Coco Crisp on Chopping Block

According to the Boston Herald:

In order to add another starter to the rotation for the remainder of this season and possibly beyond, the Red Sox are making two-thirds of their starting outfield - center fielder Coco Crisp and right fielder Trot Nixon - available to other teams while also making it clear that young pitchers Jonathan Papelbon, Jon Lester, Craig Hansen and Manny Delcarmen are not going anywhere.

I don't know about this. I think we gave up on Edgar Renteria too early (but I do love Alex Gonzalez) and I really don't want the Sox to give up on Coco early, too. Maybe these are two different cases -- and they are -- but Coco deserves a lot more time to prove himself.

Crisp is somewhat of a different story. A major league source yesterday said the Red Sox had recently made a concrete offer that included Crisp to another team for a starter.

Crisp's availability can be read any number of ways. The 26-year-old is having a mildly disappointing season so far - .275 batting average and 11 stolen bases after his 2-for-4 effort in an 8-3 loss to the Los Angeles Angels last night - but his upside is still considered quite high. Cost control is another factor that would make him attractive, considering that he and the Red Sox agreed this April to a three-year contract extension worth $15.5 million, plus an $8 million option for 2010.

I think it would be a bad move to trade Coco for a starter like the Nats' Livan Hernandez or the Phils' Jon Lieber or Cory Lidle. Don't trade a quality outfielder for a #5 starter. Keep the offense and beat the teams with bad pitching with good offense. That's what the White Sox are doing grabbing Alfonso Soriano (or will), and that's what the Rangers are doing after grabbing Carlos Lee.

The Sox have also offered Mark Loretta to at least one team so far. Trading Loretta is smarter than trading Crisp because at least we've got Dustin Pedroia ready to take over in Pawtucket. Do the Sox expect to give David Murphy a starting job in Boston on Monday? I don't think so, but maybe they're looking at getting lucky, like the Cubs did when we traded them Matt Murton.

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