BOSTON (Ticker) - It looks like the Boston Red Sox finally have been able to land Coco Crisp from the Cleveland Indians.
According to a report in the Boston Herald, the Red Sox have agreed in principle on a trade that will bring the outfielder to Fenway Park for third baseman Andy Marte and righthander Guillermo Mota.
The newspaper reported the deal was agreed to a few days ago under a condition that the Indians were able to acquire another outfielder to replace Crisp - presumably Jason Michaels of the Philadelphia Phillies.
It was reported that the Indians were going to send either lefthander Arthur Rhodes or righthander Rafael Betancourt to the Phillies for the outfielder.
The Herald also reported that Boston is about to sign free agent shortstop Alex Gonzalez, who has hit .245 with 81 homers and 375 RBI in eight seasons with the Florida Marlins. The 28-year-old was an All-Star in 1997 and is considered a solid defensive player.
Since Johnny Damon signed with the New York Yankees last month, center field and a leadoff hitter has become a top priority for the 2004 world champions. Crisp could fill both voids.
Although he played mostly left field for the Indians last season, Crisp came up through the organization as a centre fielder.
The switch-hitter batted .300 with 42 doubles, 16 homers and 69 RBI in 145 games in 2005. He had 44 walks against 81 strikeouts in 594 at-bats and posted a .345 on-base percentage. The 26-year-old hit .324 with 11 homers against righthanders and .252 with five homers against lefthanders.
In Marte, whom Boston acquired from Atlanta in December for shortstop Edgar Renteria, the Indians are getting one of the top hitting prospects in the game.
While being among the youngest players in each league he has appeared, Marte has averaged .280, 32 doubles and 20 homers over four full seasons in the minors. The 22-year-old hit .275 with 20 homers and 74 RBI in 109 games at Class AAA Richmond of the International League last season.
In 24 games for Atlanta, Marte hit just .140 with four RBI in 57 at-bats.
Mota, a reliable power pitcher who was acquired from Florida in the Josh Beckett trade in November, was 2-2 with a 4.70 ERA in 56 games in 2005.
In seven seasons, the 32-year-old is 22-24 with a 3.61 ERA and seven saves.
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