Crisp agrees to $2.75M deal; Gonzalez gets $3M deal
BOSTON -- New Boston center fielder Coco Crisp avoided arbitration by agreeing Monday to a $2.75 million, one-year contract with the Red Sox, who also announced their $3 million deal with free-agent shortstop Alex Gonzalez.
The 26-year-old Crisp was traded to Boston last month after Johnny Damon agreed to sign with the New York Yankees. He inherits Damon's center field job and leadoff position in a lineup expected to include five new starters, four acquired after last season.
Crisp hit .300 with 16 homers and 69 RBI for Cleveland last year, while Damon batted .316 with 10 homers and 75 RBI.
The switch-hitting Crisp had asked for $3.05 million in arbitration and the Red Sox had offered $2.35 million, making the settlement at the midpoint. He made $364,900 last year, his fourth season in the majors.
Crisp would also get an additional $25,000 if he makes 625 plate appearances. The Red Sox offered Damon a $40 million, four-year deal but he chose the Yankees' $52 million, four-year offer.
Boston obtained Crisp on Jan. 27 along with reliever David Riske and catcher Josh Bard for reliever Guillermo Mota, third base prospect Andy Marte, minor-league catcher Kelly Shoppach, a player to be named and cash.
The Red Sox avoided needing any arbitration hearings. Pitcher Josh Beckett, acquired from Florida during the offseason, agreed Saturday to a one-year deal worth $4,325,000. Bronson Arroyo earlier got an $11.25 million, three-year contract.
To make room for Gonzalez, the Red Sox designated first baseman Roberto Petagine for assignment. Gonzalez hit .264 with five homers and 45 RBI last season, down from 23 homers and 79 RBI the previous year, when he hit .232.
Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press
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