I just confirmed what Coco Crisp already announced on Twitter in the early hours of the morning: the A’s are picking up his $5.75 million option for next season. They’ve also retained franchise player Mark Ellis, picking up his $6 million option.
Both decisions were very much expected. Crisp’s lineup presence — when healthy — was a strong facet of Oakland’s game this season. His year was interrupted by injury three times, two of which were simply of the unlucky sort — fractured left pinkie finger in April and September sustained when sliding into a base. But when healthy, Crisp undoubtedly posted some of the best numbers on the team, hitting .279 with eight home runs, 38 RBIs and a career-high 32 stolen bases in 75 games. By keeping Crisp in the fold for 2011, the A’s are getting a huge leadoff threat and a strong defensive body in the outfield.
Ellis, meanwhile, is a staple of this team. Thanks in part to a ridiculously good September, he finished the 2010 season with a team-best .291 average. His average has increased in each of his last two seasons, though his home run totals have decreased three straight years. Still, what Ellis gives to the club defensively is unmatched. He committed just three errors in 116 games at second base this year, ranking second in the AL only to Robinson Cano. Furthermore, his leadership abilities on this club go beyond any stat.
More on these announcements to come.