|Coco Crisp / Icon SMI|
The biggest knock against Crisp is his durability. In the last 4 seasons, he's averaged just 94 games and 384 plate appearances. He recently turned 32 and needs some luck to stay in the lineup full time. Not good.
Here are some other notes about Crisp:
- In 2011, he was paid $5,750,000. Based on the $WAR formula for 2011, he should have earned 2.0 WAR, and he actually put up 2.1. That's quite good, in the sense that most veterans don't perform up to $WAR standards. Of course, in 2012 his salary goes up but I wouldn't expect his WAR to do the same, meaning his 0.1 $WAR in 2011 is likely to go negative in 2012.
- Among CFs to play at least 100 games in 2011, Crisp had one of the lowest OPS+ figures at 91. Every guy after him on the list (such as Austin Jackson, Drew Stubbs, Rick Ankiel, Andres Torres, Aaron Rowand and Alex Rios) was a significant disappointment.
- Crisp has a lot of speed and is a good baserunner (one of just 10 players with positive Rbaser every year since 2005) and should be a leadoff hitter. His career OBP is just .330, though, and it sank to .314 in 2011, meaning he really doesn't get on base enough to bad leadoff. (That didn't stop Oakland from hitting him there 61 times last year, though.)
Still, though, the argument against Crisp can be reasonably rebuffed simply by asking "who else?". Fans love to say that so-and-so shouldn't be played or allowed to manage, but we often don't have a better replacement in mind. Crisp, when healthy, is a solid player and by all accounts a great guy and teammate. A $7 million average salary is not unreasonable for a dependable guy.
Just don't bat him leadoff!