INDIANS Crisp sent to Boston for Marte



Three teams are involved in the deal as perhaps nine players are changing homes.
CLEVELAND (AP) -- Coco Crisp quickly became a fan favorite with Indians fans, winning them over with his catchy name, bubbly personality and solid skills.
The Red Sox Nation will be tougher to impress.
Crisp is bound for Boston after being traded Friday by the Cleveland Indians to the Red Sox, finally giving them a replacement for Johnny Damon in center field and at the leadoff spot in the batting order.
Crisp's departure has been rumored for more than a week, but the deal was first held up by medical questions Cleveland had about reliever Guillermo Mota and then was delayed by a trade between the Indians and Philadelphia Phillies.
When it all shook out, eight players -- and maybe a ninth -- were moved by three teams and the Red Sox agreed to give the Indians at least $1 million. Commissioner Bud Selig had to approve the deal before it could be announced.
Riske, Bard shipped
Along with Crisp, Cleveland sent reliever David Riske and backup catcher Josh Bard to Boston for Mota, third base prospect Andy Marte, catcher Kelly Shoppach, a player to be named and cash.
Before that deal was finalized, the Indians sent reliever Arthur Rhodes to Philadelphia for outfielder Jason Michaels, the probable replacement for Crisp as Cleveland's starting left fielder.
Rhodes had to pass a physical with Philadelphia before the Indians could pull the trigger and trade the 26-year-old Crisp, who batted .300 with 16 homers, 69 RBIs and 16 steals last season.
While the Red Sox targeted Crisp as their No. 1 option to replace Damon this winter, the Indians were equally high on the 22-year-old Marte, considered one of the top minor leaguers in baseball.
Marte spent most of last season at Triple-A Richmond before Atlanta dealt him to the Red Sox for shortstop Edgar Renteria last month. He batted .275 with 20 homers and 74 RBIs in 109 games last season.
Potential
Marte is expected to spend this season in Cleveland's minor leagues, but he finally gives the Indians a potential everyday player at what has been a problematic position for the club in recent years.
"In Andy we are acquiring a right-handed power hitter who is also a good defensive third baseman," Indians general manager Mark Shapiro said. "It is difficult to acquire a player of Andy's caliber and skill set via trade or free agency and third base is a position of need in our organization."
In his only season with Cleveland, the 36-year-old Rhodes went 3-1 with a 2.08 ERA in 47 games. He was a key contributor in the AL's best bullpen for four months in 2005, but missed the last two for family reasons.
Michaels, a right-handed hitter, batted .304 with four homers and 31 RBIs in 105 games for the Phillies. The 29-year-old recently was put on six months' probation and ordered to complete 100 hours of community service following a fight with a Philadelphia police officer last year.
As long as he's healthy, the 32-year-old Mota should help the Indians fill the void left by Bob Howry's departure. Howry was the team's setup man in '05, but signed as a free agent with the Chicago Cubs.
Mota never pitched for the Red Sox, who acquired him in the trade with Florida for Josh Beckett. The right-hander went 2-2 with a 4.70 ERA and two saves in 56 games for the Marlins, but missed more than a month with a sore elbow.
Because of their concerns over Mota's health, the Indians pushed and got the Red Sox to sweeten the deal. If Mota goes on the disabled list, Cleveland will be able to add a pitcher from Boston's minor league system.
Copyright 2006 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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