Coco Crisp has decided where he’ll sign

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UPDATE: Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com suggests that the Orioles could be a surprise fit. While the two sides have talked in recent days, he acknowledges that this is more of a guess on his part. Long live the mystery team.

8:35 PM: Coco Crisp’s agent, Steve Comte, told Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle today that his client has made up his mind on where he’ll sign.

“Covelli has made up his mind,” said Comte, using Crisp’s given name. “Basically, we just have to let that team know.”

The Athletics are interested in re-signing Crisp, but Compte told Slusser than he has discussed his client with 13-14 teams this offseason. The Cubs and Dodgers have also been linked to the free agent center fielder in recent weeks.

Crisp, who turned 32 in November, batted .264/314/.379 with eight home runs, 54 RBI and a .693 OPS over 583 plate appearances in 2011. He tied Brett Gardner for the American League lead with 49 stolen bases.

After a report yesterday linked free agent outfielder Cody Ross to the A’s, Slusser hears that the club has also spoken with Ryan Ludwick and Conor Jackson.

MLB executive: Bruce Maxwell’s kneeling may keep him from finding work, not his arrest

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In September 2017, former Athletics catcher Bruce Maxwell became the first major league player to kneel during the national anthem, joining the handfuls of NFL players who had been doing the same to protest police brutality and racial inequality. Maxwell’s effort was laudable, but he got into trouble a month later when he was arrested for aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and disorderly conduct. Maxwell allegedly pointed a gun at a food delivery person.

Maxwell, 27, played sparingly for the Athletics in 2018 and then was designated for assignment at the beginning of September. He officially became a free agent on November 2 and has had trouble finding work in the month-plus since.

Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle reports that Maxwell fired his agent, Matt Sosnick on Thursday because he’s still jobless. According to an unnamed MLB executive Slusser spoke to, “It’s the kneeling thing that might keep him from getting another job, not the arrest. Owners aren’t going to want to deal with that whole anthem issue.”

That makes a lot of since since abusive players haven’t had too much trouble finding new work otherwise. Addison Russell, Jeurys Familia, and José Reyes, among others have either stayed with their teams or quickly found new work. Given the relatively weak catching market, had Maxwell only had the assault charge, there is no doubt he would have been signed to be a backup catcher somewhere.

In the NFL, Colin Kaepernick — who popularized kneeling during the anthem — has remained unsigned even though teams have opted to sign and start clearly inferior quarterbacks like Mark Sanchez, Josh McCown, Ryan Fitzpatrick, Jay Cutler, Matt Barkley, and Sam Bradford, among many others. Team owners tend to run conservative in terms of politics, so they may not like the protest to begin with, then there is the public blowback to signing such a player as those who dislike such protesting make up a slight majority in the U.S., according to various polls including one done by the Washington Post.

It’s worth noting that Maxwell has a career .240/.314/.347 triple-slash line in 412 plate appearances. We’re not talking about J.T. Realmuto or Buster Posey here. That being said, there have been 15 other catchers to have put up a lower aggregate OPS since 2016 (min. 400 PA). One of those players, Derek Norris (.600 OPS since 2016), signed a minor league contract with the Tigers just three months after being suspended by Major League Baseball for violating its domestic violence policy. Makes you think.