Saved From The Dark Side
Well, the Minnesota Twins finally have the right-handed bat they have been so desperately looking for since Ron Coomer went from playing in the All-Star game to laughing like a goon during Twins TV broadcasts (!). Now, as long as his back can hold out, the Twins have to be the favorite to win the division.
Joe Crede came over to the Twins (The Great White Light) from the Chicago White Sox (The Dark Side) for one year and $2.5 million guaranteed. He could make up to $7 million in incentives revolving primarily around the number of at-bats he accumulates over the course of the season (which is exactly the kind of contract a guy with his injury status SHOULD sign).
A healthy Crede can be expected to hit in the .270-.280 range with 20-30 home runs. He is also excellent at the hot corner (something neither Brian Buscher nor Brendan Harris have on their resumes) with the glove.
Perhaps the biggest implication of this move, though, is that it gives manager Ron Gardenhire much better depth on the bench. In late-inning situational ball, Gardy can send up either Harris or Buscher (both decent batsmen) as well as the odd man out of the Gomez-Span-Cuddyer-Young conundrum. In recent seasons, the Twins have lost big series (think the ’03 and ’04 ALDS rounds against the Yankees) because of their lack of depth, but this move for Crede changes all that.