Finally, Minnesota Twins Sign Joe Crede; Is Juan Cruz Next?

E ASenior Analyst IFebruary 21, 2009


News broke earlier that the Twins and third baseman Joe Crede, who have been negotiating for weeks now, have finally agreed to terms on a one-year contract. This deal works out great for both parties involved.

This benefits the Twins by adding a legitimate power threat in the middle of the lineup to take some of the workload off Morneau and Mauer.

If Crede can stay healthy and put together a full season, he will be a guy who can hit 20 to 30 bombs to complement Morneau, Young, Cuddyer, and Kubel.

Also, signing Crede not only adds power to the lineup, but it also isn't sacrificing defense, one of the most valued fundamental abilities by the Twins.

Crede has been an elite defensive third baseman for years, combining this defensive prowess with above-average offense.

Joe Crede also benefits from this contract. The one year spent with Minnesota will let him prove that he is healthy, and next winter Scott Boras can work his evil magic and get Crede the payday they were looking for this winter.

Financial terms of the contract were not disclosed, but earlier this afternoon, Twins' beat writer LEN3 reported that Crede was willing to sign for less than the original report of $7 million guaranteed that Boras was looking for.



LEN3 is on a roll tonight. Recently, Neal reported that the Twins have also made an offer to free agent reliever Juan Cruz as part of a sign-and-trade deal with the Arizona Diamondbacks.

If Cruz agrees to the deal, the Twins and Diamondbacks would have exactly 24 hours to work out a trade to send Cruz to Minnesota, or the contract would be void.

Like the Crede deal, this would work out great for the Twins. It would add a much-needed hard-throwing pitcher to the bullpen, and it would not cost the Twins their first round draft pick to sign Cruz, despite his Type A status, a stipulation that has long kept the frugal Twins out of the bidding wars for elite free agents.

Instead of giving up their first-rounder, the Twins can still sign Cruz, but instead work out a trade with Arizona. This would still reimburse the Diamondbacks for their loss, but would also allow the Twins to keep their precious first rounder.

As LEN3 said, it's been a busy night. Stay tuned for more updates on the Cruz situation.