As is the case with every offseason in Major League Baseball, there will be talks and rumors surrounding the Oakland Athletics and which players may or may not be available. And as is the case with every offseason, they will likely trade at least one player away who was a key to their success in 2012.
One player whose name has come up in trade rumors is center fielder Coco Crisp. Crisp had a fine season with the A’s in 2012, finishing with a .259 average and .325 on-base percentage, along with 39 steals, out of the leadoff spot. He also brought a solid glove to the outfield, as he so often does.
There seem to be conflicting reports as to the availability of Crisp. He’s not a star, like most of the Athletics’ roster, but he could still be considered a key piece of their lineup nonetheless. However, the A’s do have great depth in the outfield, and the acquisition of Chris Young earlier this off-season could make Crisp expendable.
If he does prove to be available, he’d be a fantastic addition for the Chicago Cubs.
The Cubs are in need of a center fielder. Brett Jackson is headed back to Triple-A to start the year, and given his sky-high strikeout rate, no one is sure when he will be back. Crisp would be a fine addition in a number of ways for the Cubs.
The first is that he’d provide a true leadoff man for the Cubs. David DeJesus did a decent job, but he’s not a table setter. He lacks the speed. Crisp, a switch hitter, would add the swipes to the lineup that this Cubs team has lacked for the past few seasons. He also brings that stellar glove to the mix.
Crisp is also a great guy to have in the clubhouse. You saw the effect of his leadership in a young locker room with Oakland last season. He has the intangibles that would make him a nice fit and a fan favorite on the North Side. He’s also only on a one-year deal, meaning he could fill center field until Jackson proves ready.
There aren’t exactly a wealth of options out there for the Cubs to fill their center field vacancy. If Crisp is available, he’d be a tremendous fit for this team, in a number of ways. Of course, that’s assuming that he is actually shopped this winter.