The Oakland Athletics re-signed center fielder Coco Crisp to a two-year deal that will become official tomorrow, and Crisp notes that his decision ultimately came down to the A's and the Tampa Bay Rays. Obviously, there are factors on both sides of the coin to take into account for each team, but Crisp went with the A's for a variety of reasons. As he told Susan Slusser, though he liked the idea of playing for manager Joe Maddon in Tampa Bay, he liked that the A's are on the West Coast, that they have spring training in Arizona and he's closer to his family in Southern California. The advantage of knowing the current A's players and having good relationships with them factored in as well, and he thinks that the A's have more potential than people might think.
Responding to the idea that the A's won't be in the hunt in the AL West, Crisp had this to say:
"That's on paper, but I know the talent these young players have. We could be a surprising team. I know there are a lot of players who could step it up, including me.
"It was a very tough decision, but I've loved playing in Oakland. I've had a lot of fun there, and I'm happy to be there again. We have a lot of kids with a lot of potential, and underdogs can shock some people. I'm excited to be a part of it."
Crisp compared the A's to his favorite NBA team, the Clippers, saying, "You know the Lakers are going to be good, but that's not that exciting. The Clippers, they're young, they're exciting to watch - and they've done well."
To discuss Crisp returning to the A's, head to Athletics Nation.