Not since the days of Rickey Henderson have the Oakland Athletics had a dynamic player atop the lineup like Coco Crisp. He has held down the top of the A’s lineup for the better part of four seasons, and his value to the team has only increased as the talent level around him has been elevated. Appropriately deemed the engine of the Athletics lineup, as Coco Crisp went, so did the team.
October 4, 2013; Oakland, CA, USA; Oakland Athletics center fielder Coco Crisp (4) sits in the dugout before game one of the American League divisional series playoff baseball game against the Detroit Tigers at O.co Coliseum. The Tigers defeated Athletics 3-2. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports
The major blemish in Crisp’s game hasn’t been felt while he’s on the field at all, it’s been his ability to stay on said field for extended periods of time. It may simply be a symptom of the reckless abandon with which he plays the game. The way he plays the game is exactly how he should play the game, and nobody would ever tell him to slow down. Playing all out is who Coco Crisp is, it is what makes him who he is.
Coco amassed 584 plate appearances in 2013, and hit .261/.335/.444 with a career high 21 home runs. He played stellar defense as well, and seemed to be in the middle of just about every rally the A’s started during the season. His value to the team though extends beyond just his statistics, his leadership in the clubhouse is something that cannot be quantified.
The A’s though will be forced to quantify his value as they have to decide whether or not to exercise his option for the 2014 season. For $7.5 million the A’s can keep Crisp in the fold through 2014, after which he’ll be a free agent. By current market standards, $7.5 million is a reasonable pact and picking up the option should be a no brainer for the A’s.
The A’s have unfinished business, and so does Coco Crisp. They’ll have one more year to get the job done, so they need to make sure to have their high performance engine finely tuned for 2014.