FWIW, Crede made $2.5 million last year, he'll be lucky to get that much again on a 1-year deal. He's not the answer for us, unless we had the roster space to use him as a backup at third, which we probably don't.
More importantly, we just plugged the biggest gaping OBP holes in the lineup now that we've got Scutaro and will have Martinez all year. I'd hate to see us now open up another hole by committing to four years of a 325 OBP type like Beltre. He's never hit in Fenway, and he's never hit in 440 plate appearances in AL East parks, (including the "great pitching" he faced in Baltimore, Toronto and pre-2008 Tampa.) He's done his road damage in NL West parks. He's also coming off a terrible year. It doesn't make sense to just rule that out and blame it all on injuries, as though now that he's in his 30's and got hurt last year, he'll somehow never get hurt again.
Going after Beltre gambles a big four-year commitment on the assumptions that from ages 31-34, he'll bounce back from last year, that he'll stay healthy, he'll not decline defensively, and he'll somehow learn to hit in the AL East. Too much wishful thinking IMO.
If you move Youkilis to third, you'll go from horrible defensively to league average, according to Fielding Bible. We've already gone from horrible to a little above league average at SS. Rather than weakening the offense to improve the defense even more by making a long-term commitment to a low OBP guy, it makes more sense to continue to improve the offense by adding a first baseman who can hit.
Adrian Gonzalez would obviously be the ideal target, but since they probably weren't going to move him, why not bring in the JD Drew of first basemen, Nick Johnson? He'd probably be available on a one-year-plus-option type of deal. With his bat and Kotchman's glove, you'd have first base covered nicely. Johnson was solid defensively until last year, and Kotchman is good insurance defensively and for the inevitable injuries. Though Johnson did play 133 games last year, 22 more than Beltre did. And Johnson put up a .426 OBP last year, and is .402 lifetime.
With Johnson, our lineup would become an OBP machine with solid defense, with no new long-term commitment to a guy in his 30's, and space available when SD finally does trade Gonzalez.
Edited by The Gray Eagle, 10 December 2009 - 02:48 PM.