Coco Crisp arrived at spring training today ready to take on Jacoby Ellsbury in the battle for the center field job. He spoke with the media at his locker upon coming in to the minor league complex. Though he did not say that he was looking for a trade now, he did say that it might become a conversation later in spring training, depending on what happens with the competition.
When reminded that his agent had said, in the offseason, that if Crisp didn't win the center field job it might be best to move him, Crisp was asked if those conversations might be revisited if Ellsbury wins the job.
"Honestly, I think so," Crisp said. "'Cause I want to play. Like I said, I wouldn't be happy sitting on the bench. A lot of people say, well, I don't deserve it. Well, that's understandable too. I didn't have a good offensive year like I did in the past. I think I proved myself that I can win healthy and shown that my defense is way better than what people thought. People think that my offense is terrible. Now it's time to show them that my offense really isn't. Went through a couple of bruised up years, everybody goest through that. Unfortunately I just went through that when I came over here to mega-media central."
When asked if he thought he was going to get a fair shot at winning the starting job in center field, Crisp said he didn't really know.
"I'm not sure," he said. "I'm not sure how everything's going to break down. I'm really unsure of a lot of things this year and, with that, all I can do is just go out there and, like I said, try to have fun like I did in the past. Just go station to station and go through the workout."
He said he didn't know how to rate how likely it was that he would break camp still with the Red Sox. He has been keeping track of trade rumors only through his agent, speculating on how it would feel to be with a team, say the Cubs. But other than that, he just worked out and played with his kids this offseason, knowing that he would have no control over his team for 2008.
As I go through my tape and transcribe Crisp's session with the media this morning, I'll be posting more thoughts from the incumbent center fielder.