[/b]01/27/2006 4:08 PM ET
Pair of deals waiting on physical
Rhodes would go to Philly for Michaels, then Crisp to Boston
By Anthony Castrovince / MLB.com
CLEVELAND -- Arthur Rhodes' physical will determine whether or not the Coco Crisp-to-Boston deal finalizes or fizzles.
Rhodes was in Philadelphia on Friday afternoon taking a physical that would complete a trade sending the 36-year-old reliever from the Indians to the Phillies in exchange for outfielder Jason Michaels, according to a source familiar with the negotiations.
Once that deal goes through, the source said, the Indians and Red Sox would agree to a trade sending Crisp to the Red Sox.
The Indians would send the center fielder, reliever David Riske and backup catcher Josh Bard to Boston for reliever Guillermo Mota, third base prospect Andy Marte, catching prospect Kelly Shoppach and further compensation in the form of cash or a player to be named later.
That trade could need the approval of the Commissioner's office depending on the amount of the potential cash transaction.
But the whole house of cards hinged on the Rhodes physical.
Rhodes missed the second half of August with inflammation in his right knee. He also missed some of August and most of September because of the serious illness of a family member.
The Crisp trade rumors have taken on a life of their own in local and national media circles.
Earlier this week, both deals were expected to go down if Mota passed a physical in Cleveland on Tuesday. But when the Indians expressed concerns to the Red Sox about Mota's arm, the deal was reportedly dying.
Dying, that is, until the Red Sox stepped up their offer with the promise of further compensation.
Crisp, who hit .300 with 16 homers and 69 RBIs for the Indians in '05, would fill Boston's need for a center fielder and leadoff hitter now that Johnny Damon will be suiting up for the rival Yankees.
Michaels, who hit .304 with four homers and 31 RBIs, would likely take over Crisp's spot in left at Jacobs Field. He platooned with Kenny Lofton in center field for the Phillies last year.
Rhodes would fill the Phillies' need for a left-handed setup man. He went 3-1 with a 2.08 ERA in 47 relief appearances for the Tribe last season.
The biggest key to the deal, from the Indians' perspective, would be Marte, who is generally regarded as one of the game's top prospects. The Tribe has no viable third base option in the Minors, and Aaron Boone is only under contract through 2006, with a mutual option for 2007.
Marte hit .275 with 20 home runs and 74 RBIs for Triple-A Richmond in the Braves' farm system last season.