10/30/08 7:26 PM EST
Crede, Uribe file for free agency
Infielders may not factor into White Sox plans for 2009
By Scott Merkin / MLB.com
Crede, 30, has played just 144 games and had 502 at-bats over the past two seasons combined due to back surgery that cut short his 2007 campaign and continued back issues in 2008 that limited him to 11 games after the All-Star break. Crede batted .248 with 17 home runs and 55 RBIs in 2008, picking up where he left off in 2006 in regard to his ability to hit in the clutch.
It was a seventh-inning grand slam delivered by this first time All-Star off Minnesota reliever Pat Neshek that led the White Sox to a 7-4 victory in early April, as an example. Crede played an integral role during the team's World Series title performance in 2005 and earned an American League Silver Slugger award in 2006.
"Joe Crede is an outstanding player when he's healthy, as he's proven time and time again," said White Sox general manager Ken Williams of his third baseman for parts of the past nine seasons.
With Crede expected to pursue a multi-year deal and Josh Fields potentially waiting in the wings to take over at third, Crede's time with the White Sox has probably come to an end.
Uribe, 30, replaced Crede at third because of his defensive edge over Fields and Fields' banged-up right knee. He was a valuable piece of the White Sox push to the 2008 AL Central title, appearing in 57 games at third base, 52 at second and four at shortstop. Uribe began the year as the team's starting second baseman, before being supplanted by AL Rookie of the Year candidate Alexei Ramirez.
Uribe's .247 average jumped up from his .235 mark in 2006 and .234 mark in 2007. Uribe also hit seven home runs and drove in 40.
Although Uribe has been an extremely popular and entertaining figure in the White Sox clubhouse and provides excellence through his defensive versatility, he is not in the White Sox starting plans. Uribe is expected to look for a full-time job on the open market.
Scott Merkin is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.