OAKLAND (CBS/AP) – Center fielder Coco Crisp is staying with the Oakland Athletics for an additional two seasons, agreeing Friday to a new contract through 2016 that adds $22.75 million in guaranteed money.
The deal includes a 2017 option that could become guaranteed, the A’s said Friday. Crisp was set to attend FanFest on Saturday with the two-time reigning AL West champions, a week ahead of the start of spring training in Phoenix.
Crisp has a $7.5 million salary this year under a club option exercised Nov. 1. He will earn $11 million per season in 2015 and 2016, and the 2017 option is for $13 million with a $750,000 buyout.
A switch-hitter and speedy leadoff man, Crisp hit a career-high 22 home runs last year.
The 34-year-old, starting his fifth season with the A’s, hasn’t played more than 136 games in a season since arriving in the Bay Area. He batted .261 with the 22 homers, 66 RBIs and 21 steals last year.
“He’s a home run hitter,” Tigers right fielder Torii Hunter said. “Coco’s got 20-plus homers for the first time in his career—he’s actually better, smarter.”
Crisp’s 2017 option would vest with 550 plate appearances in 2016 or 1,000 plate appearances in 2015-16 combined or 130 games in 2016, or 260 games in 2015-16 combined. In addition, the 260 combined games is with no fewer than 110 played in 2016 and he can’t finish 2016 season on the disabled list.
His current contract allows him the use of a ballpark suite for six games per year—excluding the Yankees, Red Sox and Giants—and the number increases to eight for 2015-17.
Former Tigers manager Jim Leyland said several times that containing Crisp was the biggest key for Detroit to beat the A’s in the division series for the second straight season. Crisp is a career .278 hitter in 30 postseason games for Boston and Oakland.
“I think everybody feeds off of Coco here, not necessarily just experience, just how good he is,” manager Bob Melvin said before last fall’s playoffs. “I’ve said often when we’re playing well, he’s playing well. He sets the tone for us, and you’ve seen he’s taken his game to a whole new level this year as far as the power dynamic goes.”
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