As reported by the Rockies' official twitter feed, the Rockies have signed 3B Joe Crede to a minor-league deal with an invitation to Spring Training, pending a physical.
Crede, 32 (33 for the majority of the 2011 season), last played in the Majors in 2009 with Minnesota, where he posted a .225/.289/.414 batting line. While this isn't that impressive of a showing for Crede, he's never really been known as a strong bat, but rather for his 3B glove, which has been top notch his entire career. In fact, his glove is so strong, that Crede graded out at a 1.8 fWAR level (1.6 rWAR) for the 2009 season despite only playing in 90 games.
After a 1-year absence from baseball, it's questionable whether Crede will be an apt 3B replacement should anything happen to Ian Stewart, if we account for offensive production, but there's very little doubt that defensively, the position will be secure. However, barring the long-awaited breakout of Stewart, should Stewart be taken out of the lineup, Crede wouldn't be that far of a drop, even offensively (assuming he can at least regain his 2009 form). Crede is a career .254/.304/.444 hitter, good for a .320 wOBA and 92 wRC+. Stewart thus far: .245/.332/.451, .337 wOBA, 99 wRC+. Tall order, but it's good to know that Colorado is sitting on some decent depth.
Here are some facts about Joe Crede:
He caught the chicken pox twice. And then doubled Influenza off of 2B.
If you say Joe Crede's name 3 times into a mirror, he'll catch your reflection.
Joe Crede has more range than Montana.
Joe Crede commits so few errors, he once corrected Firefox's Autocorrect.
Joe Crede hit his first World Series home run on the day his daughter was due.
Joe Crede's first World Series home run caused the healthy birth of his daughter.
Joe Crede's first World Series home run caused the healthy birth of 378 other children as well.
Joe Crede steps, plants, throws. I love him for that.
Joe Crede is actually not a gigantic Creed fan. That would just be too easy.
Scott Stapp is a gigantic Joe Crede fan.
Joe Crede is allowed to cut in line at any fast food restaurant in the continental USA. He actually has a license for this.
If anyone freaks out and tries to claim Joe Crede is "all the Rockies are going to add this offseason" then Joe Crede will be really flattered, insulted, and then make an amazing diving stop.