Trade Bait: Coco Crisp to the Royals

Even before Jacoby Ellsbury’s emergence in the 2007 playoffs, Coco Crisp’s days in Boston were numbered.  Today, Coco was traded to the Kansas City Royals for reliever Ramon Ramirez.

Crisp will give the Royals their best centerfield defense in years.  The young pitching staff will appreciate his glove and his range in the outfield.  Additionally, although he probably won’t hit for David DeJesus average, he’ll definitely out-hit Joey Gathright.  With a 2008 stat line of .283/.344/.407, not far from his career averages, Crisp will likely take over the leadoff spot for the Royals as well.  Additionally, he should give the Royals an additional 25-30 stolen bases too.

Ramon Ramirez had a good season for the Royals in 2008, putting up a 2.64 ERA in 71.2 innings out of the pen.  Ramon was the Royals’ heaviest used reliever last season, but it was deserved as he gave up only 57 hits in those 71.2 innings.  He’s been with multiple teams in a short period of time, but has found a nitch as a reliever and should be a good option out of the Red Sox pen for the next few years.

What will this do to the Royals’ pen?  In two trades this off-season, Dayton Moore has given away 2/3 of the major contributing arms in the pen with ERAs under 3.00.  Robinson Tejada pitched well after coming over from Texas last season.  The September appearances from Jimmy Gobble, Yasuhiko Yabuta, and John Bale are encouraging as well, but they are a small sample size.  Dayton’s taking a large gamble here if he can’t find some decent relievers.

Overall, this trade looks a little better for Theo Epstein as he gets younger and better in the pen (a definitive sign that Mike Timlin won’t be back?), while saving the $5.75 million owed to Crisp in 2009. 

Dayton Moore and the Royals did need a better defensive option in centerfield for the psyche of their pitchers and Crisp delivers that with about league-average offense.  His lackluster hitting in 2006 and 2007 is troubling though.  Also, the Royals now have a log jam in the outfield with Crisp, DeJesus, Gathright, Mitch Maier, Mark Teahen, and Jose Guillen.  Could this trade open up the gates for the rumored Mark Teahen trade to the Chicago Cubs?  Or will DeJesus be gone?

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