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.
In a recent interview with Jon Greenberg of The Athletic, White Sox third baseman Todd Frazier took a swipe at the Reds’ front office. The rebuilding Reds traded Frazier to the White Sox as part of a three-team deal this past December.
After the season, Frazier will enter his third and final year of arbitration eligibility. Frazier told Greenberg he’d like to stay with the White Sox. He praised the club’s ownership and then, unprompted, he decided to castigate the Reds’ front office.
I would love to stay here. It’s a great club, great ownership. It was very different in Cincinnati, it wasn’t good. The bottom line here is these guys know what they’re doing. I see the guys [Hahn] gets, he’s not afraid to pull the trigger. You’ve got to have a guy like that. Whether it turns out to be for the best or not, you take a chance sometimes, and I think he’s done that a lot. It’s up to Jerry [Reinsdorf, owner] and Rick [Hahn, VP/GM] and their team to figure out what they want to do and it’s up to them.
It’s not clear if there are specific incidences to which Frazier could be alluding, but it’s a very obvious piece of criticism.
Frazier, 30, has regressed a bit offensively compared to the previous two seasons, batting .213/.295/.448 with 32 home runs and 81 RBI in 532 plate appearances. The White Sox could pursue trading him during the offseason.
Update (7:20 PM EDT): John Hickey of the Bay Area News Group reports that Crisp has indeed been traded, but there won’t be an official announcement until Wednesday. Crisp has already left the Athletics’ clubhouse.
Steve Adams of MLB Trade Rumors is reporting that the Athletics and Indians are making progress on a trade that would send outfielder Coco Crisp to Cleveland. Jon Morosi of FOX Sports confirms Adams’ report. Crisp, who has 10-and-5 rights, has waived them in order to facilitate a deal.
Crisp, 36, is owed the remainder of his $11 million salary for the 2016 season and has a $13 million option for the 2017 season that vests if he reaches 550 plate appearances or plays in 130 games this season. He has already played in 102 games and logged 434 PA, batting .234/.299/.399 with 11 home runs and 47 RBI.
The Indians are still looking to bolster the outfield. Michael Brantley is expected to miss the rest of the season, Bradley Zimmer may not yet be ready for the majors, and Abraham Almonte is not eligible to play in the postseason after testing positive for boldenone in February.