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Crisp could fill need for Padres

Crisp could fill need for Padres

SAN DIEGO -- Has free-agent outfielder Coco Crisp landed squarely on the Padres' offseason radar?

Steve Comte, the agent for Crisp, said on Thursday that both sides have had discussions about the 30-year-old switch-hitter, who would fit the Padres' most pressing need of the offseason, a right-handed-hitting center fielder.

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"We have been talking to them. We see a real fit there, possibly," Comte said, noting his client could make a decision on where he'll play in the coming days.

"I would like to think it's before the holiday," Comte said.

Crisp, a career .277 hitter over eight seasons, hit .228 last season and appeared in only 49 games with Kansas City after opting to have surgery to repair the rotator cuff and labrum in both shoulders.

The Royals turned down their $8 million option on Crisp for 2010, instead paying him a $500,000 buyout.

Comte said that Crisp's decision to have surgery -- he had surgery on his right labrum in June and his left labrum in July -- was so he could be ready for Spring Training in 2010, instead of trying to play through the pain.

Comte said there were a handful of teams looking at Crisp. Those teams are believed to be the Chicago White Sox, Oakland A's and Chicago Cubs. Comte said he's been very forthcoming with Crisp's post-surgery status, providing medical reports to everyone.

Some teams, possibly the Padres, have expressed interest in a short-term deal for Crisp, given he's coming off two surgeries.

"It's a view we certainly looked at," Comte said. "We've got a host of teams who have approached us with that kind of mind-set.

"We understand what happened last year with the surgeries on both shoulders. And we understand it will impact his value today."

For what it's worth, Crisp has a history with Padres general manager Jed Hoyer. Crisp played three seasons for the Red Sox (2006-08). Crisp's best season came in 2005 with Cleveland when he hit .300 with 178 hits, 16 home runs and 69 RBIs.

Hoyer has said several times that he's looking for a right-handed-hitting center fielder for the lineup. Crisp is a career .280 hitter against left-handed pitching and a .276 against right-handers.

For now, Crisp, who makes his offseason home in Desert Hot Springs, Calif., is working with a personal trainer and is confident that he will be full-speed by Spring Training and ready for the season.

"I'm not worried about the capability of playing 100 percent as far as the season goes but teams are and that's very understandable coming off of surgeries," Crisp told MLB.com last week.

Corey Brock is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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