There are a few more good posts out there in the blogosphere about this whole Willy Taveras business that most of you will be interested to read. First, Justin finally looks at the numbers and weighs in (we’ve been waiting!), and his conclusion is unsurprising:

On initial inspection, Taveras looks like Corey Patterson without the power. Which is to say, he’s not looking very impressive….

So it’s not clear to me that the Reds got much better with this deal. In fact, as this deal makes it less likely that Encarnacion will move to the outfield (which, as my recent snarky anonymous poster indicated, might not have been likely to begin with), this deal might even make the Reds a little bit worse. Yippie.

Go read the rest of the post; lots of interesting stuff in there.

Next, Redlegs Stats Blog undergoes a similar line of inquiry in this post, entitled “Will Taveras be the new Patterson?” The comparison is frightening, if not perfect.

Finally, over at Blue Collar Baseball, Deaner is thinking optimistically:

I’m a old-school guy, so I like the new direction of the Reds outfield. Defense is a fundamental that the Reds have been severely lacking in, and speed never goes into a slump. Taveras’ stats aren’t very impressive (besides the SBs) but he’s only 27, so he is liable to bounce back to 2005-2006 form, and a lot of what he does isn’t going to show up on a stat sheet anyway.

Again, there’s more where that came from, so go read the entire post.

23 Responses

  1. doug

    ‘Speed never goes into a slump’…..
    Sigh. It does too. Tweak a hammy, twist an ankle, twist a knee, general soreness, age…. all of that stuff takes away speed.

  2. John

    Good grief. When will “baseball minds” learn that speed is useless if you can’t get on base or field your position?

  3. mhopp

    It could be worse…the Nats just signed a starting pitcher with a career 5.00+ ERA and so did the Orioles. Now the Orioles have a LHP that is as bad as the RHP that they left go to the Nats…small market teams (sigh)

    The real key here is how our wonderful manager does with Traveras. He’s not bad if utilized correctly. Like I said all last year, the big difference will be with Crusty “the clown” Baker and his decisions day to day. Walt may be doing a decent job if he had a manager like Larussa who knows how to utilize players to the best of their ability…would like to sign Larussa, then things might change.

  4. mhopp

    And Larussa’s contract is through the 2009 season with St. Louis so maybe Dusty will do extra bad and then Walt/Bob will sign a better manager.

  5. Deaner

    Speaking of Tony La Russa… What do you all think about batting the pitcher eighth? This would enable the ninth batter in the lineup, probably Dickerson or Taveras, to act as a second leadoff man.

  6. preach

    I think it’s a great idea. The Cowboy hates it, which is even more reason to love it. I don’t think I would always use it, but sometimes it makes a lot of sense.

  7. Deaner

    I just posted a sample lineup, with the pitcher batting eighth, over at Blue Collar Baseball. Check it out.

  8. mhopp

    Larussa vs. Baker I take Larussa any day.

  9. Phill

    I wouldn’t be able to stand LaRussa’s micromanaging.

  10. RedRedMan

    Well, Owings might be a better hitter than Taveras anyway so +1 to batting him 8th.

  11. Y-City Jim

    But I sure could stand LaRussa’s coaches, McRae and Duncan.

  12. Travis G.

    I don’t have a subscription anymore, but Baseball Prospectus doesn’t seem all the impressed by the on-base skills of Taveras and three more of the team’s likely starting eight.

  13. Y-City Jim

    Which brings to question the astonishing stolen base percentage. Was he a vastly improved base stealer last season or were the Rockies six runs down when he was trying?

  14. Y-City Jim

    Taveras salary: $2.25 million this year, $4 million next year.

  15. KY Chip

    So, not only did the Reds sign Taveras to an unnecessary multi-year deal, they also gave him a raise from what he made last year with the Rox. And a promise of more money the next year. I thought idiocy like this was supposed to stop once Krivsky was gone.

    Dropping $6+ million on an underperformer like Taveras also essentially takes the Reds out of the likelihood of signing the big bat LF Walt’s talked about over the past several weeks. I simply cannot understand the reasoning behind this signing at all.

    I still love the Reds, but sometimes it’s a very difficult thing to do.

  16. Y-City Jim

    Have your worst year as a pro and get a raise.

    Only in America.

  17. preach

    and now Taveras is eligible to sign a contract for less than one-third of that to play in Washington once he’s ‘done’ here.

  18. Chris

    From the BP article:

    Age OBP/2008 OBP/Career
    Hernandez 33 .308 .326
    Taveras 27 .308 .331
    Gonzalez 32 N/A .295
    Phillips 28 .312 .308

    Sigh. Again.

  19. preach

    I know this suggestion is going to catch grief, but when has that stopped anyone on this board before?: What about securing the services of Garrett Anderson? Yes, I know he’s 36. I’m not talking about a long term solution. But take into consideration the following:

    1. He’s available and has expressed an interest in playing in the midwest or east coast.

    2. Even though he is 36, he still played in 145 games last year (not sure of the splits with outfield and DH).

    3. He is a career .300 hitter who has consistently hit near his career norms.

    4. He is a solid defender with a great arm. I would like to see his arm in left, Bruce’s arm in right and Tavares being able to track things down in the gap.

    5. Being left handed in GABP is a plus for power (so why we are not looking at it that way is amazing), so his average of @15 HR’s goes to 20.

    6. He also plays a solid right field, but with Vlad on the roster there was no chance for it.

    I would see if he would take a two year deal. I’d use Hopper to pinch run for him late and perhaps to start in his place once or twice a week.

  20. Chris

    At the right price, Anderson might be worth a look. I haven’t watched him enough to know if he’s through. Can’t say I’m thrilled by the idea of adding yet another lousy OBP, though (Hasn’t been > .336 since ’04).

    Of course, this club has decided that All New Additions Shall Be Right-Handed, for some idiotic reason. (I guess they’re terrified of Ted Lilly).

    I’m still stunned at giving Wily Mo Taveras $6M. Just like w/ Patterson, we’re paying some scrub more money than necessary, since our GM had heard of him before.

  21. preach

    Chris,

    As I glanced at your last post I read ‘Wily Mo’ and my mind naturally filled in ‘Pena’. For a moment I thought we resigned him.

    I can’t even BEGIN to tell you the feeling I got on that. It was like every planet in the universe instantly stopped in mid-rotation. It felt like my brain was a radio stuck mid-way between two stations on the am dial. I must be bleeding internally someplace right now.