Cleat Geeks

Stop Crying Coco

Veteran Athletics outfielder Coco Crisp believes that Oakland is artificially holding down his playing time to prevent his option from vesting, reports Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle. Crisp says that he’s “extremely hurt” by the team’s “shady” handling of the situation. While GM David Forst and manager Bob Melvin have stated that Crisp is sitting against lefties to afford younger players more exposure, he sees more to it — particularly since he is not being used much off the bench. Crisp’s $13MM option vests at 130 games played; entering today’s action, he had appeared in 93 contests, meaning he’d need to take the field for most of the club’s remaining 43 games to reach the threshold.CocoFro

“I’m healthy, I’m playing hard and this has surprised me,” said Crisp, who noted that he has loved playing in Oakland. “This calls their integrity into question, it’s very sad.” The 36-year-old, who owns a .239/.307/.410 slash on the year, indicated that he may not be interested in playing after this season, adding: “The business side sure makes it hard to love the game, and I’ve loved the game since I was six years old.”

Alright, he says he is healthy, and he is playing hard. Notice, he does not say he is playing well, because he is not. His career slash line is .266/.327/.403 the slash line that is mentioned is well below in 2 of those 3. He has also given the 4 teams he has played with a career average of 32 stolen bases per year. He has stolen a total of 28 bases his last 3 years combined which includes 7 so far this year. Now I understand this season is not complete, but he is down 20 RBI’s and 99 total bases from his career averages. Plus his defensive statistics are even worse. His WAR is only 0.4 and his defensive WAR is currently at -1.2. This is even considering he is no longer a center fielder, he has moved to a corner outfield spot. It is not like Oakland has not paid him well, starting in starting in 2013 he was paid $7 million, in 14 $7.5 in both 2015 and 16 he will make $11 Million each year.

But, next year is a vesting option. A vesting option is usually inserted in the contracts of veteran players in the event that the athletes skills diminish as they get older. Crisp’s skills are obviously diminishing. He is still a serviceable player, but the amount of the vesting option is $13 Million dollars. Crisp has never been paid more than the $11 Million he has earned the last 2 seasons. No smart business is going to pay a person, be it an athlete or not, more money when their skill set will be less. If they do, they won’t be in business very long.

A serviceable player deserves a serviceable salary, not an all time high salary. In my opinion, the Oakland Athletics have every right to not play him and therefore not make the conditions of his vesting option. On the other hand, if Crisp was putting up career type numbers, then he would have an argument if the conditions of his contract were not being met.OaklandAthleticsCenter

With the vesting option, Oakland said, if Crisp is still putting up above average numbers at the end of his contract as his age increases, then we will reward him with the highest pay per season he has ever received. If he is not, then we have a clause in the contract to protect our monetary investment and make that vesting option null and void. And just so everyone is aware, there is a $750,000 buyout that Oakland still has to pay Crisp if they do not allow his option to vest.

Coco, stop crying. There is no crying in baseball. Try playing better, that usually works.

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