Willy Taveras DFA

Willy Taveras is jobless. Not for too long, since the A’s will either lose him on waivers — not sure lose is the right word here — or he could find himself in Triple-A. His employment in limbo stems, in large part, because his on-base percentage was .275 last season. Here’s some food for thought. Zack Greinke was pretty much the best pitcher in the American League last season. Greinke’s on-base percentage against was .276. That means, Taveras got on base less against all pitchers faced than the rest of baseball did against the league’s best pitcher.

Some of that horrid mark involved disobedience by never walking and the other part seems to be poor luck. A .278 BABIP is well below his career norms, and his previous low was twenty points higher. Taveras is a slap hitter who is at his best when he’s hitting the ball on the ground and using his legs to secure singles. Bunts have always been a part of his game, but his execution last year was the worst he’s had throughout his major league career. Failure to reach on two-thirds of his bunt attempts wasn’t the only batted ball issue Taveras had, for whatever reasons, 20% of his fly balls were of the infield variety – about as close to a sure out as you can get.

Taveras can still be useful though. That seems like a thought shared by those who think Socrates is a clothing brand, but it’s true. The problem for Taveras is how late he joins the fray. A team could claim him on waivers, or look towards similar players – like, say, the recovering Endy Chavez – and save a 40-man roster spot as well as cash. It wouldn’t surprise me to see Taveras fill out some National League team’s bench. It does surprise me that Taveras racked up nearly 400 plate appearances as the Reds’ leadoff man.

I guess there’s nothing like starting every game by facing Zack Greinke.




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29 Responses to “Willy Taveras DFA”

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  1. JD says:

    I don’t see how it’s surprising that Dusty Baker gave him so many at bats, dude.

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  2. Circlechange11 says:

    I say the Indians sign him.

    Willie Mays Hayes.

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  3. NEPP says:

    So you’re saying that either Drayton or Omar will be calling soon?

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  4. OremLK says:

    To be fair, Taveras is a pretty good defensive outfielder. But when you’re batting .559 OPS as a position player, I don’t guess it matters how good your defense is… you still pretty much suck.

    What’s the average OPS for pitchers, again?

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  5. Sandy Kazmir says:

    If any team could put his talents to use, I would think it would be the Twins. How the hell does Willy have 5+ years of service time?

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  6. Kampfer says:

    Well, Taveras doesn’t let the pitcher take the bat out of his hand. Another thing he does well is that he doesn’t clog up the bases. Not surprise to see Baker bat him 400 times last year.

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    • PL says:

      Every time I hear “clog the bases” I get this mental picture of a giant dude approaching 3rd base with three players smashed into his back.

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      • confused says:

        “clog up the bases,”funniest stupid baseball-related comment I’ve ever heard.
        And he still has a job…

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      • Joe R says:

        Just be prepared for the Reds to compete in 2010, and ESPN will praise Dusty Baker.

        Mainly because they don’t know anyone on the Reds other than Scott Rolen, Joey Votto, and Brandon Phillips.

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      • The Hit Dog says:

        They know Bronson Arroyo. He’s a wacky former Red Sox who’s in a ROCK BAND WHOO!!

        He should get a spot on “Mayne Street.” That’d be neat.

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      • Joe R says:

        JAM ON STAGE WITH THEO EPSTEIN AND PETER GAMMONS

        (actually I’m pretty sure this actually happened).

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    • Joe R says:

      He has game changing speed that you need in the leadoff spot.

      I mean never mind that stolen bases are the least useful in front of power hitters and running the bases at the bottom of the lineup is usually far better, but hey, why think for yourself when you can do what your baseball elders told you to do for years blindly?

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  7. PL says:

    Kenny Lofton will play for $3MM a year, and double or even triple Taveras’s output, yet Taveras is getting paid $4MM this year no matter what. Why are many GMs so dumb?

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  8. Terrible Offense + Decent Defense != Give him a contract

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  9. Bill says:

    “I guess there’s nothing like starting every game by facing Zack Greinke.”

    Something comes to mind, actually.

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  10. Tim says:

    Nobody is claiming WT off of waivers. Not even as part of The Contest. Get serious R.J. If it were that easy to drop the $4M he’s owed the Red’s wouldn’t have taken on Aaron Miles and his $2.7M ball-and-chain and given away a useful utility infielder w/ minor league options and 5/6 years of cost control left just to get rid of him.

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  11. mlbfan says:

    So why would the typically cost conscious A’s basically take on an additional 1.3 mill in payroll just to get a utility player rosales? Now they DFA taveras they’d basically have to eat most, ifnot allof that contract to turn him into any value

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  12. Big Willy will prob end up on the Royals

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  13. the perfect post. Just like what you said. I have nothing to add. I’d like to elaborate a bit. This post is so well written it’s almost perfection itself. I feel that if a leave a comment it will stain the carpet and mess the overall grandeur of the blog. I beat a hasty retreat. But I come again to check how the author responds to commenters.

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