Reds Sign Taveras to a 2-Yr Deal

December 29, 2008 at 11:29 am 2 comments

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The Reds signed speedy centerfielder Willy Taveras to a two year deal on Saturday. The Reds had a void in center that was left when they traded Ryan Freel and properly let Corey Patterson walk away but was Willy Tavares the right man to sign?

What does Tavares bring to the table? I can only think of two things. Speed and his baserunning ability. He has zero raw power, zero gap power, and he doesn’t draw walks. While leading the league in stelas and in stolen base percentage last year, Tavares only managed to hit only .251/.308/.296. That .296 SLG was the worst in the league and his .308 OBP was 7th worst among all qualified players. That is not acceptable, especially while playing slightly below average defense.

On defense he posted a -9.7 UZR/150 (Ultimate Zone Rating per 150 games) in 2008 and a -17.4 in 2007 after a fine 2006 with a +15.1. He could be an average defender which would help offset his awful offense.

Tavares is an upgrade over Patterson so the Reds are better in CF with him. With a weak free agent market Tavares was possibly the best player available outside of Rocco Baldelli or Jim Edmonds but unless he reverts back to his 2007 offensive stat line of .320/.367/.382 then he is still no better than a slightly below-average player and I don’t see a 2007 type season in Tavares because those stats are out of line with the rest of his career stats. Edmonds on a one year deal would’ve been a better move.

-Jonathan C. Mitchell

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2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. erik  |  December 29, 2008 at 1:36 pm

    I would have liked to have seen what dickerson can do with 500ab’s but if he is the LFer I guess that is moot.

    Reply
  • 2. Jonathan C. Mitchell  |  December 29, 2008 at 1:43 pm

    I would’ve liked to see Dickerson too. The Reds should be rebuilding slightly and in that rebuilding they should be moving Edwin Encarnacion to LF. He is AWFUL at 3B.

    Reply

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