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.
The Giants are finalizing a minor league deal for free agent outfielder Cameron Maybin, according to Andrew Baggarly and Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic. The team has not confirmed the signing, but it’s in keeping with their stated goal of adding more veteran presence and outfield options to their roster in advance of the 2019 season.
Maybin, 31, appeared in back-to-back gigs with the Marlins and Mariners in 2018. He slashed an underwhelming .249/.326/.336 with four home runs, 10 stolen bases (in 15 chances), a .662 OPS, and 0.5 fWAR through 384 plate appearances for the two clubs, a clear improvement over his totals in 2017 but still shy of the career numbers he posted with the Padres all the way back in 2011. It’s not only his offense that has tanked, but his speed and defense in center field, all of which he’ll try to improve as he jockeys for a roster spot in camp this month.
The Giants’ outfield has been largely depleted of any kind of consistent talent lately, especially taking into account the recent departures of Hunter Pence, Gregor Blanco, and Gorkys Hernández. Even with the acquisition of, say, All-Star right fielder Bryce Harper, there’s nothing standing in the way of Maybin and fellow veteran signee Gerardo Parra grabbing hold of full- or part-time roles this year, though they’ll need to outperform candidates like Chris Shaw, Steven Duggar, Drew Ferguson, Mac Williamson, Austin Slater, Craig Gentry, Mike Gerber, and others first.
In a previous report on Friday, Baggarly revealed that a “handshake understanding” had been established with several veteran players already this offseason, all but guaranteeing them regular starting opportunities over the course of the season. How those agreements will be affected by spring training performances remains to be seen, but at least for now, the Giants appear prepared to give their newest players a long leash as they try to get back on top in the NL West.