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The Pot Starts Boiling

This from the Boston Herald:

According to baseball sources, the Red Sox and Cleveland Indians have agreed in principle on a deal that will bring outfielder Crisp to the Sox in a multi-player trade. The deal was agreed upon several days ago under the condition that Cleveland be able to acquire another outfielder to replace Crisp, presumably Jason Michaels from the Philadelphia Phillies.

We still don't really know who the particulars of the trade are, but I feel pretty confident that Crisp and Marte are the primary participants. The fact that the article goes on to say that "The Red Sox will send a package including reliever Guillermo Mota and prospect Andy Marte to the Indians" indicates that more than just Marte and Mota would be included in the trade, and probably more than Crisp would be going to Boston.

Jason Michaels has been a name mentioned on and off with the Indians. The Phillies have been using him as a platoon player in center field for most of his career, and with the acquisition of Aaron Rowand from Chicago, that probably won't continue to happen. Michaels' biggest positive is his ability to get on base (career OBP of .380). He can also play all three outfield positions, which would allow the Indians to move Casey Blake to left field.

Jeff DaVannon was also mentioned as a fallback if talks between the Indians and Phillies break down.  I like Michaels a lot better, so hopefully it wouldn't come to that.

So while we don't have any specifics on the trade(s) just yet, it seems the two sides are getting real close to completing it. There's still a lot of fallout to cover if the deal does happen, but I'd like to wait until after if/when the trade is finalized.

UPDATE: The Globe chimes in with another update further confirming the extent and seriousness of the talks. All sources are consistent in indicating that the Indians' ability to obtain another outfielder is the main issue holdling up a trade, not their ability to come to terms with Boston. [Jay]

UPDATE: Paul Hoynes weighs in:

The Indians and Boston, according to a major league source, are considering a six-player trade that would send Crisp and two low-level minor leaguers to Boston for third base prospect Andy Marte, Mota and another a minor league pitcher. The Indians would then trade Mota to Philadelphia for outfielder Jason Michaels.
This deal is getting more and more complicated. [Ryan]

UPDATE: Sheldon Ocker weighs in, without much new to add:

Published reports insisting that Coco Crisp is about to become a member of the Boston Red Sox are at least a little premature ... One Tribe operative said he didn't think anything would happen for at least two days, while General Manager Mark Shapiro tried to obtain Michaels.
Two freakin' days? I have to keep writing about this for two more days? The nerve of these people! [Jay]