After a disappointing football day for the Bay Area Sunday, I wanted to shift gears a little bit and avoid football talk for the day, and with the A's making some news over the weekend, I figured now would be a good time to check in on what the Green and Gold are up to.
After getting involved in the Roy Halladay deal last week, and adding some power in Jake Fox earlier in December, the A's are ready to strike again. Billy Beane and co. are are supposedly very close to inking Coco Crisp to a $1 year, 5.5 million deal to come in and play center field in Oakland. Crisp is coming off an injury-plagued 2009 season with Kansas City, in which he only played in 49 games and hit .228 in 180 at-bats. Crisp hasn't quite been the same player he was since leaving Cleveland, but looked to be finding himself again after a solid 2008 season before getting hurt last year. Beane is hoping that the A's will be getting the '08 version of Crisp, who hit .283 with 7 hr, 41 RBI and 20 steals in 318 ab's and provided the Red Sox with Gold Glove caliber defense in center. If you project those numbers out over 500 at-bats, you'd be looking at about 12 homers, 70 RBI and 35 stolen bases. Not saying that Crisp will put up those exact numbers, but if he's healthy, he'll be right around .280 with 10 homers, 60-70 RBI, 70 runs and 25 stolen bases and of course, he'll be better than anything the A's have defensively in their outfield.
As I said at the top of the post, the A's were involved in the big trade last week that sent Roy Halladay from Toronto to Philadelphia and Cliff Lee from Philly to Seattle. The A's dealt away third base prospect Brett Wallace in the deal, and ended up with Phillies top outfield prospect Michael Taylor. The A's felt that Wallace was destined for first base eventually, and they are already stocked with options there, so they jumped on the opportunity to reel in a 5-tool outfielder. The 24 year-old Taylor, a Stanford Alum, hit .320 with 20 homers and 84 RBI and 21 steals between AA and AAA ball last season after putting up nearly identical numbers but an even higher batting average (.346) in 2008. I really think that he and Jake Fox could provide a boost to the A's offense in 2010, as their lineup is extremely low on power. The top two home run hitters on the A's from last year, who are actually returning to the team are Scott Hairston (17) Kurt Suzuki (15) and Mark Ellis (10). Needless to say, the A's needed some pop, and both Fox and Turner should provide it. I'm expecting the A's to go with Rajai Davis in left, Turner in center and a platoon of Ryan Sweeney and Hairston in right. Across the infield, the A's will likely trot out Jake Fox at third, Cliff Pennington at short, Ellis at second, Daric Barton at first and Suzuki behind the plate.
Warriors' Ellis An All-Star? I know I'm completely switching up the subject, but the Monta Ellis has been on an absolute tear of late, and he could represent the Warriors in the NBA all-star game next month if he keeps it up. Ellis is averaging 26.2 ppg, 4.8 boards and 5.2 apg, and is scoring over 32 points a night over his last 4 games. I haven't been as close to this Warrior team as I will in coming months, as the football season has gotten most of our focus here at the BASJ, but I wanted to make sure Ellis' standout play doesn't go by un-noticed here. For more Warriors talk, and discussion on NBA handicappers, check out our partner site, The Warriors Rundown.