24 January 2006

Something Completely Different

The Red Sox, for the past few weeks, have been trying to acquire Covelli Loyce "Coco" Crisp from the Cleveland Indians for Guillermo Mota and, drumroll, Andy Marte. For the past few days, it's been rumored to be all over but the physicals. Well, hallelujiah, Mota failed his physical.

It's not that I don't think Crisp would play a fine centerfield for the Sox, nor hit adequately in the leadoff spot. All the stats indicate that he would be precisely that: fine and adequate. Marte has the potential to be an all-star and even an MVP. He's 21. He plays third. He hits for average and power. He has what those in the business call "plus skills." That means he's good now and he's likely to be great and might even be "wicked awesome" in the future. Crisp will be good, might even get to really good, but no one projects him to be great ... let alone wicked awesome.

And we have a centerfielder in our system, though way too young right now to contribute in Boston, who should shake out to be pretty damned good as well. His name is Jacob Ellsbury. He just graduated from college and most folks think he'll be ready in two years max; and when he is, his ceiling is as high as or higher than Crisp's. Why would we trade six years of cheap, potentially awesome 3B talent --- which is difficult to come by --- for two years of potentially really good CF, where you can find adequate for the price of a mediocre middle reliever (see: Jason Michaels)? The whole deal reeked of desparation. And granted we're a little desparate right now, but I thought we had moved beyond trading our future for pretty good players. Remember, the last time we had a great 3B in the minors we traded him for a pitcher named Larry Andersen.

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