Coco Crisp says Rays made strong bid
The general assumption this off-season has been that the Rays are looking for a big power bat to pop into the midlde of their lineup.
But they apparently are considering other scenarios, because leadoff-style hitter Coco Crisp told the San Francisco Chronicle's Susan Slusser that the Rays were making a strong bid before he settled on re-signing with the A's.
Agent Stan Comte went as far as telling Slusser that as of Saturday night the Rays were “not only a viable option but the best option,” and that the A's then came back with a new proposal, which ended up being worth $14 million over two years, with a $7.5-million team option for 2014.
So what does the Rays pursuit of Crisp mean?
Conceivably that they were willing to sign him and then turn around and trade one of their other outfielders, presumably B.J. Upton, for help at another position - with openings remaining at DH and first base. Though if the Rays were anywhere close to $7-million a year for Crisp, then they wouldn't be saving any money, since that's about, or even a bit more, than Upton will make in his last season before free-agency. And they would be giving up power for a player that is otherwise similar, though without nearly as many strikeouts.
It wouldn't make any sense to trade Desmond Jennings, who is under team control for six more seasons. And trading Matt Joyce or Ben Zobrist takes away from the power they have, though would give them tremendous speed.
Certainly would be interesting to see what they would have done had they signed Crisp.