Some players just seem to play a long time despite the fact that they aren't very good. Juan Pierre comes to mind as does the Hairston brothers. Joe Crede fits in that category and today, it was announced that the Twins had signed the third baseman for $2.5 million plus incentives.
The only statistics that favor Crede over his career is a slightly higher slugging percentage than league average and slightly better defense. He is deemed as a power bat, but despite some middle of the road power years, he isn't that special. Add that to the fact that he has a creaky back and we all know what that can do to a career (just ask Mattingly).
Baseball Prospectus lists Crede's value at $3.05 million, so $2.5 million seems like a good deal, but say he gets 500 at bats and maxes his deal to $7 million (the Fan hates incentives based on At Bats), then Crede will be overpaid by more than double what he is worth.
According to Crede's stat sheet, the man has compiled a lifetime On Base Percentage of .306 with the league average over those same nine seasons as .340. That's a pretty low grade in what has become an important statistic. And his OPS+, where 100 is average, Crede's lifetime number is 93, or below average. So how is it that he always seems desirable to teams like the White Sox and the Twins? The bottom line seems to be that he can hit a homer occasionally.
And the other up side the Twins might look at is Crede's defense which has been higher than league average. Defense is important to the Twins and always has been. But on the short side, Crede made 20 errors in just 97 games at third last year. Ugh.
The Twins might regret this deal come September, but that's why they play the game because you never know. But if Crede plays to his averages, he won't be what the Twins need.