It's official -- Crisp re-signs with A's


It's official -- Crisp re-signs with A's

The A's have made a flurry of trades since the end of the 2011 season, but made a move to solidify both their offense and outfield defense with Thursday's announcement that the team agreed with Coco Crisp on a two-year deal.

Comcast SportsNet California broke the news of the deal on Tuesday. The agreement is for two years, at 14 milliontotal with a club option for a third year. According to the source who spoke exclusively with Comcast SportsNet California, the two years and 14 million are guaranteed, and the clubsoption for the third year is for 7.5 million. If the club decided to let Crispgo after the second year, it would have to pay a 1 million buyout.Crisp, a career .275 hitter, hit .264 with eight homers and54 RBI with 49 stolen bases in 136 games in 2011. Crisp provided Oakland with a .314 OBP.

Official press release:
The Oakland As agreed to terms with outfielder Coco Crisp on a two-year contract through the 2013 season with a club option for 2014, the club announced today.

Crisp batted .264 with eight home runs, 54 RBI and a career-high 49 stolen bases in 136 games with Oakland last year. He tied for the American League lead in stolen bases and led the As in hits (140) and at bats (531) while tying for the team lead in runs scored (69). Crisp became the 10th player (26th time) in Oakland history to steal 40 bases in a season and is the first Athletic to lead the league in steals since Rickey Henderson had 66 in 1998. The 32-year-old switch hitter also batted .298 with runners in scoring position and ranked 10th in the AL with an average of 8.97 plate appearances per strikeout.

Crisp was originally signed by the As to a two-year contract prior to the 2010 season and has a .269 average with 16 home runs, 92 RBI and 81 stolen bases in 211 games in two seasons with Oakland. The stolen bases are fifth most in the AL over the last two years. Crisp has played for four teams in a 10-year Major League career that includes stops with Cleveland (2002-05), Boston (2006-08), Kansas City (2009) and Oakland (2010-11). He is a .275 hitter with 75 home runs, 419 RBI and 218 stolen bases in 1043 career games.

A's GM Forst feels passion of fans, will not second-guess decisions

A's GM Forst feels passion of fans, will not second-guess decisions

A’s general manager David Forst says he has a stack of strongly worded letters from fans who grow frustrated with many of the team’s personnel moves.

That comes with the territory of running a major league front office. But Forst also said, during a wide-ranging interview on the latest A’s Insider Podcast, that honest critiquing must come from within office walls.

“You do want to do some self-evaluation and self-assessing,” Forst said. “What I don’t do, I don’t go back and second-guess decisions, whether it’s a trade or a signing. I don’t sort of hypothetically think, ‘Well, what if we hadn’t done this,’ because it’s not a good use of anybody’s time. What you do have to do is make sure the process that led to that decision is sound and a good one.”

Certainly one of the most scrutinized A’s moves of recent history was their signing of designated hitter Billy Butler to a three-year $30 million contract in November 2014. That turned out to be a costly mistake, with Butler being released in September with one year left on his deal and the A’s still on the hook for roughly $10 million. Forst acknowledged how poorly that decision worked out but sticks by the initial motivation to sign Butler.

“Look, Billy Butler didn’t go the way we expected, and that’s one that gets brought up a lot,” Forst said. “But I think back to the time when we made that decision to sign him, and what we were projecting Billy to do. It was very clear what our team needed. Again, going into 2015, coming off the wild card that year, we still felt like this was a team that could compete for a division title. So all the things that went into the decision, ultimately I will stand by.”

Forst spoke frankly about several other topics during the podcast. Regarding fans’ frustration about seeing so many high-profile players traded:

“I’ve got a stack of letters on my desk, the substance of which I can’t repeat on the air,” he said with a smile. “… But there’s passion. And I know we have a fan base that cares, and that’s really a good place to be.”

Forst said the A’s definitely will pursue starting pitching this offseason, despite the fact that 1) he’s very optimistic about the crop of young pitching Oakland has developed, and 2) he believes Sonny Gray will bounce back from a poor 2016 season. The GM takes encouragement that Gray made a full physical recovery from a strained forearm.

“Am I going to get the Cy Young (caliber pitcher) from Day 1? I don’t know. But I think there’s a confidence that this was an aberration, this whole year, more than anything else.”

Crisp homers as Indians shut out Blue Jays to advance to World Series


Crisp homers as Indians shut out Blue Jays to advance to World Series


TORONTO -- A most unlikely pitching performance helped put a most unexpected team into the World Series.

Rookie Ryan Merritt coolly delivered a lead to the Andrew Miller-led bullpen and the Cleveland Indians won their first pennant since 1997, blanking Toronto 3-0 Wednesday in Game 5 of the AL Championship Series.

Cleveland, which has never hosted a World Series opener, will play Game 1 at Progressive Field on Tuesday night against either the Chicago Cubs or Los Angeles Dodgers.

The Indians will try to boost what's already been a magical year in Cleveland after LeBron James and the Cavaliers earned the city's first sports championship since 1964. The Indians' title drought dates to 1948.

The Dodgers led the Cubs 2-1 going into Game 4 of the NLCS on Wednesday night. Cleveland didn't play either team this season.

With all of 11 major league innings under his belt, Merritt took the mound and looked just like a seasoned vet. The 24-year-old lefty retired the first 10 batters and allowed only two hits before being pulled after 4 1/3 innings.

Then it was up to Cleveland's tireless relievers to hold a three-run lead.

Miller again did most of the heavy lifting, pitching 2 2/3 innings, and Cody Allen pitched the ninth for the save. Winner Bryan Shaw worked an inning before Miller came in.

Carlos Santana and Coco Crisp homered for the Indians.