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More on the Crisp Trade to the Royals

If the Red Sox are going to add Mark Teixeira or another big outfield/corner infield bat, they've got to find a place to put him. Well, their outfield just got a little less congested with the trade of center fielder Coco Crisp to the Royals.

The Red Sox get reliever Ramon Ramirez in return for the speedy Crisp, who spent the past season plus trading off starts with 2008 rookie and 2007 World Series breakout star Jacoby Ellsbury. The trade was first reported by Sports Radio 810 in Kansas City and has since been confirmed by the Boston Globe's Nick Cafardo (link above) and Sports Illustrated's Jon Heyman.

The younger Ellsbury is clearly Boston's priority, and trading Crisp clears more payroll for Boston to go after Teixeira, A.J. Burnett -- the Boston Globe is reporting that they're fulling engaged in negotiations with his agent -- or to sign longer-term deals with some of their own players. With MVP Dustin Pedroia, Kevin Youkilis, Ellsbury, Jon Lester, Jonathan Papelbon and others still arbitration eligible, Boston will need to cash just to pay for the substantial yearly wages all of those players will command.

Ramirez is another of those young, arbitration eligible commodities. The 27 year-old racked up a 2.64 ERA in 71 starts appearances (nice catch phishisgr8) last year, finishing with one save while striking out 70 for the Royals.

While the deal makes sense for a number of reasons for Boston, it still seems like a steal for Kansas City. Sure, Boston saves money, but it loses a valuable asset in terms of the versatility that helped it patch together a run that got the Red Sox within a win of the World Series. Crisp's resurgent 2008 helped Boston overcome the injury of J.D. Drew, a brief wrist injury for Jacoby Ellsbury and the midseason tantrums of Manny Ramirez. If the Red Sox add another bat, they'll likely have that versatility again. If they don't, they'll have to find another young outfielder from within the system -- and there are some coming up -- who can step up and fill the void.

By Cameron Smith  |  November 19, 2008; 12:08 PM ET
Categories:  Red Sox , Royals  
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This guy had 71 starts? What is this, 1908?

"Ramirez is another of those young, arbitration eligible commodities. The 27 year-old racked up a 2.64 ERA in 71 starts last year, finishing with one save while striking out 70 for the Royals."

I'm assuming it was 71 appearances?

Posted by: phishisgr8 | November 19, 2008 12:49 PM | Report abuse

A middle reliever for a guy who is a major league regular seems a bit cheap. For context, it is like Majewski and Bray for Lopez and Kearns. The Red Sox do seem to pump up Ramirez a bit, but I think an element of this is that they do tend to place guys who have taken diminsihed roles in Boston and who leave on amicable terms in good situations for them and don't get 100 cents on the dollar. Think Dave Roberts after 2004 or David Wells in 2006. They probably have a decent sense of what offers they had for Crisp after shopping him all last winter and some of this year. I hope Crisp does well. His glove should help in a big outfield like KC, and they will run.,

Posted by: jca-CrystalCity | November 19, 2008 1:48 PM | Report abuse

I'm sorry to see 'Crispy' (as my wife likes to call him) leave. He could have been bitter at Ellsbury's star turn in '07, but he was a consummate teammate this past season. Keep in mind: Drew can play center if needed. And the Sox need to do something with a bullpen that, beyond Papelbon, seemed iffy at times.

Posted by: fengraf | November 19, 2008 3:33 PM | Report abuse

I think it works for both teams. the Royals get a leadoff hitter and a centerfielder. The Red Sox get a bullpen arm and some freedom. I think its a win-win. And I think it signals that both teams are on the verge of making more deals.

Posted by: rallystick | November 19, 2008 5:00 PM | Report abuse

I just ran through a long thread on the trade on the Sons of Sam Horn message board. A couple of other angles for the Red Sox came out. What this does is it would allow them extra flexibility with Masterson. Potentially, they could flip Ramirez as a 2d arm in a trade with TX for catching, or as part of a Peavy deal.

One point made was that the Affeldt deal shows middle relief is pretty expensive this off-season. The speculation was that a 4th OF could be signed perhaps more cheaply (this year's Hinske, perhaps), so instead of nearly $10 million on Crisp plus an FA middle reliever, they may be able to keep cost down to $2-4 million for Ramirez plus a FA 4th OF.

Finally, going completely against what I just said about saving money, I have wondered whether the Red Sox now become a potential landing spot for Austin Kearns. He can back up 3 OF positions, is patient at the plate, plays good RF defense, and is a RH hitter. Hypothetically, wopuld a 3 way deal with the Tigers swapping bad contracts make sense Lugo to Det for Willis to Was for Kearns to Bos? Again, less need for Willis or Robertson in the Red Sox rotation with Masterson's flexibility.

Posted by: jca-CrystalCity | November 19, 2008 9:13 PM | Report abuse

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