Brewers considering Coco Crisp as replacement for Carlos Gomez

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With Carlos Gomez’s status in doubt for the rest of the season following a broken collarbone, the Brewers are actively seeking a replacement for their outfield.

Danny Knobler of CBSSports.com reports that the Brewers already had a scout watching the Athletics and that Coco Crisp is a possibility.

Nyjer Morgan, a left-handed hitter, has taken over as the primary center fielder for the Brewers, but Gomez was getting most of the at-bats against left-handed pitching. Crisp, a switch-hitter, could be a decent fit as a platoon partner, as he has a .279/.331/.426 batting line and .757 OPS against southpaws for his career. And while he’s not quite the fielder Gomez is, he’s considered above average in center field. Crisp would certainly be a nice luxury in a part-time role, but it would seem that the Brewers have bigger needs at either shortstop or third base.

Entering play tonight, Crisp was batting .265/.315/.385 with four homers, 31 RBI and 27 stolen bases in 38 attempts. The 31-year-old will be a free agent following the season.

Jon Heyman of SI.com reported earlier this week that the Indians and Reds have also expressed interest in Crisp.

The Nationals expect Bryce Harper to test free agency

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Earlier this week at the Winter Meetings, Scott Boras said that he and the Washington Nationals had had preliminary discussions about a contract extension for Bryce Harper. Harper, of course, can become a free agent following the 2018 season and is widely expected to command the largest contract in baseball history.

While that may have given some Nationals fans hope that no other team would get the chance to bid on him, the Nationals are of the view that they have no shot to sign Harper before he at least tests the free agent market. From USA Today’s Bob Nightengale:

A lot of this seems like mutual posturing, doesn’t it? Boras trying to make it appear as though the he and Harper are giving the Nats a fair hearing and the Nats trying to make it appear as though, no matter what they do, Harper is going to hit the market. I tend to believe, personally, that Boras and Harper are hellbent on testing the market, but it’s possible that there is some number that the Nats can offer to head that off, right? Maybe?

Either way: big year ahead for Harper.