The Oakland A’s announced on Wednesday that they are picking up the options on OF Coco Crisp and 2B Mark Ellis for the 2011 season. Meanwhile, the A’s declined DH Eric Chavez‘s $12.5 option, and instead bought him out for $3 million. The A’s were expected to pick up Crisp’s option, but Ellis’ future with the club was ‘iffy’ leading up to today’s announcement.
Ellis, 33, is the oldest member on the A’s team, but he did have a solid season this year, hitting .291/.358/.381 with 5 homers and 49 RBIs in 124 games. Ellis had an amazing run down the stretch, which included a month of September where he hit a scorching .413/.465/.519 with a homer and 11 RBIs in 104 at-bats. The A’s picked up Ellis’ option, which was worth $6 million. Ellis now becomes Oakland’s current longest-tenured player, now that Chavez is a free agent.
Crisp, while injured for a large chunk of the season, still provided some offensive production when he was healthy. In 75 games this year with Oakland, Crisp, 31, hit .279/.342/.438 with 8 home runs and 38 RBIs. The 8 home runs were the most Crisp has hit since 2006, where he also tallied 8 homers for Boston in 105 games. The A’s picked up the veteran’s $5.75 million option with the hope that he’ll return this upcoming season healthy and ready to contribute on offense. Crisp is currently recovering from a finger injury that sidelined him for most of September.
Ellis and Crisp, while both seasoned veterans, are expected to provide veteran leadership and expertise in their respective positions. Ellis’ defense has always been solid, as has Crisp’s over his career. The A’s are going to win with their strong pitching and defense, and both Ellis and Crisp can certainly contribute on defense.
The A’s, as expected, declined to pick up Chavez’s $12.5 million option for 2011. Chavez, 33, ranks in the top-10 in nearly every offensive category in A’s history, and while he was limited these past few seasons, Chavez did everything he could for the organization. Chavez won six-consecutive Gold Glove awards at third base from 2001-2006, and played extremely well when he was healthy. A neck injury, however, ultimately put an end to his final season with the A’s, and the A’s decision to decline Chavez’s option means that Chavy is now a free agent. While Chavez has yet to announce his retirement from baseball, it is expected that his playing days are over. He’s played in a total of just 64 games since the start of the 2008 season. In his career, Chavez has hit a respectable .267/.343/.478 with 230 homers and 787 RBIs.
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