Coco Crisp had a tough time finding a multi-year contract elsewhere and the A’s need outfield help after departures by Josh Willingham, David DeJesus, and Ryan Sweeney, so his deciding to return to Oakland makes sense. The price, however, is surprising.
Buster Olney of ESPN.com reports that Crisp will get a two-year, $14 million deal that includes a $7.5 million option for 2014.
Two offseasons ago Crisp signed with the A’s as a free agent for a one-year, $5.25 million deal and a $5.75 million second-year option, so his price somehow increased significantly despite playing just 75 games in 2010, hitting .264 with a .314 on-base percentage and .379 slugging percentage in 136 games last season, and being 32 years old.
Crisp also stole a career-high 49 bases in 2011, but he’s been a below-average hitter in five of the past six seasons and has played a total of just 378 of a possible 648 games since 2008 because of injuries. At some point I suppose the A’s had to spend a little money on someone, but a two-year commitment to Crisp is an odd choice.
While newly-acquired talent Danny Espinosa was off collecting hits for the Blue Jays against the Orioles, Marcus Stroman led a youth-filled roster against the Canadian Junior National Team in a split-squad game on Saturday. In the eighth inning, 17-year-old Canadian pitcher Braden Halladay took the mound to honor his late father’s memory against his former team.
Halladay accomplished just that, wielding a fastball that topped out in the low-80s and setting down a perfect 1-2-3 inning against the top of the lineup. No one batter saw more than a single pitch from the right-hander: Mc Gregory Contreras and Mattingly Romanin flew out to the outfield corners and Bo Bichette laid down a ground ball for an easy third out.
MLB.com’s Gregor Chisholm has a fantastic profile of the high school junior, including his approach to the game and his attempt to do Roy Halladay proud while carving out his own path to the majors. “From a pitching standpoint, it was everything I could have asked for and more,” Halladay told reporters. “Especially now, every time I make mistakes, I still hear him drilling me about them in my head, just because he’s done it so many times before. From a mind-set standpoint, I don’t think with any bias that I could have had a better teacher.”