Joe Crede knows his career is done, wishes the pain was

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Two years removed from playing his final major league game with the Twins, Joe Crede still hasn’t been able to get his back fixed and is no longer holding out hope of resuming his major league career.

Back at U.S. Cellular being honored by the White Sox on Tuesday, Crede talked to CSNChicago.com about his ordeal:

I’ve been going to doctors trying to figure out what’s going on back there. I don’t know. I just don’t really have a good enough answer. I’m kind of at a loss for words with it. How many doctors can you see about it and still feel the same way? That’s another frustrating thing about it for me, is seeing some of the top doctors supposedly in the world and still having my back feel the same way. I’ve just kind of learned to deal with it and move on. That’s life.

Crede debuted with the White Sox as a 22-year-old in 2000 and made an All-Star team with the club 2008, but he wasn’t re-signed after that season because of his chronic back troubles.  He didn’t play in more than 100 games in any of his final three seasons.  At age 33, he signed a minor league deal with the Rockies this spring, initially declined to report, later chose to report and then didn’t make the team.

It eats at me everyday almost. Everyday I get out of bed. I have to get up in the middle of the night and I feel that pain again in my back. It really bothers me. It usually takes me an hour, or an hour and a half to get back to feeling normal walking around. It’s what I deal with on a daily basis.

Barring a miracle, Crede is now out of the game for good.  A solid regular for the White Sox in the middle part of the decade, he hit .254/.304/.444 with 140 homers in 888 games.  He had his best season in 2006, batting .283/.323/.506 with 30 homers and 94 RBI en route to a Silver Slugger award.

Phillies, RHP Taijuan Walker reportedly agree to 4-year deal

Kyle Ross-USA TODAY Sports
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SAN DIEGO – The active Philadelphia Phillies added Taijuan Walker to their rotation on Tuesday, agreeing to a $72 million, four-year contract with the right-hander.

A person familiar with the negotiations confirmed the move to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because it was pending a physical.

It was the second major free-agent score for the Phillies at the winter meetings after they reeled in shortstop Trea Turner on Monday with a $300 million, 11-year deal. Walker and Turner join a Phillies team that made it to the World Series this year before losing to the Houston Astros.

The 30-year-old Walker went 12-5 with a 3.49 ERA in 29 starts this season for the New York Mets, one of Philadelphia’s biggest NL East rivals. He slots into a rotation fronted by Zack Wheeler and Aaron Nola.

The Phillies recently lost pitcher Zach Eflin in free agency to Tampa Bay.

Asked about the market for Walker earlier in the day, agent Scott Boras said it was robust.

“As you can see in the marketplace, there’s a whole number of pitchers that are throwing 60 and 70 innings that have been pursued, probably with the exception of (Jacob) deGrom, at the lower end of threshold around $13-15 million a year because the demand for quality pitching is so great,” Boras said.

“So, Tai … is one of the younger ones, one of the more durable ones and we expect him to be pursued greatly as his market unfolds.”

Walker was selected by Seattle with the No. 43 pick in the 2010 amateur draft. He made his big league debut with the Mariners in 2013.

Walker signed with New York as a free agent in February 2021. He turned down a $7.5 million player option last month in favor of a $3 million buyout, making his deal worth $17 million over two seasons.

The 6-foot-4 Walker made the All-Star team for the first time in 2021, putting together a fast start before fading to a 7-11 record with a 4.47 ERA in 30 games, 29 starts.