Six days after reaching an agreement in principle, three days after Guillermo Mota's underwhelming physical, and one day after the deal teetered on the precipice of collapse, the Sox sweetened their offer and got their man: Cleveland's Coco Crisp. The deal was expanded to seven players, including the six in the initial agreement, and was announced by general manager Theo Epstein.
Crisp, who will suceed Johnny Damon in center field and atop the lineup, 29-year-old righthander David Riske, and 27-year-old switch-hitting catcher Josh Bard are coming to Boston. The Sox' top prospect, 22-year-old Andy Marte, is headed to Cleveland, along with Mota, 25-year-old catcher Kelly Shoppach, cash considerations, and a player to be named or further cash considerations.
It was not known how much money the Sox would be sending to Cleveland, but this deal required commissioner Bud Selig's approval, and, as a rule, Selig must approve any transaction that involves more than $1 million. .
The Sox managed to secure Crisp without giving up Hyde Park's Manny Delcarmen, whom the Indians asked for after inspecting Mota and expressing displeasure with the condition of his pitching shoulder.
The deal came together Friday night but appeared to be gaining momentum by mid-day yesterday, when several outlets reported that Cleveland reliever Arthur Rhodes was in Philadelphia for a physical. Cleveland and Philadelphia had agreed to a Rhodes-for-Jason Michaels swap last week, with the intention of Michaels taking over for Crisp. But, for the last few days, that deal was believed to be in a holding pattern as the Sox and Indians worked through their differences.
Crisp, who is unsigned and seeking $3.05 million in arbitration, brings the Sox an intriguing bat atop the order. He hit .300 last year with 42 doubles, 16 homers, 69 RBIs, 15 steals, and 86 runs.