Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Royals trade another middle reliever for Coco Crisp

Guess Dayton Moore wasn't done after all. Coco Crisp adds much-coveted speed to the Royals lineup and defensive prowess to the outfield. He'll be the Opening Day center fielder, meaning David DeJesus will move to his more natural positition in left. Although Bob Dutton's article for the KC Star doesn't mention Crisp's on-base percentage (admit it, you were skimming the page or scrolling down to find it), it was a healthy .344 last season, which was around league average. It would've ranked fifth among Royals regulars in '08.

Dick Kaegel of has a longer story about the trade, in which Moore is quoted:

"He's somebody with a lot of experience, been a part of championship teams, has the ability to play center field and has had success at the top of the lineup. That was very appealing for us."

Another hard-throwing middle reliever jettisoned for offense: we've seen Moore do this before, and we're on the record as saying it's almost always a good value deal. Of course, Crisp stands to make five million more dollars than Ramirez next season, pushing the Royals' payroll close to $70 million. Not sure how owner David Glass is taking this -- perhaps apprehensively, with a large cup of black coffee -- but if it'll get the Royals to .500 on the road to contention in 2010, we're all for it. And let's be realistic: Crisp is a bridge, not a solution. He has an $8 million option on his contract for after this season, and by that point -- unless Jose Guillen gets dumped -- he really may be too expensive to keep.

The flip-side: as Red Sox fans get to know Ramon Ramirez, we have a feeling they'll come to appreciate his contributions. Here's Boston GM Theo Epstein on the record about the guy who was Joakim Soria's primary setup man:

"He has a plus fastball, 92 to 95 miles per hour, and an outstanding power changeup. A lot of people think it's a split, it's actually a changeup, 87 to 88. That's a swing-and-miss pitch for him against lefthanded and righthanded hitters, and a pretty good slider. He's very quietly had a tremendous amount of success in the major leagues over the last two seasons. We were looking for that type of upgrade to add to our bullpen."

Then again, there's been a lot of talk of the Red Sox flipping Ramirez to another team (Texas, for instance) for a catcher, but who knows. The Ramirez boat has sailed, and what happens from here depends on the will of the gods. Not that we didn't appreciate his services, but as this commenter on the Red Sox blog The Joy of Sox points out, "Why does this make me sad? Because when any player leaves the team, unless you absolutely hated him (and maybe not even then), you feel sad." This was just before someone said, "I feel sorry for Coco going to a bad team. He deserves better," followed by, "And to Kansas City. Poor guy," then this kick to the gonads: "As a fan of Coco I hope the Royals flip him to another team. I don't see that happening but for a veteran, proven player like Coco who could be any team's starting CF, it's a kick to the nuts to be traded to KC at this point in that franchise's history." With Boston Dirt Dogs jesting, "Midwest Not Best: Coco Can Kiss the Postseason Goodbye," you'll have to excuse this French: fucking New Englanders!

One more word on Coco: he's been on this site before. Entertaining the ladies.

POSTSCRIPT: We'll keep our eyes on the Mark Teahen/Cubs trade rumors.

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