Coco dealt to the Royals


N4N was in Fort Meyers for spring training 2006, when Coco Crisp was tearing it up, seemingly ready to deliver on the promise that made the Sox acquire him. He got hurt a short time later and spent a long time coming back. Crisp regained more self-respect in 2008, getting combative with the Rays and playing a key role as Jacoby Ellsbury slumped. Now, he's gone, and we wish him well.

The Red Sox have traded center fielder Coco Crisp to the Royals for righthanded relief pitcher Ramon Ramirez, a major league baseball source has confirmed to the Globe's Nick Cafardo.

The deal was first reported this morning on Kansas City sports radio station WHB 810 by Brian McRae, a former Royals outfielder who is a part owner of the station. A Red Sox spokesperson told the club had no comment on the report.

Ramirez is an interesting acquisition for the Red Sox -- his arrival would suggest that the ball club is at least considering using Justin Masterson as a starter. Reports say the 27-year-old throws in the low 90s, with an outstanding curveball and a changeup that acts like a splitter.

He's coming off a very good 2008 season, having posted a 2.64 ERA in 71.2 innings this year while striking out 70. Ramirez allowed just two home runs, and held righthanders to a .153 average in 137 at-bats. He was particularly effective in September, allowing just one earned run in four hits in 9.2 innings (0.93 ERA).

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