It was prior to the 2009 season that the Minnesota Twins faced an issue that needed to be addressed—a legitimate third basemen. The Twins have been without an offensive power at third base since Corey Koskie played for Minnesota in 2001.
To address the issue, the Twins had debated about the pickup of a free agent, which the front office in Minnesota isn't really known for. The two third basemen in question were both from the AL Central, oddly enough: former Cleveland Indian Casey Blake and Joe Crede, a former member of the Chicago White Sox.
At first, it looked as though the Twins were leaning towards the former Indian, Blake, whom had a stellar year to finish off 2008. With 81 RBI and 21 homers, Blake showed brilliance and shades of something better to come, finishing his contract with the Dodgers to end 2008 after being traded.
Crede was in the mix, but the Twins were hesitant because Crede ended his stint in Chicago with a season-ending back injury. Despite posting 17 home runs, 55 RBI, and a respectable .248 batting average at the All-Star break, he sat the rest of the season in 2007 after having a Silver Slugger year in 2006.
Eventually, Blake would resign with the Dodgers to join Joe Torre's club in Los Angelas on Feb. 21, 2009. Joe Crede signed a one-year deal reportedly worth $2.5 million with the Twins with incentives.
Now as the 2009 season nears its end, let's examine who got the better deal between Blake and Crede.
Casey Blake: .280
Joe Crede: .229
Crede's batting average over the course of his career has been erratic at best, and took a .050 drop since last year. Blake, however, has shown improvement here, accumulating a .029 increase from last year.
However, a key stat to be noted; Joe Crede averages .615 when starting with a 2-0 count.
Casey Blake: 98 K's
Joe Crede: 52 K's
Blake opened the season poorly in this department. Fortunately, he was able to get better as the season went on—though he still struggles at the plate when down in the count. Crede has proven to be an average hitter when it comes to two-strike situations.
Casey Blake: First AND Third Base
Joe Crede: Third Base
The more versatile, the more helpful.
Casey Blake: 9 / .972
Joe Crede: 4 / .983
Less mistakes = less miscues and less runs surrendered needlessly.
Casey Blake: 16
Joe Crede: 15
This was one of the primary needs the Twins wanted to address with the free agent grab. Although close...
Casey Blake: 70
Joe Crede: 48
Pretty clear cut.
Biggest Highlighted Moment of Season
Casey Blake proved over the course of the season he's been more durable and productive then Crede. However, with how much money Blake wanted and how much the Twins got out of Crede, the Twins probably got the better deal with slightly weaker numbers in Crede (instead of paying an arm and a leg for Blake).
Comment below who you think is having the better season.