He may not be the biggest name among Scott Boras' free agent third base clients, but Joe Crede is hoping to earn a contract for 2011. According to Scott Merkin of MLB.com (via Twitter), Boras says Crede is "healthy, ready to go and he's going to continue his career. He's ready to come back and play."
Playing for the Twins in 2009, Crede battled injuries, but was effective defensively in the 90 games he played. His +21.6 UZR/150 increased his career UZR/150 at third base to +10.8. And while his .289 OBP was hardly impressive, Crede exhibited his usual power, hitting 15 home runs in 367 plate appearances. The 32-year-old sat out the 2010 campaign though, in part due to questions teams had about his health. When the Twins decided not to re-sign Crede last offseason, Joe Christensen of the Minneapolis Star Tribune cited his inability to stay on the field as a primary factor.
If Crede is indeed back to 100%, he could be a low-cost bounceback candidate. Clubs will likely be reluctant to use him as an everyday player, but as a part-time defensive specialist, Crede has some appeal.