When the New York Yankees sign a 28 year old switch hitter with a career line of .290/.378/.541, more than 200 home runs and an OPS+ of 134, that's cause for celebration. When the Twins sign a 30 year old injury prone third baseman with .257/.306/.447, 125 HRs and a 93 OPS+, apparently a disproportionate amount of joy is warranted.
You gotta love Minnesota fans. Are there any other team's fans that would be saying things like "Finally a huge free agent signing!" and "We got him! We got him!" if they obtained an average third baseman? Then again, I suppose other fanbases haven't been conditioned like Twins fans. Consider this murderer's row of disasters: Livan Hernandez, Ramon Ortiz, Tony Batista, Mike Lamb, Rondell White, Adam Everett. Going over that list would make anyone hide under their bed until it's safe to come out, or until Crede proves he doesn't suck. In fact, I think you'd have to go all the way back to Butch Huskey to find an everyday player the Twins signed that was effective for half a season. Keep in mind that Crede hasn't been able to last even that long the past two years.
Granted, while Crede's career batting average may be around Luis Rivas range, his slugging percentage is good which indicates that when he does get a hit, it's usually for extra bases. It's nice to have a guy that doesn't hit for measly singles all the time. But practically speaking, we have another Michael Cuddyer at third base.
I'm not saying this is a bad signing. Bill Smith made a smart and fair deal with a Scott Boras client (!) that protects the team, which ensures that Smith is not Kevin McHale. Crede fills a need (sort of) that the Twins lineup desperately needed -- some semblance of power from the right side. I just don't understand the amount of fanfare this is getting. It makes me wonder what would've happened if they signed David Eckstein.