Now that the World Series has concluded, the free agency period is set to begin in what is sure to be an interesting, and potentially exciting, offseason for the Red Sox.
According to the Denver Post, the Rockies think the price of acquiring a center fielder through free agency could be too high, which may lead them to explore a trade for a player currently not in that position. The Rockies have a particular interest in Houston's Chris Burke, who hit .276 with nine home runs and 40 RBIs in a part-time role for the Astros last season.
If the Rockies can't acquire Burke in a trade, it's said they'll instead pursue Coco Crisp in a deal with the Red Sox. The Rockies are looking for a center fielder with some power who can hit first or second in the lineup. In an injury-shortened season with the Sox, Crisp batted .264 with 8 homers and 36 RBI in 105 games. Most disappointingly, his .293 on-base average is the lowest among American League leadoff men.
Crisp's poor performance at the plate was largely excused due to missing so much time with a finger injury. However, it's worth noting that Crisp still managed 413 at bats -- more than Alex Gonzalez, Trot Nixon, Jason Varitek and Wily Mo Pena.
Despite his down year, Crisp is just the type of player that Rockies GM Dan O'Dowd would like to have patrolling center field next season. Crisp’s current deal has three years remaining, at a grand total of $15.5 million (plus an $8 million club option for 2010). At that price, the Rockies may not be the only interested party. If the Sox seek to move Crisp, almost any team could afford his salary and there could be a number of potential suitors.