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Twins Get Busy, Close to Crede, Cruz Deals

Leave it to Minnesota to near two enormous offseason moves late Friday night on the first week of spring training. The Yankees know how to make a media splash. The Twins? They're happier slipping in with silent swan dives.

The primary dive which they've been focused on revolved around former White Sox third baseman Joe Crede. Now, after lengthy negotiations that focused on Crede aiming for a $7 million annual salary, the Twins and the third bagger may have a deal. That's the story from Chicago Tribune writer Mark Gonlazes, who cites an unnamed major league source in confirming Crede's twin cities deal.

While there are no figures in Gonzales's report, it jives with the story breaking via La Velle Neal of the Star-Tribune just hours earlier. Neal indicated that Crede, a Boras client, was the partner blinking in this financial game of chicken, with the infielder deciding he would come off his $7 million asking price. That's significant for multiple reasons, but none more obvious than Crede's status as the first Boras client in 2009 to significantly adjust his demand to an anemic market (assuming the "market correction" that lands Crede with the Twins qualifies as significant).

Crede will steal the twin city headlines, but there's another significant story on Minnesota's horizon. According to a report from Neal in the final hours of Friday night, the Twins are negotiating with free agent reliever Juan Cruz, the first step in a prospective sign-and-trade deal with the Diamondbacks, Cruz's most recent employer.

According to Neal, if Cruz and the Twins reach a deal Minnesota will be granted a 48-hour window to agree on the parameters of a trade with Arizona, or else the trade will go up in smoke.

It's a dramatic shift in what teams can get away with under the collective bargaining agreement, if the Cruz deal does go ahead. All indications are that the Twins are Cruz's most serious suitor, by far, so we may see the first of what could be many sign-and-trade deals in the offing within the next 24 hours.

Thoughts? Who's a bigger deal for the Twins and the AL Central, Crede or Cruz? And which deal is bigger for baseball in general?

By Cameron Smith  |  February 21, 2009; 10:18 AM ET
Categories:  Twins  
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Comments

So if you think the OF/1B situation for the Nats is complex, how does the OF/CI scramble for the Twins compare - Crede 3d, Morneau 1st, Cuddyer /Span/ Gomez / Young / Kubel in the OF and DH. Maybe you see a Delmon for an SS deal, so Punto can go back to being a defensive replacemnt and pinch runner?

Posted by: jca-CrystalCity | February 21, 2009 5:35 PM | Report abuse

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