Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Coco No More

The Sox confirmed that they traded Coco Crisp to the Royals for reliever Ramon Ramirez. Unless you're far more familiar with the ins and outs of the Royals bullpen than I, I'm sure you had a similar first reaction: who? Fear not: once you take a look at the numbers, dealing Coco straight up for a no-name reliever makes sense. At 27, the right-handed Ramirez has three calendar years' experience in the majors - two in Colorado, one in Kansas City - with phenomenal numbers (ERA+ above 140, K:BB ratio of about 2:1, WHIP and ERA that have both fallen over time) over sixty-plus appearances in both 2006 and 2008. The catch is 2007, when Ramirez hurt himself twice: a sprained right elbow in April and a right elbow inflammation in September, and spent of the rest of the time sucking wind. Clearly he healed well enough to continue his march forward this past year, but a guy with a damaged wing who relies on low-90s hard stuff to make his living is a potential liability as he gets older. The Herald believes there's a possibility of Ramirez figuring as a set piece in a larger trade later on.

In addition to confirming the long-term decision to support the Jacoby Ellsbury Project in Boston, this move means happy trails to Covelli Crisp, the little engine who never quite could in Boston. To be sure, he had his hot streaks, particularly in the second half of this season, when he picked up the slack from Ellsbury's rookie/sophomore struggles, but the guy who came to Boston to replace Johnny Damon never really established himself after breaking his finger in early April, 2006 in Baltimore. Best of luck to you in KC, Coco; I hear they're big into OBP now. We'll always have 2007 and the time you almost broke your wrist sliding into the triangle.

Speaking of Baltimore: glad to hear the Orioles are acknowledging their home city now.