Scott Boras clients are disappearing from the market; Hank Blalock is narrowing his options and talking seriously with the Rays. Two who remain unsigned and without a major suitor yet, however, are Joe Crede and Jarrod Washburn. Let's look at their 2009s:
Crede, 31, had another injury-filled season after signing a one-year, $2.5MM (plus incentives) deal with the Twins late last offseason. When he was healthy, he was flat-out fantastic with the glove, according to UZR, posting a mark 23.4 through 728 innings of work. His offense was lackluster, but what we've come to expect from Crede: a low OBP with good home run power. He posted a line of .225/.289/.414 but mashed 15 home runs in 367 PAs.
Washburn, 35, put up brilliant numbers in Seattle prior to a catastrophic collapse after being traded to the Tigers prior to the deadline. He watched his ERA rise from a sparkling 2.64 to 3.78 in his time as a Tiger, thanks to 43 innings of 7.33 ERA ball. Washburn's peripherals and phenomenal outfield defense in Seattle suggested that he might regress somewhat in Detroit, but no one could've expected results that bad. In his defense, he dealt with left knee injuries late in the season. Still, a mark closer to his 4.58 FIP is probably a better gauge of Washburn's ability.
Both remain unsigned despite the fact that Spring Training is under way. Washburn reportedly turned down a one-year, $5MM offer from the Twins earlier this offseason. That money has since gone to Orlando Hudson, so the Twins may be done spending. Washburn's been selective with his teams; he preferred to pitch close to his home in Wisconsin (Twins or Brewers) or return to Seattle.
Crede has yet to receive any offers, although reports are that he's hitting, throwing, and waiting for an offer.
What are some potential landing spots for the pair of free agents? We've heard Baltimore mentioned as having interest in both, though their corner infield spots are likely set at this point. Seattle could still use Washburn, and the Mets could benefit as well.
In addition to that, what kind of money should they expect? It seems hard to imagine Crede landing more than a minor league deal, and Washburn's chances of matching the $5MM offered by Minnesota aren't looking great. Both players can help a major league team if healthy, though.
It's a bit of a slow hot stove day, so put on your Scott Boras shoes and discuss your plan of attack to finding your clients a team for 2010.