Coco Crisp to re-sign with A’s on two-year, $14 million deal

Finally, there’s some A’s news about a player returning rather than being shown the door. Free agent center fielder Coco Crisp will return to Oakland on a two-year deal worth $14 million, plus a $7.5 million club option for 2014, reports ESPN’s Buster Olney. All indications I’m getting are that this is all but a done deal. Here’s my story on the topic. A’s officials aren’t confirming anything and neither is Crisp’s agent, Steve Comte. But Oakland GM Billy Beane had complimentary things to say about Crisp even as he declined direct comment on whether a contract was in the works.

Does this signing surprise you? I’m a little shocked that Crisp would return given the direction of the franchise. Top starting pitchers Gio Gonzalez and Trevor Cahill have been traded, as have closer Andrew Bailey and fellow reliever Craig Breslow. Beane and Co. have clearly stated they don’t think it’s realistic for the A’s to contend in the AL West this season, and they’re building for a future they hope includes a new stadium in San Jose. Crisp told me in September that playing for a contender would be important to him as he entered free agency. I asked Comte how Crisp viewed the A’s given the trades that have been made this winter. “(GM) Billy (Beane) always finds a way to piece it together,” Comte said. “ … I think we’ve seen a few teams with young talent that have probably exceeded expectations.”

A two-year, $14 million deal is pretty steep for a player with Crisp’s injury history. And you figure there weren’t many teams offering Crisp as much as the A’s did on a multi-year deal. Nonetheless, this is an important signing for the A’s simply because it brings a recognizable player back into the fold after they’ve sent so many guys packing. Does it improve Oakland’s chances in the AL West? Not really. Does Crisp bring the power this team so desperately lacks with Josh Willingham’s departure? Negative. But he provides a steady glove in center field, and manager Bob Melvin is preaching improved defense in 2012. Crisp also brings a little name recognition, as second baseman Jemile Weeks was looking like the A’s only hope to build a marketing campaign around. Given how this offseason has unfolded, I’m guessing fans are chalking this up as a surprise victory.

Am I right?

Joe Stiglich

  • Stan

    It’s a bit of Billy being schizo again isnt it?..to give away all stars then give journeymen Coco the near star treatment like he was homegrown. It’s like when Beane said he was rebuilding…then traded Gonzales and Street for Matt Holliday..then schizo Billy let him walk when the season was over and had nothing to show for him,. Or Ben Sheets or Duch..huge contracts for players with congenital defects-that Beane had been told about. I was stumped at his thinking then. But I’m just plain genius, not Moneyball genius heh Joe?

  • Oakland4ever

    Could have kept Willingham for nearly the same amount, perhaps Beane wanted the Type A pick. Though Crisp has a glass arm, his range is fantastic, I’m glad he’ll (albeit expensive) be a veteran mentor for all the young outfielders

  • Stan

    The “expectations” for this year is 100-120 losses. SO under 100 isn’t much “exceeding”

    And Beane is still in hiding huh? cowardly and greedy.

    I’m sure Sue Slusser called this a fantastic, momentous, signing over at the shill SF Gate. What a disgrace of a pack of beat sports writers.
    Oak4ever says what every body says..let young Ty walk,sign old brittle Coco. How does Beane even call himself GM when he’s more the A’s banker and accountant?

  • Stan

    ..and with the Crisp signing,asOak4ever said-he’s not even good at that.

  • todd burns

    The A’s are stuck in bizzaro world. Watching players leave who they should sign; signing players they shouldn’t. Sorry, Coco.