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Marky Mark and the Pitching CrunchI know the Red Sox need pitching desperately, but how weird is this offer:

The Sox this week offered center fielder Coco Crisp to the White Sox for left-handed All-Star Mark Buehrle, perhaps hoping that Buehrle’s recent struggles might persuade White Sox GM Kenny Williams to move him. But the White Sox turned the deal down.

Coco Crisp is one of GM Theo Epstein’s gems. The Sox signed him to a $15.5 million, three-year contract extension, with an option for 2010, as soon as the season started. Management has plastered his face over Boston (though the Fenway Faithful still seems to be reserving its judgment). Admittedly, he hasn’t thrived in Boston. But he hasn’t tanked either. Still, who’s going to play center for the Sox if they dump Coco “I’m the newest member of Red Sox Nation” Crisp?

It’s not that I think Crisp should stay. It’s not that I don’t want a 27-year old All-Star lefty (even one whose ERA is 11.48 in his last five starts). I’m just surprised. Stunned, even. Theo, you maverick.

4 Responses to “Trade deadline loometh. Front office panicketh?”

  1. Nick Kapur says:

    Sarah I have to say, that would be a pretty good trade that would upgrade both teams. Coco Crisp has a pretty lousy OPS of .710, which the Red Sox could very easily replace or better with a combination of Wily Mo, Gabe Kapler, and whoever else. Meanwhile, assuming there is nothing physically wrong with him, Mark Buehrle would make a pretty sweet fifth starter.

    As for the ChiSox, they could easily replace or even beter Buehrle’s production by sliding Brandon McCarthy back into the rotation, and Crisp would be a huge upgrade over their current everyday centerfielder Brian Anderson, who has a truly abominable .642 OPS, with less speed and power than Crisp as well.

  2. Sarah Green says:

    I read in today’s paper that the Sox were also thinking of dealing Loretta or Youkilis. Or Lowell. For the right price, of course. But this just confirms the inanity of Sox FO thinking, in my view. The Sox have perhaps the best infield in the majors this year. Why mess with success? I know pitching wins in the postseason but….but….but…..

    Also, went to the game tonight, and alleged trade-bait Nixon (though no one ever seems to bite) had to leave mid at-bat with an injury (after a violent swing-and-miss). So if the Sox need Wily Mo and/or Gabe Kapler to play right for a while, I really doubt we will be able to spare Crisp any time soon. Who, btw, made another kickass catch tonight. Yes, I did see that catch Coco made!

  3. Nick Kapur says:

    Well the classic saying is actually “Pitching and defense wins championships” (one of the few pieces of conventional wisdom that the statheads actually agree with, btw), so that is even more reason to not to trade any of the Red Sox’ fantastic foursome on the infield.

    But thing I think the Red Sox are worried about is, it’s very possible that the Wild Card will come out of the Central division this year, so with the Yankees only one game back in the East, they are really feeling the pressure to win the division outright. So while upgrading at fifth starter may only add one win in the final standings at this point, that win could be crucial.

    But in general, I don’t think a willingness to consider trading any and all players on your roster, given the right circumstances, classifies as “inanity.” Making certain players “untouchable” no matter what deal comes along is the greater foolishness, I feel. Crafting a championship baseball is hard enough to as is, and even harder if you don’t leave all options open.

    I pretty much agree with your sentiment that the Red Sox are pretty good as is, and if it ain’t broke, etc. But if the right deal came along, who knows? Look how well that Nomar for Cabrerra thing worked out…

    By the way, I did catch that Crisp catch tonight. It was pretty sweet. Too bad all the runs ended up scoring anyway, though. It does seem like he won’t be traded now that Nixon is out.

  4. Sarah Green says:

    I think there are only a couple of “untouchable” players on the Sox roster, and I’m not opposed to trading players if it makes the team better. That’s the key word, though, *better.*

    I was just surprised that Theo has apparently been shopping around his golden boy Coco Crisp after gearing up the entire Red Sox marketing machine for him just a few months ago. See the last line of the post again.

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