Since the day of Corey Koskie, third base has been a problematic position for the Twins. It's been a player-by-committee position, and over the past three seasons, it hasn't worked out to say the least.
Several times, the Twins have attempted to bring in players from the market to just possibly be the guy to end the bad run. Yet, each time the moves have turned out to be a disaster, as more times than not, the player has failed to end the season as the starter.
First, it was Tony Batista, the wide-open stance with some power potential. Then, it was Nick Punto, the guy that worked a miracle at the position for a short period in '06. And finally in the 2008 campaign, it was Mike Lamb, a guy who had been a great bench player with power, and a player looking to translate his numbers to be an everyday player.
None of the players panned out. Batista lasted only 50 games with five homeruns and a .236 average before receiving a pink slip. Punto, after posting a solid average the season before, posted a .210 average throughout the course of a long 150 games. And then there was Mike Lamb, a player who maybe, just maybe would end the run of bad luck. He failed to help any, posting a .233 average with a lone homerun in 81 games before he too was shown the door.
Just days into the 2009 spring season, the Twins have now made yet another attempt at putting something, anything at a position of utter failure for much of the past three seasons. With the signing of Joe Crede, the Twins might have managed to do something, and if nothing else, it's the best risk they've taken to date.
With a base salary of just $2.5 million, and incentives that would top the deal out at $7 million, the contract works for both sides. The Twins get a prototypical power-hitting third basemen if healthy, a guy that could hit towards 30 homeruns. Meanwhile, Crede receives some guarantees and many bonuses for staying on the field.
Brian Buscher and Brendan Harris will no longer be platoon partners in '09, but they do provide some stability if Crede's back just doesn't hold up. If nothing else, the Twins have finally pulled a name out of the hat that satisfies most.