, at least we won't see Adam Stern in the opening day lineup.

I'm satisfied with Crisp, though. I know some people out there were all horny about Seattle's Jeremy Reed. But offensively, the guy's numbers were weak. He had very little major league experience, so you had no idea how he was going to hold up in the long run. Plus, the Sox can't afford that hole in the lineup, not with the light-hitting Alex Gonzalez at short. Crisp gives them an established major-league outfielder. Nothing spectacular, to be sure, but a guy who looks like he's still getting better.

Meanwhile, the Tribe has said this deal will only go through if they find a replacement for Crisp. So this whole discussion might be a waste of time. We'll find out soon enough, hopefully.

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