Last spring, while the San Francisco Giants were searching for 3rd basemen and before they landed Jose Castillo, there was strong speculation that Joe Crede would get traded to the Giants at some point. It never transpired and Crede went on to have a big first half before getting hurt and missing most of the second half of the year. Now, almost a year later, Crede is a free agent and could probably be had on the cheap as he's trying to prove that his back injuries are a thing of the past. Due to the thin market at third base, and that being one of the Giants' biggest holes, I actually would take a long look at Crede for consideration. Again, he's coming off an injury, so he's not going to be able to command a multi-year deal and is likely going to have to settle for a mediocre base contract with incentives. He is a Boras client, so negotiating won't be easy, but I don't see teams lining up to sign him so a 1 year deal is looking more and more likely. Last year, Crede hit .252 with 16 home runs and had 52 RBI before the all-star break, but then got injured and only played in a handful of games over the second half. Those are basically Adam Dunn numbers if you project it out to 150 games and Crede won't cost them 14 million/year over 5-6 years like Dunn will. Not to mention, Crede actually has a position that he's above average at. Crede isn't a great player by any stretch, but if he's healthy, he'll play solid 3rd base and produce runs on offense. Why not give him a one year deal to see if he can stay healthy? They could come out with a starting 3rd basemen for a few years.
In other Giants news, it looks like Rafael Furcal is drifting further out of the Giants' reach. Furcal was in Oakland just before Thanksgiving and apparently loved it there. I still think the Giants could end up with Rafy, but I'd say there's a 60% chance he signs with Oakland. If that happens, I really hope the Giants don't panic and overpay for Edgar Renteria. I'd rather see them give a one year deal to someone like Felipe Lopez than throw big money into Renteria. Lopez has actually been good with the bat in 3 of the last 4 seasons, and would provide and offensive upgrade over Omar Vizquel and Emmanuel Burriss. The 28 year-old middle infielder can steal a base when needed even though he can improve defensively. Bringing Lopez aboard as a utility guy would be a nice add as he can fill in all over the infield besides first. Lopez has been overlooked a bit in this free-agent SS/2B class as he could be a potential bargain for any team willing to take a flier on him.
I also wanted to mention the "Mark Teahen to the Cubs" rumors that have been going on just because I can't understand why the Giants wouldn't have inquired about this guy. The Cubs have offered Sean Marshall (a nice reliever/spot starter) and Mike Fontenot (a utility guy), who are decent players, but certainly not "must do" deal for the Kansas City Royals. Teahen isn't a game changer offensively at this point, but has upside and could play third base for this team for years to come (although he's been playing in the outfield in KC). The 27 year-old is a bay area native and bringing a player back to his roots always seems to work out well. The Giants should be able to compete with the Cubs offer if they wanted too without having to give up any premiere prospects.
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