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Allen Craig’s knee surgery has Cardinals interested in Coco Crisp

Dec 20, 2011, 10:47 AM EDT

coco crisp getty Getty Images

It’s unclear how far along the two sides are in talks, but Ken Rosenthal of, Steve Henson of Yahoo! Sports, and Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post Dispatch have each reported recently that the Cardinals are interested in Coco Crisp.

Allen Craig is likely to miss at least the first month of the season following knee surgery, which would allow Crisp to play center field every day while Jon Jay shifts to right field. And once Craig returns manager Mike Matheny would have to platoon him mostly versus left-handers or bench one of Crisp or Jay.

Crisp in center field and Jay in right field would give the Cardinals’ outfield defense a huge boost compared to having Jay in center field and Lance Berkman in right field this past season, but Crisp hit just .264 with a .693 OPS in 136 games for the A’s and has topped a .750 OPS just twice in the past six seasons.

And with a .314 on-base percentage in 2011 as part of a .330 career mark Crisp isn’t a particularly strong fit as a leadoff man, but there’s speculation that the Cardinals would bat him atop the lineup.

  1. elmedico27 - Dec 20, 2011 at 10:57 AM

    As Mr. Horse would say: “No sir, I don’t like it.”

  2. saints97 - Dec 20, 2011 at 11:02 AM

    Great. Such a Cardinal-like move to sign an aging veteran instead using a young player who is already on the roster (Adron Chambers). I guess it helps that Crisp is worse that Chambers in every facet of the game (other than candles on his birthday cake).

    Meet the new boss, same as the old boss.

    • paperlions - Dec 20, 2011 at 11:09 AM

      Plus the Cardinals too Komatsu in the rule 5 draft…who is a similar player. I assumed they took Komatsu to use him as a bench guy so that Chambers can play full time in AAA instead of rotting on a bench

      I am hoping this is just leverage or rumor to create leverage in negotiations with Beltran.

      • saints97 - Dec 20, 2011 at 11:16 AM

        Agreed on Beltran.

        The idea of Craig platooning with Crisp could only be brought up by someone who has not paid attention to either of them lately. You know, like someone who thinks Crisp is still any good defensively.

      • cintiphil - Dec 20, 2011 at 11:28 AM

        At least one of you guys gets it. This is all about warning Beltran not to ask too much.

      • stex52 - Dec 20, 2011 at 11:39 AM

        Agree with Paper. Sounds like a negotiating point with Beltran. Maybe just wishful thinking, but I hope that is it.

      • paperlions - Dec 20, 2011 at 11:44 AM

        Phil, we Cardinal fans are used to the FO picking up aging vets that are totally useless, and then using them in important games….though many (including myself) often attributed this primarily to TLR, he may have only been one of those in favor of such useless moves….you would think after so many fruitless signings of such players, they would have given it up….especially considering that it was the young players from the Cardinals system that picked up the slack and carried the team to the playoffs and did much of the heavy lifting through the WS….but until it becomes a pattern….we will still expect the FO to sign useless players like Crisp.

      • cintiphil - Dec 20, 2011 at 2:30 PM

        Paperman: Don’t tell me about old timers. We had half of the cards retiree’s here in Cinti at one time. We led the league in signing over the hill Cardinals.

      • paperlions - Dec 20, 2011 at 2:56 PM

        Sucks, doesn’t it?

  3. paperlions - Dec 20, 2011 at 11:05 AM

    Coco Crisp sucking has me completely uninterested in the Cardinals signing him. They just re-upped with Skip, who sucks just as bad….no reason to have depth at sucking.

    There is also no reason to platoon Craig, the guy hits righties just about as well as he hits lefties.

    • Tim's Neighbor - Dec 20, 2011 at 1:50 PM

      Which is very averagely.

      • paperlions - Dec 20, 2011 at 3:02 PM

        Yeah, he sucks. Last year among players with 210+ PAs (Craig only had 219 due to his knee injury), in all of MLB Craig was 8th in wRC+, 12th in wOBA, 8th in SLG, and 41st in OBP. Yeah, that’s average.

  4. fearlessleader - Dec 20, 2011 at 11:05 AM

    Look, Baseball Gods, we Cardinal fans have already had to deal with a lot of crap this offseason. I don’t know if we can handle a breakfast cereal with a lousy OPS in center field too.

  5. - Dec 20, 2011 at 11:28 AM

    I was interested in some Boo-Berry this morning for breakfast. But, I’m still trying to get into the Best Shape of My Life, and well, that cearal has lots of sugar. So I went with grilled salmon instead.

    • cintiphil - Dec 20, 2011 at 11:33 AM

      OK we get it. he is past his prime, he he ever had one.

      • WhenMattStairsIsKing - Dec 20, 2011 at 12:35 PM

        140 hits, average .729 OPS the past 3 seasons and 49 stolen bases in 2011..he’s not THAT bad. You guys act like they’re bringing So Taguchi back.

    • umrguy42 - Dec 20, 2011 at 3:09 PM

      Matt… forget his numbers, I always *liked* So. (Mainly for a game against the Cubs where he cranked one out of Wrigley in a clutch situation.) :p

  6. cintiphil - Dec 20, 2011 at 11:34 AM

    IF he ever had one!

  7. spudchukar - Dec 20, 2011 at 1:53 PM

    Boras is known to drag contract negotiations out as long as possible and like the others above hope this is a bargaining chip. While I do not think that Coco Crisp is as bad as represented here, it would be a disappointment in the “re-allocation” business.

    But let’s face it. If comments here can see that it is a ruse, then Boras can figure it out too, so who is foolin’ who?

    Chambers however is not ready, and may very well never be. He can play the role of utility outfielder/pinch runner for a spell, but that is about it.

    Crisp is a switch-hitter, which helps, but if the Cardinal management believes that Coco Crisp, name and all, will placate an already disturbed fan base they are sadly mistaken. The moves they have made since the Pujols fiasco, were going to be made regardless of Pujols’ decision, so, so far they have not done any “re-allocating”, and even a Beltran signing, which I have luke warm feelings about, will still be a far cry from replacing either the talent or dollars.

  8. okwhitefalcon - Dec 20, 2011 at 6:51 PM

    This would be a prime spot for some Mozeliak/Dewitt bashing but it’s too easy.

    “Low hanging fruit” on so many levels….

  9. westcoastredbird - Dec 20, 2011 at 8:39 PM

    If the Cardinals are serious about repeating they need to sign Beltran to bat third or sign Fielder to bat fourth. I’m not kookoo for Coco. Speak of low hanging fruit about 20 of my left coast Cardinal buddies are getting together for Albert Pujols Pinata night for New Year’s eve. We’re still trying to figure out what uniform to put him and we’re still trying to come up with 254 million dollars in funny money. A good time will be had by all I assure you.

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