Report: Tribe, Sox close on Crisp deal

Report: Tribe, Sox close on Crisp deal

CLEVELAND -- The Indians are reportedly close to shipping outfielder Coco Crisp to the Red Sox for a package that includes reliever Guillermo Mota and third-base prospect Andy Marte.

The Boston Herald and Boston Globe both had reports on the potential deal in their Sunday editions, with the Herald reporting it was agreed upon in principle, contingent on the Indians first finding a replacement for Crisp in the outfield.

According to the Herald report, the Indians would spur the Crisp deal by sending left-hander Arthur Rhodes or right-hander Rafael Betancourt to the Phillies for outfielder Jason Michaels or by acquiring free agent Jeff DaVanon.

Indians general manager Mark Shapiro would neither confirm nor deny the reports.

"The Cleveland Indians have a longstanding policy of not commenting on individual trades until they are complete," Shapiro said in a statement released by a team spokesman. "That said, we are constantly examining ways to improve the short- and long-term competitiveness of the Cleveland Indians and are therefore always involved in conversations with other organizations.

"If there is a trade to announce, we will comment more formally at that point."

Crisp has been the subject of trade rumors for months, and those rumors heated up when center fielder Johnny Damon left Boston to sign a free agent deal with the Yankees.

The Red Sox have reportedly been aggressive in their pursuit of the switch-hitting Crisp, who hit .300 with 16 home runs and 69 RBIs in 2005. The Indians, meanwhile, had been rumored to be talking to Crisp, who is eligible for arbitration, about a multiyear contract.

For the Indians, the biggest acquisition in the rumored deal would be Marte, who was acquired by the Red Sox in last month's trade that sent Edgar Renteria to the Braves. Marte hit .275 with 20 home runs and 74 RBIs for Triple-A Richmond and saw 24 games of action with the Braves last season.

In addition to Crisp, the Herald is also reporting that the Sox are on the verge of signing free agent Alex Gonzalez. The 28-year-old former Florida Marlin is expected to play shortstop and bat ninth for Boston.

Anthony Castrovince is a reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.