Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Sure, why not sign Crede

I am ambivalent when it comes to the Twins signing Joe Crede. W seems fired up about it though and it would be nice to know that Bill Smith didn't spend the off-season ice fishing at McHale's cabin up north. I decided to look at some numbers and despite often being wrong, I figured why the hell not, let's type.

Powered by New Belgium beer, not some pansy vodka/cran...

Here are six reasons why it is a good idea to sign Crede:

1. Sideburns. He'll fit right in.
2. The Twins are under budget, so who gives an F if they overspend on a one-year deal for a small improvement.
3. It'll shut fans up for a little bit.
4. He's a different kind of hitter than pretty much everyone else in the lineup.
5. His .460 SLG would have been third on the 2008 Twins and 55 points higher than the top RH hitter, Delmon-strocity.
6. No more Buscher defense at 3B.

But here are six reasons to temper the excitement

1. The dude hits into a lot of outs--his best on-base percentage from the last four years is worse than all 2008 Twins regulars other than Carlos Gomez
2. He has back problems and has played 144 games over the last two seasons.
3. Even though it was only 47 games, his 2007 season counts and it was awful.
4. This is his age 31 season, he's going to have a hard time matching last year's numbers
5. The Harris/Buscher platoon isn't a bad option and could put up .360 OBP/.440 SLG/ .800 OPS. Crede's OPS has been over .800 once in the last four years.
6. You might still have to platoon with Crede; oddly, he has sucked against LHP the last 3 years.

Fans and media are clamoring for Crede, but I just don't see him as a difference maker. He's not going to hurt the team's chances, though, and that's more than you can about most recent Twins free agent signings. Spending $7mil or so on a one-year deal isn't going to hurt the team's finances, so why not go for it and sign a someone-significant free agent for a change.

Besides, if all goes well with Danny Valencia at AA/AAA this year--not that he's going to be a star or anything, but he looks solid so far--the 2009 3B is likely just keeping the spot warm.


Dharma Bum said...

Wow, rational analysis, what site is this?

WWWWWW said...

How dare you?

How dare you make me rethink my Crede love, and also apparetenly offer rational analysis which I swear to god I do sometimes.

I get the risks, and I get the numbers. But even so, I can't stomach an offseason doing NOTHING and I don't think I can stomach a third base platoon like last season.

Even forgetting all that, they've thumbed their nose at every opportunity this offseason, at whatever position. Give me something. Hell, sign Cruz, I just want to know something is happening over there.

It may not fit with the stat crowd (of which I admit I am one) but I need some action - much like your wife.

snacks said...

How did this make you rethink wanting them to sign Crede? You are an idiot. Low risk, high potential reward and they have the money to do it.

The Sidler said...

I'm not sure about high potential reward, but the low risk makes it a "why the hell not" signing for me. Not having Brian Buscher is not exactly going to break the Twins.

One thing I should have mentioned is the impact of leaving The Cell since his road SLG% is 50 points lower than at home. Still more power than Buscher/Harris, but it is a concern since isolated power is all Crede brings to the table offensively.

Unless the MLBPA caves and allows a sign-and-trade, Juan Cruz is not worth losing this year's first round pick.

snacks said...

Not sure about high potential reward?

The guy hit over 30 homers is last healthy season and had like 16 last year at the break. That's not a high potential reward, especially for the power-starved Twins? (Not to mention he'd be a defensive upgrade as well - and we know how the twins loooove guys who can play d)

I think we'd all gladly take a year out of our 3b of .250-.260 with 30-35 homers over .280-.290 with 10 homers. The twins have enough guys in the latter category.

The Sidler said...

If Crede continues to create outs in more than 70% of his plate appearances, then I don't think he's going to be a hugely impactful player. Especially when you adjust for his significantly lower power numbers away from The Cell.

I agree that the Twins have enough OK average/little power guys, which is why I'd rather have Crede bat behind Kubel than Delmon or Harris.

I'm more optimistic about Crede this season than some projections that have him slipping into rich man's Tony Batista territory.

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