Cincinnati Reds President of Baseball Operations and General Manager Walt Jocketty today announced the signing of free agent OF Willy Taveras to a two-year contract through the 2010 season.
“Willy Taveras fills two significant needs for our ball club, a speed base stealing threat at the top of the order and superior defense in center field,” said Jockettty.
Taveras, 27, in 133 games last season for the Colorado Rockies hit .251 and led the Major Leagues with 68 stolen bases and a .907 stolen base percentage (68-for-75).
His .907 stolen base percentage in 2008 was the highest by a Major League player, with a minium of 60 stolen bases, since those statistics have been compiled (since 1920 in the American League, since 1951 in the National League). The previous stolen base percentage record of .896 was established by the Pirates’ Tony Womack in 1997 (60-for-67).
I’m not ready to pass complete judgment on this deal until I see the size of the contract, but I don’t think this improves the ’09 Cincinnati Reds one iota…