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Consensus among scouts is that Bobby Crosby is no longer an everyday player
By John Perrotto
INDIANAPOLIS _ The Pirates are on the verge of signing free agent infielder Bobby Crosby with the idea that he will challenge incumbent Ronny Cedeno for the starting shortstop job in spring training.
However, the consensus among scouts familiar with Crosby who were polled on Tuesday at baseball’s winter meetings, is that he no longer an everyday player.
“You can play him all over the field and he’ll catch the ball wherever you put him,” said a talent evaluator from an American League club. “He hit some balls out of the park but he won’t hit for much on average. And you just can’t rely on him to play 130-140 games because he has too many physical problems.”
“Ronny Cedeno isn’t Derek Jeter but the Pirates are better off going with him than Bobby Crosby if that’s their alternatives,” said a National League scout.
Crosby, 29, is expected to sign a one-year contract worth $1.5 million, perhaps as early as Wednesday.
Crosby was the American League Rookie of the Year in 2004 with Oakland when he hit .239 with 22 home runs and 64 RBIs in 151 games. The homers, RBIs and games remain career highs.
Crosby has had back surgery and also suffered a broken foot and broken hand during his seven major-league seasons, all with the Athletics. Last season, Crosby hit just .223 with six home runs and 29 RBIs in 97 games.