by Charlie O. Mallonee
The Coco Crisp era in Oakland has come to an end. The A’s and the Cleveland Indians have reached an agreement on a trade that sends Crisp back to his original major league team.
In return, the Athletics will receive minor league left-handed pitcher Colt Hynes.
Cleveland has been looking for outfield help since Michael Brantley went out for the rest of the season due to surgery on his right biceps. The Indians have been using a group of five players to platoon against right-handed and left-handed pitching. The switch-hitting Crisp can be used in all situations.
The Indians will lose one of the outfielders they are using in post-season play. Abraham Almonte is not eligible for the post-season because he was suspended for the first 81 games of the season due to a positive test for a performance-enhancing substance. He is not allowed to participate in the post-season as a part of his punishment.
Crisp gives the Indians a player with post-season experience. He has participated in divisional and championship play with Boston and Oakland. Crisp was also a member of the 2007 World Champion Boston Red Sox team.
Crisp was batting .234 with 11 home runs and 47 RBI in 102 games for the A’s this season. He leads the majors with a .424 batting average with runners in scoring position. Crisp can play all three outfield positions.
Crisp had recently expressed his unhappiness with the A’s over the way he was being used as a player. Crisp has an incentive based $13-million contract for 2017 that would automatically vest if he plays 130 or more games this season. He felt the A’s were deliberately platooning him in the outfield to avoid having the final year of the contract go into force.
LHP Colt Hynes has been well traveled this year. He started the season with the Toronto organization and was traded to Cleveland on August 3rd. Hynes has pitched at the Double-A and Triple-A level this year with a combined record of 3-1 with two saves and an ERA of 3.99 in 38 relief appearances. He has pitched in the Major Leagues for San Diego and Toronto.
Infielder Joey Wendle has been recalled from Triple-A Nashville to take Crisp’s place on the roster. He was battling .279 with 12 home runs and 61 RBI for the Sounds. Wendle came to the A’s from Cleveland in 2014 as part of the Brandon Moss trade