How different the Red Sox outfield looks for 2007 depends on a good number of things, including whether or not the team gives serious consideration to trading Manny Ramirez, and deciding whether Coco Crisp and Wily Mo Pena are the guys they want patrolling the outfield in coming seasons.
The Rocky Mountain News’ Tracy Ringolsby writes this morning that the Red Sox remain focused on trying to pry All-Star outfielder Andruw Jones from the Atlanta Braves.
“But a first step is for the Red Sox to unload disappointing Coco Crisp and the three-year, $15.5 million extension he was given before playing his first game in Boston,” Ringolsby writes.
That's actually inaccurate, as the Sox and Crisp agreed on a three-year extension on April 13, the day after they placed him on the disabled list, at which time the outfielder had played five games.
[Edit: Oops. I'm actually the one who's inaccurate, as reader James Mazza points out: "The Red Sox opened with six games on the road this year. So your counterpart from the Rocky Mountain News was indeed accurate when he said that Coco got an extension 'before playing his first game 'in' Boston.' I thought a self-proclaimed grammarian would have paid attention to the words on the page." Right. Mea culpa, then.]
Crisp, who became a spokesperson for HP Hood yesterday, at a Fenway press conference apparently nobody cared to cover, might actually be a good fit in Colorado, where center field remains a priority for Rockies general manager Dan O’Dowd.
“O'Dowd wasn't about to reveal names,” writes the Denver Post’s Troy E. Renck, “but those who fit the profile include Boston's Coco Crisp, particularly if the Red Sox eat some of his contract.”
Eat some of his contract? Seriously? Let’s not take this suggestion too lightly as the assumption of some overzealous writer as you have to wonder if the Red Sox might have set a sort of precedent throughout baseball last winter, paying the Atlanta Braves for the services of Edgar Renteria. They signed Bronson Arroyo to a team-friendly deal, and somehow still ended up paying the Reds for him to win 14 games in the NL. There remains the possibility that Boston might have to eat plenty of dough this offseason in order for Matt Clement to pitch elsewhere as well.
Crisp’s deal though runs for three years at a grand total of $15.5 million (plus an $8 million club option for 2010) or about what O’Dowd once wasted on one year of what was the Denny Neagle disaster. That doesn’t exactly sound like the type of investment the Rockies would need help paying off.
So if the Rockies plan to negotiate a stipend for that kind of cash, imagine the headaches Theo Epstein is going to endure trying to trade more expensive chips like Clement this offseason. You pay for your mistakes. And then some, as the Red Sox may soon discover.