Originally written on Baseball Prospectus  |  Last updated 11/19/14
Picimg_royalswhite_sox_c4e8

When ESPN’s Buster Olney reported that the A’s had agreed to a two-year, $14 million deal that will keep Coco Crisp in Oakland, the reaction was unkind to general manager Billy Beane. Although the move does seem a bit out of left field for a team coming off a fire sale, it’s actually a sensible one.

Crisp will earn $6 million in 2012 and $7 million 2013, before the A’s decide whether to exercise a $7.5 million club option with a $1 million buyout for 2014. Heading into his age-32 season, Crisp is unlikely to decline much over the course of the deal, and he was worth 3.2 WARP in 2011. Even if he averages only 2.0 WARP in 2012 and 2013, the A’s would get a fair value return on their investment.

Much of the criticism of the deal dwelled on the point that the Cardinals landed Carlos Beltran for $26 million over two years, and that Crisp is not half the player Beltran is. But Beltran—despite a .300/.385/.525 triple slash that’s far sexier than Crisp’s .264/.314/.379—contributed just 3.4 WARP to the Mets and Giants last season. Leaving aside the notion that Beltran would not have signed for the same terms with Oakland, WARP suggests that Crisp was nearly as valuable as Beltran. The only difference is that Crisp’s value was tied to baserunning and defense, while Beltran earned his money in the batter’s box.

Crisp’s peripherals also suggest a reasonable chance to improve in 2012. His .284 BABIP last season was well below his career mark of .303, even though his line-drive rate spiked from 16.5 percent to 24 percent. Both are likely to regress, and the aggregate should lead to a modest improvement in both batting average and on-base percentage.

The A’s young pitchers will also benefit from having one of the best defensive center fielders in the game manning Oakland’s pastures. With the rest of the outfield likely to be comprised of young players—including newly acquired Josh Reddick and Collin Cowgill, as well as prospects Michael Taylor and Chris Carter—Crisp also gives the team a veteran presence that may ease their transition.

 Because of the A’s fire sale, Crisp is set to be the team’s highest-paid player, and will earn a considerable chunk of the payroll.  But that’s more a matter of circumstance than an indication of a bad contract. Assuming he stays relatively healthy, Crisp should be worth what the A’s will pay him, helping both on the field and in the clubhouse. And he’s got an 80-grade hair tool to boot.   

GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

WATCH: Cormier tells Jones to get his s-- together

Fans holding 'Free Tom Brady Rally' at Gillette Stadium

Josh Hamilton to be activated by Rangers

WATCH: Top CB recruit makes insane catch doing backflip

Biggest surprises of the MLB season

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Marcus Mariota leads NFL in jersey sales for May

Report: Scott Skiles frontrunner for Magic coaching job

Shanahan: injuries are not why Robert Griffin III struggles

Kyle Korver ruled out for remainder of playoffs

Randy Moss attends cancer survivor's graduation

Roger Staubach shares thoughts on Greg Hardy

Warriors crush Rockets in Houston to take 3-0 series lead

WATCH: D'Angelo Russell whiffs on horrible golf swing

Brian Matusz ejected for having foreign substance on arm

PHOTO: Don Cherry wears wild suit even for his taste

PHOTOS: Gigantic sinkhole at Jack Nicklaus golf course

WATCH: Memphis player catches defense sleeping, scores

WATCH: Astros turn around-the-horn triple play

French Open Women's preview: Who will make the quarters?

WATCH: Bryan Price gets ejected before game starts

WATCH: Vin Scully narrates fan's marriage proposal

WATCH: Harper, Matt Williams have special handshake

The Yankees are succeeding despite the numbers

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Eight biggest surprises of the MLB season

Bryan Price ejected before first pitch

Vin Scully narrates marriage proposal

Pats fan's obituary defends Brady

Marlins players skip own charity event

John Wall tells All-NBA Team voters to ‘keep sleeping’

Jim Kelly: No doubt Tom Brady cheated

Post-combine NBA Draft big board: Top 30

Ex-players sue NFL for conspiring to push painkillers

Astros surprising, but can get better with Correa

Here come the Giants

Aaron Hernandez got new tattoo in prison

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.