Trade with Tribe hits snag
Mota fails physical in Cleveland, putting deal in jeopardy
BOSTON -- There's been a potential major snag in Boston's efforts to acquire outfielder Coco Crisp.
Red Sox right-handed reliever Guillermo Mota, who has missed portions of the last two seasons with various right arm and elbow ailments, failed his physical Tuesday in Cleveland, a source with the Philadelphia Phillies told The Associated Press late Tuesday night.
The Phillies were waiting along with the Red Sox on the results of the physical since they were preparing to deal outfielder Jason Michaels to Cleveland for setup man Arthur Rhodes.
Earlier Tuesday, an official with inside knowledge of the talks confirmed to MLB.com that such a failure would likely nix a deal between Cleveland and Boston because the Indians wanted Mota in the deal, along with Red Sox third base prospect Andy Marte and catcher Kelly Shoppach in return for Crisp, reliever David Riske and catcher Josh Bard.
Sources also told MLB.com that the Red Sox were considering replacing Mota with 23-year-old right-handed reliever Manny Delcarmen. But it was unclear whether the Indians would find that acceptable.
Crisp, the key figure in the proposed deal for the Red Sox, is a switch-hitter who played primarily left field for the Indians last season because of the emergence of Grady Sizemore in center. Crisp batted .300 in 2005 with 16 homers and 69 RBIs while swiping 15 bases, all career highs. In addition to patrolling center, he would enter Spring Training as a leading candidate to fill Damon's role as the club's new regular leadoff hitter.
"I think it's a little premature to comment," Crisp's agent, Steve Comte, told MLB.com Tuesday afternoon. "He could [end up] in Boston but he could still be in Cleveland. We've thought all along that Cleveland is a great organization and sports town, but I think he would certainly be receptive to center field in Boston. We think he can play out there. Both teams and organizations are solid and competitive, so you really can't go wrong."
As for the talented 26-year-old outfielder, he is in the same waiting game as everyone else.
"If you know him at all, he's a very mature young guy," Comte added. "He understands it's all part of the business and there are different issues that come into play, such as economics and team need. He understands it's the way of life."
The Red Sox were also quiet Tuesday about reports they were close to signing free agent Alex Gonzalez as its new starting shortstop.
Mike Petraglia is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.