As reported yesterday, the deal to send Coco Crisp to the Cleveland Indians — where he started his major-league career — has been made official today. In return for the veteran outfielder, the Indians will send 31-year-old reliever Colt Hynes to the Oakland Athletics. According to TJ Zuppe, the Indians are also receiving cash in the deal.
Crisp will essentially be a postseason replacement for Abraham Almonte, who is ineligible to play due to his 80-game PED suspension earlier this season. Crisp is slashing just .234/.299/.399 with 11 home runs this season with the A’s. However, as the Indians noted in their official announcement on Twitter, Crisp has been outstanding with runners in scoring position and with runners on base.
Welcome back, @Coco_Crisp!— Cleveland Indians (@Indians) August 31, 2016
Coco, acquired from the A's, is hitting .345 w/men on & leads MLB w/a .424 mark w/RISP. pic.twitter.com/XqVnopXpuG
Crisp is expected to report to the Indians on Thursday and be added to the active roster on Friday. In order to eligible for the postseason, Crisp only had to be in the Indians organization by 11:59 tonight, not on the major-league roster. By waiting to do the trade last minute before rosters expand to allow the full 40-man rosters to play in September, the Indians will avoid having to bump someone else off the 25-man roster to make room. Or, at least, they delay the decision until rosters contract again prior to the playoffs.
In his four seasons with the Tribe (2002-2005), Crisp was worth 9.9 FanGraphs WAR, highlighted by a tremendous 2005 campaign in which he slashed .300/.345/.465 with 16 home runs. Crisp then went on to play for the Boston Red Sox (2006-2008) and most recently the A’s (2010-2016).
The A’s will be promoting Joey Wendle to take Crisp’s place on the roster. Wendle, of course, was the player the Indians sent over in the Brandon Moss trade during last year’s Winter Meetings.