A's close to signing Crisp

BY foxsports • December 20, 2009

The Oakland Athletics were closing in on a deal Sunday with free-agent outfielder Coco Crisp on a one-year contract with a club option for the 2011 season.

A person with knowledge of the negotiations confirmed an impending deal on condition of anonymity because a formal announcement had not been made by the club. That could come soon.

The 30-year-old Crisp can play all three outfield positions but is primarily a center fielder. While the A's have been happy with Rajai Davis, he might wind up playing one of the corner spots to clear room for Crisp in center.

Crisp underwent season-ending shoulder surgery in June and batted .228 with three home runs and 14 RBIs in only 49 games last season for the Kansas City Royals, who last month declined their $8 million option to bring Crisp back in 2010.

Crisp, who could bat leadoff or high in the order for the A's, has said he expects to be full strength by the start of spring training in February.

He was traded to the Royals from the Boston Red Sox in November 2008. He spent parts of three seasons with Boston following four years with the Cleveland Indians. Before his shortened 2009 campaign, the speedy Crisp had stolen at least 15 bases in all but his rookie season with Cleveland in '02.

Crisp would be just the latest move in an active winter for Oakland general manager Billy Beane, who earlier this month acquired third baseman Jake Fox, second baseman Aaron Miles and cash considerations from the Chicago Cubs for three players.

Oakland also was included in the big four-team, nine-player swap Wednesday featuring Cliff Lee and Roy Halladay that brought outfielder Michael Taylor to the A's. Oakland sent third baseman Brett Wallace to Toronto.

Beane is committed to largely rebuilding the organization from the ground up, starting at the lowest levels of the farm system, while finding key pieces from the outside that fit the mix.

The A's finished with 75 wins for the second straight season and in last place in the AL West, losing their final seven games.

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