The White Sox’s acquisition of Nick Swisher may open the door to Coco Crisp being traded to the White Sox.
How is this possible, you ask, with the White Sox holding three starting outfielders already?
Even though the White Sox plan to play Swisher in centerfield, he is best suited to the corners. Jermaine Dye is entrenched in right-field and with recent rumors swirling that the White Sox are in talks with the Los Angeles Angels to deal first baseman Paul Konerko to the Angels, which would open up first base for Swisher.
If that trade doesn’t happen, the White Sox may look to continue upgrading their team in other ways.
Enter Coco Crisp.
The White Sox have been interested in Crisp as someone who could plug the center-field vacancy for a while. Possessing speed, superior defense and at the very least a history of offensive success, Crisp has to be enticing to a team that boasts a ton of station-to-station hitters (Swisher, Dye, Konerko, Jim Thome, Joe Crede).
If there was a trade of Coco Crisp to the White Sox for Carlos Quentin, it would make a lot of sense for both Sox.
Quentin, 25, has long been considered a long-term starting outfielder and experienced early success at the age of 23 for the Arizona Diamondbacks, hitting .253/.342/.530 in 116 AB (57 games). This past year, his value took a dip, hitting only .214/.298/.349 in 229 AB (81 games). The trade to the White Sox was to open up more playing time for Quentin. One reason for his dip in statistics is because of a shoulder injury he sustained in spring training. In mid-October, he underwent successful surgery to repair his rotator cuff and labrum (in his non-throwing shoulder).
This move would allow the Red Sox to use Quentin as their fourth outfielder (Brandon Moss notwithstanding) with an eye towards slotting him in as a starter in the future. At only age 25 without a proven track record of success, using Quentin in all outfield corners and at DH could net him about 300 at bats, which would represent a career high.
Manny Ramirez is entering his final year of his guaranteed contract and has reportedly been working out feverishly this off season after suffering a subpar (by his standards) year. If the Red Sox chose not to pick up Manny’s option, we would have Quentin, who would be able to step in. If Jacoby Ellsbury has a slump, Quentin steps in. If J.D. Drew gets hurt, Quentin steps in. When Ortiz rests, Manny DHs and Quentin steps in. Even though Quentin doesn’t play first base, he could learn and step in there.
The two negatives to this argument:
Carlos Quentin has never played centerfield at the major league level. However, he was ranked Arizona’s best defensive outfielder in their system in 2006, so playing a backup role in center shouldn’t be too much of a stretch.
Where does this leave Brandon Moss? The answer to this is: does it matter? Moss is a solid young outfielder with history of success, but he can’t match Quentin in terms of minor league production and height of his ceiling.
If the Red Sox could swap Coco Crisp for Carlos Quentin (the largely irrelevant second pieces notwithstanding), I say do it. What say thee?