Bye bye Coco

The Boston Herald is reporting it’s a done deal:

According to baseball sources, the Red Sox and Cleveland Indians have agreed in principle on a deal that will bring outfielder Crisp to the Sox in a multi-player trade. The Red Sox will send a package including reliever Guillermo Mota and prospect Andy Marte to the Indians.

If in fact this is true, I hate to see Coco go, but I can’t help but be excited about this deal. Marte looks like a future stud at third, a patient hitter with loads of power, and, at just 22, he’ll team up with Grady Sizemore (23) and Jhonny Peralta (23) to give the Tribe perhaps the most exciting young team in baseball. MinorLeagueBaseball.com ranked Marte as the sixth-best prospect in baseball last August, and while it’s no guarantee that Marte will become an elite player, that’s apparently a risk Mark Shapiro is willing to take. After watching him bring in guys like Sizemore and Travis Hafner via trade, I tend to trust his judgment (even if we are still waiting on Brandon Phillips).

Gary, a regular reader here, pointed out in my last Coco blog that he’s not sure the inclusion of Mota would be a good thing, saying that he’s got a great arm but questions about his character have followed Mota, who failed as the closer for the Marlins last season, throughout his career. I understand the concerns but Mota will slot in nicely at the back end of the bullpen, and his power arm will help fill the void left by Bobby Howry’s departure.

The Herald article also says the Indians are working on a trade to land Coco’s replacement in left:

The deal was agreed upon several days ago under the condition that Cleveland be able to acquire another outfielder to replace Crisp, presumably Jason Michaels from the Philadelphia Phillies. Cleveland was believed to be sending one of two relievers – left-hander Arthur Rhodes or right-hander Rafael Betancourt – to the Phillies in exchange for Michaels.

First off, let’s hope it’s Betancourt and not Rhodes. With Rhodes and Scott Sauerbeck, the Indians have the luxury of having two very good lefty relievers in their bullpen, one for the middle innings and one for the late innings. Meanwhile, with the addition of Mota, Betancourt is expendable. As for the 29-year-old Michaels, he’s been a part-time player for the Phillies the past few years and while he doesn’t seem to have much power, he’s a career .291 hitter and he takes walks, sporting a .399 on-base percentage last season. He’s not as dynamic as Crisp, at least judging by the numbers, but he’s a solid defensive outfielder, he gets on base and he’s cheap. All things considered, he would seem to be an adequate replacement for Crisp in left and in the two-hole, at least until some of the young guys (Franklin Gutierrez) are ready to take over.

Of course, none of this is official yet, but if/when the deals are announced, it’ll be interesting to see how accurate these rumors are and how the Cleveland fans will react to losing Coco.

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