A’s Exercise Options on Crisp, Anderson, Decline Young, Suzuki
The Oakland A’s would probably not have had a strong 2013 campaign without the efforts of Coco Crisp. The outfielder was a catalyst for Bob Melvin’s offense and played typically sterling defense all season long and as a result the team picked up his $8.5M option for 2014 on Friday. After the end of the 2013 season, the 34-year old Crisp expressed interest in a long-term deal to remain in Oakland. Considering how important Crisp is to the offensive success of the A’s, that is something the team should seriously consider.
Left-handed pitcher Brett Anderson‘s $7.5M option was also exercised by the team, who also declined the respective 2014 options of catcher Kurt Suzuki ($8.5M) and outfielder Chris Young ($11M). Anderson, 25, had another frustrating injury-shortened 2013 campaign, though the team seems to still have faith that he will be able to come back at full strength and take part in either the starting rotation or bullpen in ’14.
As it stands now, Oakland has six starting pitchers under contract for 2014: Anderson, Jarrod Parker, Sonny Gray, Tommy Milone, A.J. Griffin and Dan Straily. Free agent ace Bartolo Colon, 40, could return to the team if the financial circumstances are agreeable, or he could seek a big free agent contract with a new franchise.
The A’s are paying $1.5M to buy out the option on Young’s contract, making him a free agent. Acquired early in the 2012 off-season, Young was a disappointment in 2013, only hitting .200 in 107 games for the A’s, mostly as a utility outfielder. He definitely had some bad luck on more than a few occasions (being denied game-winning home runs on consecutive nights in September, for example), but on the whole Young’s season was drastically less impressive than Billy Beane and the A’s had probably expected it to be when he was acquired from the Arizona Diamondbacks.
Suzuki, re-acquired by the A’s in September to strengthen catching depth for the stretch run, did not look to have a prominent role on next year’s team. The A’s are likely to go with Derek Norris and Stephen Vogt behind the dish or possibly John Jaso if he is able to resume catching duties following his concussion in 2013.
Adrian Garro covers the Oakland A’s for Baseball Hot Corner, follow him on Twitter @AdrianGarro.