Surely, the media contributes to this sensationalized view of nearly any new player acquisition. Shortly after the Twins added Crede, the Star Tribune published an article proclaiming the signing as "low risk, All-Star reward," which is a little misleading to say the least, and other media outlets have falsely painted Cabrera's addition to the team as a charge that has rejuvenated the shortstop position and No. 2 spot in the lineup.
Of course, Crede's been nowhere close to an All-Star and Cabrera has only added to the team's woes at the second spot in the batting order. Neither of these developments should come as any surprise. I spent an inordinate amount of time trying to downplay expectations for both Cabrera and Crede on this blog, and sure enough both have played almost exactly up to my expectations. Cabrera continues to show his age and has been a defensive liability (earning the deserved nickname "Caberror") while hitting just .261/.286/.394 since coming over from the A's. He has been an out machine in front of the league's best hitter. Speaking of out machines, Crede has broken down due to injuries for a third straight year and hasn't been very productive anyway, as his .229/.293/.421 hitting line with 15 home runs and 48 RBI puts him in position to finish the year with numbers almost identical to the unimpressive ones I projected in March (.255/.300/.425, 12 HR, 50 RBI).
The troubling thing is that there a rumblings that the Twins may bring back at least one of these players for next year. A recent Star Tribune column noted that Cabrera "made a quick impression on the Twins after getting traded from Oakland on July 31, leaving some insiders saying the team should hurry and re-sign him to a two-year contract extension." That would be an immensely bad idea. The shortstop market will be thin this offseason, but the Twins need to find a better solution than committing to a 35-year-old Cabrera for even one more season. There had been some sentiment that the Twins might seek to bring back Crede on another one-year deal, but fortunately that seems to have been squashed by his latest ailment.
Interestingly, the acquisition that seemed to have drawn the littlest fanfare -- the signing of Carl Pavano -- has been by far the most beneficial to the club. If there's one impending free agent that the Twins should go out of their way to bring back next year, it's him.