Coco Crisp returning to Oakland for two years, $14 million

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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.

The Cubs send Kyle Schwarber to the minors

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Kyle Schwarber broke into the bigs in 2015 with a big bat. After missing almost all of the last season with an injury, he reemerged as a postseason hero, posting a .971 OPS in the World Series. As 2017 began he was supposed to be one of the key parts of a potent Cubs offense.

Then the baseball games actually started and he has hit a mere .171/.295/.378. Indeed, he has the lowest batting average among qualified MLB hitters in 2017. Given that he has very little if any defensive value, he has been a significant drag on the Cubs, who are just a single game over .500.

Now this:

The Cubs are also putting Jason Heyward on the disabled list, so the outfield is a bit of a mess these days. Lucky for them, they’re only trailing the Brewers by a game and a half.

The A’s designate Stephen Vogt for assignment

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A surprising move out of Oakland: the Athletics have designated catcher Stephen Vogt for assignment.

Vogt is suffering through a bad season at the plate, hitting .217/.287/.357, so on the basis of pure performance it’s understandable that the A’s may want to part ways with the 32-year-old former All-Star. That said, Vogt is considered to be a leader in the Oakland clubhouse and is one of the last players remaining from the A’s 2013-14 playoff teams.

Catcher Bruce Maxwell has been recalled from Triple-A to take Vogt’s place on the roster. Main catching duties will belong to Josh Phegley.