Seemingly the only thing standing between Joe Crede and a long-term contract this off-season was a back surgery that has been described with such terms as "minor," and "out-patient," yet today, MLB.com and Scott Merkin report what we've all known since late-September; Joe Crede will not have surgery on his ailing back.
The one encouraging thing I'm trying to hold onto is that Crede's been dealing with this back issue for at least two years now, and it seems nowhere near as limiting as Dustin Hermanson's was in the second half of '05. We know what to expect from a surgery-less Crede; and that's a mostly-healthy excellent defensive third baseman. He might miss a week, or even require a short DL trip in the second half, but it probably shouldn't have that large of an impact on the '07 White Sox.
I can't say the same thing for '08-and-beyond White Sox, however. I can't see the Sox brass even approaching Crede about a long-term deal right now. They'd rather see how his back reacts to another season of flopping on the dirt at the hot corner, and let Josh Fields continue to develop at AAA before they make their final decision, which we should expect around this time next year.
I'd probably feel a whole lot better if Crede elected for surgery, but I'm not the one who has to go under the knife. I'm pretty sure I'd make the same decision. But I hate doctors. Doctors and Nickelback, eww. I get the willies just thinking about 'em.