Coco Crisp was set to become one of the more attractive names in a relatively weak post-2014 free agent class. Billy Beane didn't let Crisp get that far, signing him to a two-year extension with a vesting option for a third year. Crisp's $7.5 million option for 2014 was picked up in November, meaning the extension will carry him through the 2017 season if the option vests.
The new deal will give Crisp a raise to $11 million a year starting in 2015. The 2017 option will be for $13 million and will vest if Crisp makes 550 plate appearances in 2016, combines for 1100 plate appearances in 2015 and 2016, plays in 130 games in 2016, or plays in 260 games in 2015 and 2016 with at least 110 games played in 2016. He also cannot end the 2016 season on the disabled list.
Most of Crisp's value comes from his legs in the form of his baserunning and defense. He's seen an increase in his stolen base total since coming to Oakland in 2010, stealing 141 of his 278 career bases as an A. Defensive metrics have conflicting reports on Crisp's defense, but he's generally regarded as one of the better defensive centerfielders in the game.
Entering his age-34 season, Crisp hasn't played in more than 140 games since 2007 and has averaged 129 games over the past three years. There is some concern here that he could start to break down before the end of this deal, but he is arguably coming off the best season of his career, or at least his best year since that 2007 season with Boston.
If Crisp does miss some time over the next few years — given history, that's a pretty safe bet — the A's are at least well-positioned to cover an injury in the outfield. There's something to be said for stability, especially in Oakland where things can turn over in a hurry with payroll restrictions. Keeping Crisp around gives them certainty in the outfield for the next few seasons.