Saturday, January 28, 2006

Oh, Coco!


After weeks of yes-no-maybe-wait-I-don't-know trade talks, Prince Theo and Mark Shapiro finally hunkered down and the Sox of Boston got their center fielder. Guillermo Mota failed his physical (which shouldn't be surprising if you heard about this) and Boston had to throw in a PTBNL or cash to sweeten the already-pretty-sweet pot. Meanwhile, Cleveland had to wait out the formalities on the Arthur Rhodes-for-Jason Michaels trade to Philadelphia. Y'know. Just in case they should suddenly need a left fielder who can also beat up cops. I'm not sure if that's the kind of slugging teams look for but whatever. He's still a heckuva fourth outfielder.

For all the players exchanged, this is basically a challenge trade of two terrific young players so it may take upward of five years to see who wins out. Though I'd be reluctant to forfeit Andy Marte (possibly the best prospect in the game), the Red Sox desperately needed a replacement for Johnny Metro and found a great one in Covelli Loyce Crisp. In addition to being a speedy leadoff hitter who will be younger, oh-so-much cheaper and (dare I say it? Yes. I dare.) better than their last speedy leadoff hitter, Coco Crisp has one of the best names in Baseball since me. Because of this, the Sox should recoup half his salary in jersey sales alone.

As for the other guys, they serve as slight upgrades for the Indians. I like Mota ever-so-slightly better than David Riske, who will be pelted by tomatoes all summer long as he comes out of the bullpen to give up lead-blowing home run after lead-blowing home run in Fenway. I like Kelly Shoppach less than I did a couple years ago but the exact same thing could be said for every single prospect in the history of ever that doesn't live up to my expectations, however modest. Still, I'd recommend him more than Josh Bard, who will battle John Flaherty in spring training for the miserable privilege of catching Tim Wakefield's knuckler.

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