Nationals Sign Willy Taveras

The Nationals signed center fielder Willy Taveras to a minor league deal, reports MLB.com's Bill Ladson.  Taveras had been released by the A's on Tuesday, not long after Oakland received him from the Reds to faciliate their Adam Rosales trade.  The Nats will presumably pay Taveras the league-minimum $400K if he makes the team, with the A's paying his remaining $3.6MM.

Taveras, 28, hit .240/.275/.285 for the Reds in 437 plate appearances last year.  The Reds signed Taveras to a two-year, $6.25MM after he was non-tendered by the Rockies.  Defensively, based on UZR, Taveras graded well in 2009 and was slightly below-average the two years prior.

In addition to Taveras, the Nationals signed outfielders Chris Duncan, Kevin Mench, and Jerry Owens to minor league deals this winter.


43 Responses to Nationals Sign Willy Taveras Leave a Reply

  1. I don’t know if this is sadder for Willy Taveras or for the Nationals..

    • Guest 5 years ago

      Actually, he could be a late inning pinch runner or a 4th outfielder.

      • flumesalot 5 years ago

        Kind of like an apprehensive Herb Washington?

    • HalfSt 5 years ago

      The end of unemployment is probably not so sad for Willy Taveras. His signing is not terribly consequential for my Nats. I am surprised they bothered. An OBP below .300 is pretty awe-inspiring, and not in a good way.

      • Guest 5 years ago

        You echoed my thoughts exactly. It’s another low-risk, high-reward type signing for the Nats, though the “high-reward” portion of it is mainly limited to stolen bases (if he could even get on base).

  2. osfan3000 5 years ago

    hmmm didnt expect this signing.. minor league deal so who cares. lol

  3. strikethree 5 years ago

    It seemed incredible at the time when the Red gave a multi-year contract to Taveras…

    The guy is a reserve OFer/defensive replacement. A minor league deal fits well with his abilities.

    • Guest 5 years ago

      Yeah you bet…A lot of people thought that with his speed, the Reds would be a much better team. They were a much better team but he had a rough ’09.

  4. I like the move if only for the fact that they’re going to have a lot to choose from for reserve outfielders this spring training. Taveras could be a great defensive replacement/pinch runner. If the guy could get on base that would be another thing, though.

  5. gyrobalz 5 years ago

    Who cares? The Nationals are irrelevant and the season hasn’t even started yet.

    • HalfSt 5 years ago

      Umm… Why are you reading this article if they are irrelevant? Bored today?

    • flumesalot 5 years ago

      Nationals are actually kind of intriguing this year on the off-season side. Not quite as epic as the Mariners, but certainly not “irrelevant”.

    • Guest 5 years ago

      Sorry we aren’t the Yankees or Red Sox. My lord, if you don’t care about them then don’t click the post or waste the time typing a comment.

  6. phoenix88 5 years ago

    i like this signing as a good defensive backup option in the outfield. IT’s a minor league deal, so it cant hurt the major league club much and it give the Nats depth in the farm system in case Dukes, Willingham or thier other outfielder (name escapes me) goes down

  7. Guest 5 years ago

    Really intriguing. Last year the Nats tried to trade Redding for Taveras but that didn’t work. Maybe if he out hits Dukes in Spring Training Nyjer could shift to right and Taveras could play center.

    • If he out hits Dukes then the Nationals have a LOT more problems than anybody really thought.

      You can’t steal first base unfortunately for Willy

    • $1529282 5 years ago

      At this point, Taveras couldn’t outhit Zach Duke, let alone Elijah Dukes.

      Plus, Nyjer Morgan is on par with Franklin Gutierrez in terms of center field defense. While he’s only logged 781 innings in center for his career, that small sample suggests that if there’s anyone in baseball who can compete with Guti, it’s Nyjer. No way you move him to right field for a guy like Taveras.

      Morgan has a downright absurd 39.0 UZR/150 in center for his career… 31 points higher than Willy, whose defense has been on the decline since Houston anyway.

      • Guest 5 years ago

        good point about Nyjer’s defense. I was just saying that there could be a chance that Willy finds himself a starting job.

      • natcrazy 5 years ago

        or the Dukes of Hazard!!!

  8. RiverKKiller999 5 years ago

    Not a bad signing .Minor League deals never hurt anyone.

    • Guest 5 years ago

      And some turn out to be quite a bargain. Andre Dawson for example.

      • Please please don’t tell me you just brought up Andre Dawson in a Willy Taveras discussion. Taveras is one of the worst players in the game, next to Yuniesky Betancourt.

  9. TimotheusATL 5 years ago

    Taveras should do great in the minors for Washington. After all, they can DH for him.

    • besttradever 5 years ago

      This isn’t an American League team dude. Nats are appart of the NL East.

      • TimotheusATL 5 years ago

        The DH is used a lot more commonly in the minors, as there is more interleague play :)

  10. what is it with the Nats and useless OF? Duncan, Wily mo pena, tavares? I guess this is a good move if you add in the defense. they are trying to develope a young pitching staff and play in a pretty big ballpark. might as well have all the guys who can run it down that you can.

    • HalfSt 5 years ago

      Ooh. Low blow to throw WMP in with Taveras and Duncan. Duncan could have offense, and Taveras defense, but Wily Mo provided the Nats with neither.

      • no, but he did make alot of money, have a contract that required that he be left on the major league roster, and cost alot of people fantasy titles by being on their “sleeper” list. so he had that going for him.

  11. Hoosierdaddy92 5 years ago

    i was hoping the Tigers or White Sox would take a chance on him @ minor league value.

    • How can you hope for 2 teams especially if their not your team to take a chance on a guy. That’s like saying I want Johnny Damon to land with the Rays or A’s and I’m a Cubs fan.

      • Hoosierdaddy92 5 years ago

        i guess “hoping” was the wrong word. I guess I thought they would take a chance on him, and he could actually help either of the aforementioned teams. However, I am a Tigers fan, so I was actually hoping for them to get him cheap.

  12. Suzysman 5 years ago

    Too bad, was hoping he would sign with the Royals opening up the possibility we could see an outfield of Pods/Taveras/B.Anderson sometime throughout the season

    • Royals would have a 4 man platoon. Pods, Brian Anderson, Ankiel, Taveras

      • Suzysman 5 years ago

        Was actually thinking more along the lines of a 5 man with Pods, Tavares, Anderson, Ankeil and either Maier or Thorman if DeJesus were to get hurt/traded. Couple it with Guillen at DH and you have a “Oh my Lord” type lineup.

  13. thedude33 5 years ago

    How about Bernadina? That kid was defensively great last year. Give the kid some time to learn how to hit at big league level and you got a real CF.

  14. gwells 5 years ago

    meh. it won’t hurt the team, cuz it’s a minor league deal, but they have a young player that is probably as good defensively and unlikely to be as bad offensively (bernadina). plus they have jerry owens on a minor league deal. hell, justin maxwell (another youngun) would be better imo than taveras.

    i don’t understand the constant overvaluing of speed by some in baseball. you can’t steal first base.

  15. osfan3000 5 years ago

    been thinking about this and im gonna try to make a glimpse of positive out of this. He can Pinch run for Adam Dunn in the 8th-9th…. He can Replace Willingham in the 8th-9th….. He can carry the ball bucket or helmet bag to and from practice in ST…. I heard he might even be able to help prevent the management from playing desmond in the outfield…

  16. GOwhitesoxNgiants 5 years ago

    Why would the A’s ever agree to trade for a guy they don’t plan on keeping, and release him? They should have kept him as a backup, especially if one of their players goes on the DL! Terrible, Terrible, TERRIBLE move!

    • zabat 5 years ago

      they didnt trade for him. they wanted adam rosales in the deal and the reds forced the a’s to take on tavares’ contract if they wanted rosales. rather than wasting a roster spot on him they opted to just get rid of him and eat the salary. they have tons of OFs that are better than tavares. Sweeney, R.Davis, Crisp, Buck, Taylor, Gross, and in pinch they could even use Cust out there and they all are better players offensively than Tavares.

  17. wfcs 5 years ago

    This is a great signing by the Nats…no real money…lots up upside….and great as a late inning pinch runner/D replacement.

  18. lefty177 5 years ago

    i didn’t know he was only 28, maybe it seems like he’s older because it seems like he’s shipped somewhere else all the time

  19. Ricky Bones 5 years ago

    “In addition to Taveras, the Nationals signed outfielders Chris Duncan, Kevin Mench, and Jerry Owens to minor league deals this winter.”

    And all four are terrible.

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