Indians, Phillies make swap; Crisp to BoSox on track

Updated: January 27, 2006, 10:17 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

Coco Crisp apparently is going to wind up in Boston after all.

A day after Crisp's trade from Cleveland to the Red Sox nearly fell apart, the deal is back on and will become official, pending league approval, the Cleveland Plain Dealer reports. The two sides were close enough to reconstructing the trade early Friday that the Indians tentatively agreed to a companion deal that paved the way for the Crisp trade.

In that deal, the Indians and the Philadelphia Phillies reached agreement on a Jason Michaels-for-Arthur Rhodes trade. Cleveland's acquisition of Michaels allowed them the flexibility to deal Crisp.

Center Field
Philadelphia Phillies

Profile
2005 SEASON STATISTICS
GM HR RBI R OBP AVG
105 4 31 54 .399 .304

A source told ESPN.com's Jayson Stark on Friday that the Boston-Cleveland trade headlined by Crisp is being described as "likely," though neither deal was considered "done" as of late Friday afternoon.

Rhodes was in Philadelphia taking a physical, two people familiar with the deal told The Associated Press. They spoke on condition of anonymity because the trade had not been finalized.

If the trade is completed, it now appears evident that the Indians will send center fielder Crisp to the Red Sox to fill the gap left when free agent Johnny Damon left for the New York Yankees.

Boston had been trying to send third base prospect Andy Marte and reliever Guillermo Mota to Cleveland.

Relief Pitcher
Cleveland Indians

Profile
2005 SEASON STATISTICS
GM W L BB K ERA
47 3 1 12 43 2.08

Trades involving the three teams had a hitch earlier this week when the Indians got an unfavorable medical report on Mota, which initially derailed trading Crisp. Mota, a right-handed reliever, spent about a month on the disabled list with Florida last season because of elbow inflammation.

It wasn't immediately clear how the Red Sox satisfied the Indians' concerns over the Mota's health, but indications are that language was being negotiated to protect the Indians if Mota breaks down during the season.

Multiple sources say Mota didn't technically "fail" his physical with the Indians. But his examination raised enough questions that the Indians told Boston they would keep Mota only if the Red Sox upgraded the rest of the package -- which originally had Mota, third-base prospect Marte and catcher Kelly Shoppach heading for Cleveland, with Crisp, reliever David Riske and catcher Josh Bard landing in Boston.

The Red Sox, however, balked at trading away one of their top young pitching prospects, Manny Delcarmen, whom Cleveland likes. When the two teams couldn't agree Thursday on an alternative, or find a third team to fill in the missing pieces, the trade nearly collapsed.

Left Field
Cleveland Indians

Profile
2005 SEASON STATISTICS
GM HR RBI R OBP AVG
145 16 69 86 .345 .300

But the Red Sox had made Crisp their No. 1 target to replace Damon both in center field and in the leadoff hole, and they weren't thrilled with any of their other options. So they worked feverishly to piece the Crisp trade back together.

It's believed they have offered to include a prospect other than Delcarmen, plus some sort of future considerations if Mota has any significant health issues during the season.

Rhodes went 3-1 with a 2.08 ERA in 47 games for the Indians last year. But the left-handed reliever missed most of the final two months for family reasons.

Michaels hit .304 with four homers and 31 RBI for the Phillies. He platooned in center field with Kenny Lofton.

Michaels recently was put on six months' probation and ordered to complete 100 hours of community service following a fight with a Philadelphia police officer last year.

Crisp was a sparkplug and fan favorite for Cleveland, hitting .300 with 16 home runs, 69 RBI, and stealing 15 bases.

Mota went 2-2 with a 4.70 ERA and two saves in 56 games last season with the Florida Marlins.

Information from ESPN.com's Jayson Stark, ESPN's Peter Gammons and The Associated Press was included in this report.

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