I have been an A's fan since the 1980s and have seen quite a few offseasons come and go. The 2011-2012 offseason has been very interesting and eventful one for the Oakland A's and their fans. The A's have already traded Trevor Cahill, Craig Breslow, Gio Gonzalez, Andrew Bailey, and Ryan Sweeney for a total of 10 players. Also, two of the A's outfield free agents, David DeJesus and Josh Willingham, have already signed contracts with another team.
It was beginning to feel like the A's were going to have a completely new team on the field this season, but sources are reporting that one familiar face may be back. It is being reported that free agent outfielder Coco Crisp is going to sign a two-year contract and return to the Oakland A's. Crisp has spent the last two seasons as the A's center fielder when healthy. Crisp only played in 75 games in 2010 and 136 games in 2011.
The contract for Crisp is being reported as a two-year deal worth $6 million in 2012 and $7 million in 2013. There is also a club option of $7.5 million for 2014 and a one-time bonus of $250,000 if the A's trade Crisp before his contract is up.
The A's position this offseason was that they were willing to trade anyone not named Jemile Weeks if the return was right. Oakland has been in full blown rebuilding mode acquiring prospects that hopefully will be big league ready in two or three years if the A's get the go ahead to move to a new stadium in San Jose.
At first glance, the move to sign Crisp seems to be completely different than what the A's have been doing this offseason. Crisp is 32-years-old and doesn't figure to be a long term solution for Oakland. Crisp's contract will likely be up before the A's make their move to San Jose. So, why is Oakland bringing Crisp back?
I think there are a few motivating factors to bringing Crisp back. First, he is relatively cheap for an experienced outfielder, and he was willing to sign a short term contract with Oakland. Second, he seems to be a good clubhouse guy that can help a young team. Most importantly, Crisp fits into the most recent A's philosophy of base running and defense. Crisp had a career high 49 stolen bases last season, most in the American League. With a lot of young and inexperienced pitchers expecting to be on the mound in Oakland, it will be extremely important to give them a solid defense.
As a fan of the A's I really like this move by Oakland. The A's are not going to hit very many home runs next year, but with Crisp and Jemile Weeks at the top of the lineup they have two legitimate catalysts for the offense. Coco is one of the best defensive centerfielders in the league and should give the A's young pitchers confidence to pitch to contact and trust their defense. I appreciate that Coco is always hustling and always smiling. It may be a tough 2012 season for the A's and their fans, but at least it will be a little more exciting with Coco on the field.
- Sports & Recreation
- Sports & Recreation/Baseball
- Jemile Weeks
- Coco Crisp