Twins may give oft-injured Crede another year

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While the Twins wait to see whether prospects Danny Valencia or Luke Hughes will emerge as a long-term answer at third base, the Minneapolis Star Tribune‘s Joe Christensen reports that they’re considering re-signing Joe Crede to another one-year deal.
When he signed with the Twins last winter Crede was coming off a season in which he played just 97 games because of injuries and hit .248 with 17 homers and a bad on-base percentage.
Now he’s coming off a season in which he played just 90 games because of injuries and hit .225 with 15 homers and a bad on-base percentage. In other words, Crede performed more or less like the Twins should have expected and was ultimately worth the incentive-laden investment with his great defense factored in.
Between his modest .225/.289/.414 production in 367 plate appearances and Ultimate Zone Rating pegging his glove as 12 runs above average Crede was about 20 runs better than a replacement-level third baseman while earning $4 million in total salary. He’s currently recovering from yet another back surgery, but Crede makes about as much sense for the Twins now as he did last offseason and may be even cheaper this time.
When healthy he hits .250 with good power and excellent defense at third base, but he’s missed 234 of a possible 488 games in the past three years. He clearly can’t be counted on for a full season, but Crede isn’t a terrible fallback option for the budget-conscious Twins if they don’t feel that Valencia is quite ready and miss out on free agent third basemen like Adrian Beltre, Mark DeRosa, or Troy Glaus.

Mets sign Jose Lobaton to minor league deal

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The Mets signed catcher Jose Lobaton to a minor league contract, the team announced Friday. The deal includes an invitation to spring training, where it’s assumed Lobaton will be in the mix for a backup role behind Travis d'Arnaud and Kevin Plawecki.

Lobaton, 33, is coming off of a four-year stint with the Nationals. He put up his worst career numbers in 2017, producing -0.6 fWAR after slashing just .170/.248/.277 with four home runs in 158 plate appearances. While he’ll give the Mets little to work with at the plate, his near-decade of experience behind the dish should make him a decent emergency option, if nothing else.

In the meantime, the Mets are expected to roll with a d’Arnaud/Plawecki platoon to start the season. Both catchers saw slight upticks in value over the 2017 season: d’Arnaud turned in 0.8 fWAR after hitting a career-high 16 home runs, while Plawecki collected 0.6 fWAR and three homers after raising his batting line over the Mendoza Line for the first time since 2015.