Saturday, February 14, 2009

Twins Inspect Joe Crede's Damaged Goods

Having so far spurned a low-ball offer from the San Francisco Giants, free agent third baseman Joe Crede now is marketing his wares for the Minnesota Twins.

So far, Crede looks good in workouts, but buyer beware!

Crede's declaration to Twins manager Ron Gardenhire that he is 100 percent healthy sounds all too familiar. Suffering from chronic spinal problems for much of the past three seasons -- Crede made the same claim to the White Sox last year when he arrived at camp in Tucson, and backed it up with limber workouts and energetic play, including violent slides at the plate during spring games.

The White Sox broke camp with a supposedly healthy Crede at third, only to see him miss some 300 plate appearances when he went down during the season.

Crede, 30, has accomplished little since his career year in 2006, when he hit .283 with 30 homers. If he seriously thinks one good year out of four will bring him anything close to the supposed $8 million annual contract he is seeking, he should prepare himself for the shock of receiving half that -- if he is lucky -- from the Twins.

Then the amount should be halved again, with the total being attainable only with 50 percent incentives. Times are tough. Teams must protect themselves.