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Orioles talking to the oft-injured Joe Crede

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The Orioles are talking to free agent third baseman Joe Crede, reports Phil Rogers of the Chicago Tribune.

Crede, who turns 32 in April, is coming off his third back surgery since 2007, so he’d surely have to accept a modest one-year deal at this point. Limited to just 90 games last season, Crede batted .225/.289/.414 with 15 home runs and 48 RBI. Rogers calls the Orioles’ interest a “curious development” since they already have two right-handed third baseman in Garrett Atkins and Ty Wigginton, but according to Dan Connolly and Jeff Zrebiec of the Baltimore Sun, Andy MacPhail would prefer to play Atkins at first base. If that’s the case, it pretty much scratches Hank Blalock off their list.

Whoever the Orioles stick at third would merely be a stopgap until top prospect Josh Bell is ready for the majors. Best-case scenario is that Crede is healthy -- don’t laugh -- and productive enough so that the Orioles could unload him for a prospect around the trade deadline. At worst, he’ll barely make enough money for his presence on the roster to even matter.