Well, it's done. In retrospect, I always assumed Theo-gate would be the biggest operatic theme of the off-season, but I think the Crisp Saga tops it. After all the ballyhoo, an "acceptable" deal was reached.
According to ESPN tonight "Along with Crisp, Cleveland sent reliever David Riske and backup catcher Josh Bard to Boston for Mota, third base prospect Andy Marte, catcher Kelly Shoppach, a player to be named and cash." Needless to say I am ecstatic Manny Delcarmen was not added to the bounty, so I am not out-and-out complaining.
At this point the deal looks good for both teams, with Crisp's and to a much lesser extent Riske's big league performances very nearly balancing Marte and Shoppach's upside and Mota's talent. The Sox are desperate for a CF and are buying into Crisp's PECOTA projections, so this plus the Red Sox's obvious weak bargaining position explains the cash/PTBNL and the inclusion of the barely alive form of Josh "The Somewhat Undead" Bard. OK, I am kidding, I understand Pawtucket needs a decent backstop.
Everyone is nervous about this deal, Indian and Sox fans alike, and I guess that more than anything else says it's probably fair. I in my most insane moments imagined Crisp getting freaked out by playing in Boston, hitting lead-off, playing CF, and playing Boston (not a typo) and completely shitting the bed, while Marte fulfilled all expectations, Shoppach put it all together, Mota pitched all year, etc. This is the worst-case scenario, and quite frankly from a risk-only perspective the Sox have the worst of it because all of our eggs are in one basket. If Crisp fails, the trade immediately deteriorates into the Chernobyl realm from the Sox perspective.
Fortunately Crisp does in fact appear to be a solid player and projects well for 2006, although as I have mentioned too many times already, his CF defense is at best a work in progress. Still, when the alternative is Adam Stern, much as I root for his success, I have to look at what Covelli has accomplished, suck it up, and say it: welcome Coco, and cowboy up. From here on in, I am behind you, to the point of excess.
Note: As I write this, my wife is bordering on criminal annoyance by counting down the seconds until I have to stop thinking about the Red Sox. Case in point.