FORT MYERS, Fla. (AP) -Coco Crisp, who lost his center field job to rookie Jacoby Ellsbury in the postseason, said Wednesday he'd probably talk to the Boston Red Sox about trading him if it appears he won't get his starting job back.
``Honestly, I think so because I want to play,'' Crisp said before his spring training workout. ``I wouldn't be happy sitting on the bench.''
He's not even certain he'll get an equal chance in the competition for the job. Manager Terry Francona said Wednesday it would be.
``I'm not sure,'' Crisp said calmly when asked if the battle for the job with the prized prospect will be fair. ``I'm not sure how everything's going to break down. I'm really unsure of a lot of things this year.''
Crisp, 28, started 145 games last year and played outstanding defense. But he batted only .268 in his second season with Boston.
Ellsbury, 24, started the season at Double-A Portland. After being recalled Sept. 1, he played in 26 games, hitting safely in 23 of them and finishing the season with a .353 average with nine stolen bases in 33 games.
But after Crisp hit .182 in the first eight postseason games, Ellsbury became the starter in Game 6 of the AL championship series and hit .375 in the remaining six games - two wins against Cleveland and a four-game World Series sweep against Colorado.
``He was hot and I was struggling at that time,'' Crisp said, ``so you got to put who's hot and who's doing the best out there offensively. So I understood it.''
In the offseason, Crisp said, he heard trade rumors involving Minnesota, Texas and the Chicago Cubs.
``I would honestly rather be somewhere else and play than be on the bench,'' he said. ``But I'll take whatever comes and deal with it and no knock against Boston. I love the fans. They treated me well.''
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