Posted at 3:12 PM on February 19, 2009
by Chris Dall
I keep going back and forth on the Joe Crede issue.
On the one hand, my first inclination is that the Twins should take a chance on the soon-to-be-former White Sox third baseman. While he doesn't hit for average, he would give the team some power and production from the right side of the plate and provide solid defense at third. He's also a veteran who's been to the playoffs. Given that there's the potential for an offensive black hole on the left side of the infield, it seems a no-brainer.
But it's not when you take into account the other factors at play. The biggest is Crede's health. After putting up all-star numbers in the first half of 2008, Crede missed the second half of the season with a back injury. This after missing much of 2007 with back injuries. That makes me a little nervous, because playing on turf is not going to help his back. Then there's the asking price of $7 million plus incentives. That's a lot to pay for someone who might not be able to play the entire year, or even half.
But when I weigh all those factors, I still think the Twins should take a gamble on Crede, because in reality it wouldn't be that much of a gamble. It's a one year deal, and with the payroll hovering at $58 million (their 2007 payroll was $71 million), they have the money to do it. They also wouldn't have to give up any of their precious young players. If Crede is healthy, he'd be a huge boost. And from a simple PR perspective, it would show their fans that management isn't simply happy to be competitive. The Twins could do this and still stay true to their model of fiscal responsibility and building from within.
So talk him down to $6 million, and I'm in.