Belief in Crede? Let’s See!

21 Feb

also available at http://www.SethSpeaks.net -

It’s Saturday, but it kind of feels necessary to write something today. Anything going on with the Twins? Hmmm…

 

Well, we spent about four months waiting, waiting, waiting for something to happen. There were a lot of rumors, but in the end, the only addition to the team was Luis Ayala, and he just basically replaces Dennys Reyes on the roster. The other move (or non-move) made was re-signing Nick Punto.

 

After it was first reported by SI.com’s Jon Heyman that the Twins and Joe Crede were close to an agreement, today LaVelle is calling it a done deal. He is saying that the Twins will announce this afternoon that they have signed 3B Joe Crede. The deal appears to have a base salary of $2.5 million with incentives that could make the deal go as high as $7 million. Remember when it came out that Crede and his agent Scott Boras were looking for $7 million as the base with incentives to go beyond that?

 

Before going any further, I want to take people back to my Thursday night live chat and this exchange:

 

9:27

[Comment From JC]
so you think Crede may get around 4mm with incentives. I know you like the current situation but would you pull the trigger at that price? It’s nice to have depth.

9:29

Honestly, I don’t think that Crede would give much depth, just different depth. I probably wouldn’t. In fact, I would probably make him an offer tonight… I’d offer him a base of $2.5 million, with incentives ($2.5 million for 450 plate appearances, another million for 550 PAs, and another million for 650 PAs)… I would give him until Friday at 6:00 Eastern time to accept it. If he does, great. If not, you just begin full camp on Saturday with what you got and move forward.

 

I believe if you add up that contract, it starts with a base salary of $2.5 million and includes incentives that could bring the total 2009 compensation to $7 million. The difference, as noted in LaVelle’s posting, is that the incentives will start at 250 plate appearances, not 450. Not a big deal, just means that Crede starts making more with few at bats.

 

I think there was confusion from people. Many seemed to think that I didn’t think Crede was a good player. But I think I have been pretty consistent in my stance on Crede. I think he is a good player. He was an All-Star after a very strong first half of 2008. But then soon after, he hurt his back and had his second major back surgery in about a 14 month time frame. I have said all along that he was probably worth picking up if the Twins truly believe that he will be able to play 120 or more games. I am completely comfortable with the contract they have agreed to. The risk is eliminated. The Twins will still have Harris and Buscher in the system (most likely) in case there is an injury. And if he is healthy, Crede provides right-handed power behind Justin Morneau while playing excellent 3B defense. A back injury playing on the Dome’s surface is a risk. I don’t think anyone claims it isn’t.

 

A couple of other questions this brings up:

1.      Who will be dropped from the Twins 40 man roster to make room for Crede?

a.       That would seem to be another very easy choice. With Crede, Buscher, Harris, Tolbert able to play 3B at the big league level, and Deibinson Romero simply having too much upside, and Trevor Plouffe, Danny Valencia and Luke Hughes strongly in the picture, it is obvious that Matt Macri should be removed from the 40 man roster.

UPDATE – The Pioneer Press’s Kelsie Smith reports that the Twins actually put Pat Neshek on the 60 Day Disabled List to make room for Crede. I didn’t realize that was an option yet, but that is an even better option.

2.      Who will likely not make the initial 25 man roster?

a.       This is maybe the more important question, but in my mind, it really isn’t as easy as you would think. I think that we can easily narrow it down to Brian Buscher, Brendan Harris and Matt Tolbert. Buscher provides a left-handed 3B option, and a lefty bat on the bench, but he can’t play the middle infield. Brendan Harris can play three infield positions, and could be a right-handed bat off the bench. Tolbert is probably the best of the three at all three defensive positions, and he’s a switch hitter. I guess my thought would be that Buscher would be the first to be sent down, then Tolbert, then Harris.

3.      Will the people who complain about the Twins lack of payroll be happy?

a.       Maybe a little, but many of them may have preferred the Twins just give him the $7 million, instead of $2.5 million, to make them feel better about the Twins payroll numbers.

4.      What could a potential Twins lineup be? (This is kind of exciting!) How about:

a.       Denard Span – CF

b.      Alexi Casilla – 2B

c.       Joe Mauer – C

d.      Justin Morneau – 1B

e.       Joe Crede – 3B

f.       Jason Kubel – DH

g.       Michael Cuddyer – RF

h.      Delmon Young – LF

i.        Nick Punto – SS

 

There are a couple of other Twins topics that I will be covering as well, but want to do so in separate postings to allow for discussion. If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to e-mail me or leave Comments Here.

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20 Responses to “Belief in Crede? Let’s See!”

  1. thrylos98 February 21, 2009 at 1:38 pm #

    What could a potential Twins lineup be?

    the more and more I think about it, this version might make the most sense:

    Span LF
    Young RF
    Mauer C
    Morneau 1B
    Crede 3B
    Kubel DH
    Casilla 2B
    Gomez CF
    Punto SS

  2. tom February 21, 2009 at 1:47 pm #

    Seth,
    That is a nice line-up.When Gomez plays I would have him bat 9th so gomez,Span,Casilla would all be in a row to drive pitchers crazy. Stopped by the Twins training camp today at the end of practice. It is a beautiful day down here. The Twins players are very classy. I saw A.Casilla take time to not only give autographs to a family but when they asked for a picture he put his arms around the kids shoulders and really looked like he enjoyed the whole process. Can’t wait till the games begin.

  3. twinsmvb February 21, 2009 at 2:19 pm #

    I think it’s a great deal given the financials. Nice prediction there Seth on the podcast. What I think is the best part of the deal is just the options it gives the team.

    1) Buscher giving Crede rest or filling if if injury plus having a very good left-handed bat off the bench.
    2) I love having Harris free to spell both Punto and Casilla. We all know they both will need it throughout the year.
    3) The way it shuffles the lineup. I like yours actually taking Gomez out and giving him some more time to develop (won’t happen though). But having a guy like Cuddyer or Young back 8th totally changes the lineup and certainly better than the days of guys like Tiffee, Batista, etc. batting 8th.

    Spring Training just got more exciting. I’m even more intrigued by the thought of Juan Cruz. I wonder if Phil Humber and Matt Macri could bring him in?

  4. Chaddens February 21, 2009 at 2:32 pm #

    Delmon Young – could be one of the best 8th place hitters ever (for the Twins). Seth – What are your thoughts on Gomez – I seem to remember him being out of a lot of your lineups. I know you’ve commented on your website but I’m just too lazy to go look it up. I’m assuming you’ll answer this question in your posts this upcoming week on why you would have Cuddyer and DYoung in the lineup.
    I’m going to Chicago this week for training – I’ll definitely be wearing my Twins jacket to rub it in a little bit :)
    If the Twins get Cruz, does that make them the favorite in the central?

  5. Seth February 21, 2009 at 3:06 pm #

    I have said that I would have Gomez on the roster and have highlighted the plan where each basically plays 80% of the time, and then figuring in streaks, matchups, etc. The OF will play itself out. I just think this is the best lineup, as of today.

    I’m not certain that the White Sox fans care that Crede signed with the Twins. And I thought that the Twins were the favorite before. So yeah, I still think they’re the favorite.

  6. Brad February 21, 2009 at 4:03 pm #

    Seth,
    What is your thoughts on Juan Cruz? It would be so nice to have more than 2 reliable arms in the bullpen. Not sure how his makeup translates to the AL but he can throw some nasty, nasty stuff when he is on.

  7. Dan February 21, 2009 at 4:08 pm #

    I have to think Gomez is the starting CF. We’ve seen way too much ability with the glove for Gardy not to name him the defacto CF starting the season. Corner outfield spots are where the competition will really be but in the end I imagine some rotation of all 3 spots (a la 2008 Angels outfield) will occur throughout the season.

  8. JA February 21, 2009 at 4:35 pm #

    Seth, Gomez is in the line-up, and so is Cuddyer. Opening day vs. Seattle with King Felix.

    Span
    Casilla
    Mauer
    Morneau
    Cuddyer
    Kubel
    Crede
    Punto
    Gomez

    Unless injuries occur

  9. the Dragon February 21, 2009 at 5:01 pm #

    thrylos,

    I have been meaning to post that I’d really like Young/Mauer OR Mauer/Young in the 2/3 slot.

    Personally it just makes too much sense.

    Regards,

  10. Arik February 21, 2009 at 5:48 pm #

    If we can nab Cruz to a mutli-yer deal, how about something like this for a bullpen next year:

    CL- Nathan
    SU- Cruz
    SU- Neshek
    MR- Mijares
    MR- Crain
    LR- Guerrier

    Sick!

  11. Rick February 21, 2009 at 7:02 pm #

    Thyrlos 98, what a great idea. Never ever thought of that before. Bat Young secound. The way he likes to go the opposite way he might be perfect in that role. He would need to be a little more disciplined at the plate. But I think it would work great.
    Crede…. I hope this works out. I like him a lot when he is healthy. But as I posted in the Trib, I am a little worried about a guy with two back surgeries. Reminds me to much of John Castino. At least it is incentive laden and the risk to the Twins is reduced. Hope they can get Cruz. We would really have an awesome team going into the season. This is gonna be a fun year!

  12. thrylos98 February 21, 2009 at 7:14 pm #

    With Young batting second and Casilla, Punto, Gomez (in any kind of order in the 7-9 spots) you got 5 fast guys in a row that would allow Mauer and Morneau to get going. Plus, Young will benefit from batting in front of Mauer and Morneau because he will not see much junk…

  13. Funkytown February 21, 2009 at 9:24 pm #

    The batter that hits in front of Punto: Delmon, Cuddyer, Crede,

    should be among the league leaders in intentional walks.

    Think about it…Nicky will see lots of at bats with RISP and 2 outs.

    Who would you rather face…Punto or
    Cuddyer/Young/Crede?

  14. Andhra Pradesh February 22, 2009 at 10:41 am #

    Clever. “Believe” in “Crede.”

  15. Seth February 22, 2009 at 11:14 am #

    Andhra – Glad you noticed… I like to show some creativity and intelligence.

  16. SHS February 22, 2009 at 5:46 pm #

    Another potential one…

    Span/Gomez
    Young/Gomez
    Mauer
    Morneau
    Cuddyer
    Kubel
    Crede
    Casilla
    Punto

    I see Gomez being used sort of similarly to Fernando Perez of the Rays last year, the Way the Rays used him.

  17. Nathan Gau February 22, 2009 at 6:42 pm #

    Preferred linup:

    Span
    Mauer
    Cuddyer
    Morneau
    Crede/Young
    Kubel
    Crede/Young
    Punto
    Casilla

    (Gomez to AAA)

  18. Justin February 23, 2009 at 9:51 am #

    Yeah, it’s no good to put Crede/Young in the 8 hole, especially since Gardy likes the piranhas together in 8-9-1. I think the best possible scenario would be for Delmon to show early on in the spring that he’s good enough to hit third, between Mauer and Morneau. Then Cuddyer, Kubel, Crede, Casilla and Punto, with Span leading off. Seth’s right about Gomez rotating in for spot starts, there’s plenty of time in the outfield/DH spot to go around.

    Another interesting possibility- we know Cuddyer wasn’t thrilled about moving to 3B, but what if he’s used to spell Crede? Maybe 10-15 games on the season (if there are more, Harris and Tolbert could chip in). By adding another position to the outfield rotation of Span-Gomez-Young-Cuddyer-Kubel, it helps spread the ABs around. And you know Crede will need a day off here and there. That also helps with infield depth.

  19. Justin Morneau Game Worn Jersey Owner March 26, 2009 at 6:59 am #

    I really liked your blog with the Justin Morneau item. I think Morneau could be a hall-of-famer.
    I try to follow as much MLB news as I can from Caracas, Venzuela.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Joe Crede Signs With Minnesota Twins | Blogs and Thoughts on the Joe Crede Signing - February 23, 2009

    [...] SethSpeaks – “I am completely comfortable with the contract they have agreed to. The risk is eliminated” Belief in Crede? Let’s See! [...]

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