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.