Red Sox deal almost certainly means that Reed stays
I made a pretty flippant “Dealing Marte for Crisp is crazy” comment in another thread, and on further thought this warrants a bit of a post. My initial reaction came mostly from my belief that Marte’s an absolute blue-chip stud prospect, and Coco Crisp is a good player. But this makes a lot of sense.
There appears to be a contingent deal in place that would go:
Red Sox get Coco Crisp (and sign Alex Gonzalez, formerly of the Marlins)
Indians get Andy Marte and Guillermo Mota
The Red Sox have other third base options and it wasn’t really clear how they were going to sort them out while they certainly had a huge hole in center field. They’re trying to compete for a playoff spot, and while Marte’s a huge prospect, a good patch in center field might get them there now.
And that’s the thing — in the last few years, Coco Crisp went from being an interesting outfielder to being a pretty good player, somone you might count on next year for a .340+ OBP and some power to boot, while playing good defense. Historically as a center fielder he’s rated out decently.
Here’s the thing: .340 plus some power and average defense in center is Damon, except significantly younger.
Marte’s a great prospect, years younger, but next year he’s going to put up numbers a lot like Crisp’s: .340 OBP with some power. Likely more power, but also while playing third (or, if the Sox moved him, left) instead of center.
In terms of present value, this makes a lot of sense for the Red Sox, even as I rant about how Marte’s a special prospect with amazing talent and I wouldn’t trade him for the moon and all the He-3 on it.
The other side of this is that, right or wrong, this is going to contribute to the gossip that something’s wrong with Marte’s arm — what top prospects have ever been pursued, acquired, and discarded by any team, much less one as astute as the Red Sox?