Joe Crede heading westward to the Giants is the new rumor that just-won’t-die.
From a White Sox Blog hosted on the Chicago Sun-Times:
Joe Crede: The whispers around the organization still seem to point to the idea that if the third baseman shows up to camp and the back looks strong he will be gone by the middle of Cactus League play. The top suitor remains San Francisco, who may even have a deal in place with the Sox, contingent on the back recovery. The big reason why? Aaron Rowand. While talking to Williams in his first free-agent discussion with the club this offseason, the second question out of Rowand’s mouth – right after “That’s all the years can you give me?’’ – was about the future of his good friend Crede. Don’t think for a second that Rowand isn’t in the ear of Giants’ brass, campaigning for Crede to come West and be locked up to a contract extension.
I’ve written a few times on this site about why I don’t want Crede but the closer we get to Spring Training the more steam this rumor seems to pick up. While I’m sure that Rowand is pushing for one of his old buddies to come to the Giants, I’ve also heard that Ron Schueler has also pushed for Joe Crede. Scheuler is currently a senior advisor of player personnel in the Giants FO but has previous ties to the White Sox. He was the White Sox GM from 1991-2000 before he was replaced by Kenny Williams.
It’s looking more like if Crede is even slightly healthy, the Giants will deal for him, thus ending my Morgan Ensberg dreams. My complaints with this scenario have been posted before but why would you lose Feliz and then replace him with another Feliz — Crede and Feliz are essentially the same player, great defense, weak offense — and not only that, but you’d have to lose some prospects in the process to acquire Crede. Other negatives include that Crede hasn’t been a specimen of health over the past couple of years and his agent is Scott Boras. Trading for Crede is essentially a expensive 1-year solution to third base. That might make sense for a 80-85 win team but the Giants are more of a 65-70 win team right now.
The Giants would also be foolish to try and extend Crede and I’m not sure that Boras would want to do that. Crede could rebuild his value with a decent or at least healthy year in San Francisco and then be shuffled back out to the market to get a multi-year deal worth more money.
Because Kenny Williams is a terrible GM and I’m not so sure that Brian has rediscovered his magic touch yet, the prospects of both of them hammering out a trade is mildly frightening. It’s similar to giving two blind people revolvers and putting them into a 6x6ft room and then telling them both to start firing. The winner is the one that walks out of the room alive. I’ve got a gut-feeling that Sabean might try to spin off Lowry or Sanchez to the White Sox in a Crede deal, which is a big overpay. I’m not high on Lowry but he’s got more value than Crede does right now. I’ve always been a big Sanchez supporter and I like his combination of stuff and velocity.
If I could concoct a dream scenario for this trade it would be the following:
Giants trade OF Dave Roberts to Chicago White Sox for 3B Joe Crede
The White Sox OF is full, but they could stop toying with the idea of playing Nick Swisher in CF. Dave Robert is a pretty bad fielding CF but the Cell might be kinder to his legs than the spacious Mays Field. Also, Roberts is the kind of player that the White Sox seem to have love affairs with. He’s speedy, bunty, and a grinder! Williams did trade Carlos Lee for Scott Podsednik. This is also the same team that gave the corpse of Darin Erstad 310 AB’s last year.
This would be ideal for the Giants because it would open an OF spot for Schierholtz or Freddie Lewis who could share fielding duties. You might say “But who would lead-off for the Giants with Roberts gone?” finding a suitable lead-off man isn’t even a real concern for the Giants, or at least it shouldn’t be. The offense is going to be bad with or without Roberts and I’d probably just stick someone like Kevin Frandsen in the lead-off spot. The Giants are a team that doesn’t have a lot of OBP but Frandsen has a nice career minor league OBP of .390 — which is partially driven by a very high .328 career BA — and makes good contact.
My lineup with Crede would look like this:
- Kevin Frandsen, 2B
- Nate Schierholtz, LF
- Randy Winn, RF
- Joe Crede, 3B
- Aaron Rowand, CF
- Bengie Molina, C
- Dan Ortmeier, 1B
- Omar Vizquel, SS
That’s an ugly lineup but I don’t think anyone has any hope that 2008 will be anything other than ugly. You’ll notice that Durham isn’t starting, in my scenario the Giants see that Durham doesn’t have much in Spring Training and either trade him, bench him, or let him work the garlic fries stand.
Comment Starter: Is Brian Sabean crazy to trade for Joe Crede. Yes.