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IowaAJ
12-27-2008, 06:33 PM
CINCINNATI -- In one transaction on Saturday, the Reds believe they met two of their offseason needs.
By signing free-agent speedster Willy Taveras to a two-year contract, Cincinnati now has an experienced leadoff hitter and center fielder heading into 2009. Financial terms of the contract weren't immediately known



talked to [Taveras and his representatives] the first thing on that Saturday morning. We were their first call," Jocketty said. "It's what impressed them the most."



Reds pro scout Jamie Quirk, who spent the past few seasons as the Rockies' bench coach, endorsed the signing.

"Jamie really likes Willy and thinks he can get back to the type of player he was in 2007, when he bunted more, had more ground-ball hits and used his speed," Jocketty said.



"With Hernandez and [second baseman] Brandon Phillips and if [shortstop] Alex Gonzalez is back healthy, we've really improved our defense up the middle," Jocketty said.


"With Bruce and Taveras, we have two of our outfield spots filled," Jocketty said. "We'd like to add another hitter, but if we don't, we have good pitching and defense and speed. We could find ways to manufacture runs without a big RBI guy."




http://cincinnati.reds.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20081227&content_id=3729066&vkey=news_cin&fext=.jsp&c_id=cin

IowaAJ
12-27-2008, 06:36 PM
Hey Jlohm if you can fix the topic on the thread to say Taveras it would be appreciated.
I like the signing and it does improve are defense in the middle with Phillips, Gonzales and Taveras up the middle that is a pretty good combination. Hopefully we can add a power hitting left fielder still though.

IowaAJ
12-27-2008, 06:39 PM
a little update on other outfielders were persuing.


--Are the Reds still interested in Jerry Hairston Jr.? "Yes. He could end up being the left fielder if we can't get that RBI man, which might be hard to do at this point. We may have a different type of team, where we rely on speed and defense and try to manufacture runs. We've still got some guys who can hit the ball out of the ballpark -- (Joey) Votto, (Jay) Bruce and (Edwin) Encarnacion. But we're going to a little bit different kind of team."

--Are the Reds still interested in Rocco Baldelli? "We'll talk some more. We're looking into the medical a little more."



http://news.cincinnati.com/apps/pbcs.dll/section?category=blog07&plckController=Blog&plckScript=blogScript&plckElementId=blogDest&plckBlogPage=BlogViewPost&plckPostId=Blog%3ae57bcc87-152a-4f72-96fb-cc08b1f396efPost%3a808f15fb-a99b-4009-a9e8-dae10540e1bf&sid=sitelife.cincinnati.com

IowaAJ
12-27-2008, 06:41 PM
Here is what Taveras had to say about joining the Reds.


Here's a little bit of Willy Taveras from a conference call (I believe he was in the security line at the Miami airport at the time):

--"It's a young team. I think I fit in well. I'll come in and play hard. I'm happy to play for Dusty (Baker)."

--"It's an opportunity to play every day, no matter what happened the day before."

--"A couple of teams were interested. The best situation was with the Reds. I really like playing in the Central division. I feel lucky to play for Dusty."

--"I got a call from agent (shortly after he was non-tendered by Colorado). He said the Reds were really interested."

--On Jamie Quirk, Reds special assistant: "Jamie knows me really well. He always tells me to stay on top of my game. He knows what kind of talent I have."

--On Dusty Baker: "I've heard from plenty of guys that he lets you do what you do well. I'm looking forward to playing for him."


http://news.cincinnati.com/apps/pbcs.dll/section?category=blog07&plckController=Blog&plckScript=blogScript&plckElementId=blogDest&plckBlogPage=BlogViewPost&plckPostId=Blog%3ae57bcc87-152a-4f72-96fb-cc08b1f396efPost%3afe13659f-42ce-4349-aeb6-a0b476429e12&sid=sitelife.cincinnati.com

Freel for prez
12-27-2008, 07:46 PM
I'm very excited about this signing...No question hes one of the fastest players in the Majors and we need some speed. We also need a veteran CF who can be a lead off hitter. This adds more depth to our thin outfield so Reds fans should like this signing.

bigredmachine
12-27-2008, 09:13 PM
Tavaras is a solid pickup. He adds outfield depth, and gives us a potential lead off man. However, we still need a run-producing left fielder. Now that we have added Tavaras, I think Hairston Jr. would be somewhat redundant, coupled with the fact that he had a career year and is probably way overpriced right now, we should probably let him go. I would like to see us go hard after Baldelli now. He is potentially the five tool player that we have been missing in Cincinnati. We should also be willing to trade a pitching prospect (Bailey or Thompson) for a young left fielder (Rios etc.). Another option would be to sign Wigginton and then package Encarnacion and Bailey for a top left fielder. We should not, however, enter the season with the roster we have today!

mr. red
12-27-2008, 09:14 PM
I do not think we should worry about getting Hairston now that we have signed Taveras...

We should pursue Wigginton... He provides us with some pop and could play LF...

We should save our pennies now and get Holliday in the offseason

Buckwheat
12-27-2008, 09:46 PM
Good signing for the Reds. Low risk, possible high reward.

Taveras had an awful OBP last year, so he is not a good leadoff man, no matter what anyone says, but maybe he can change that this year.

jlohm1
12-27-2008, 10:29 PM
still, you cant argue about 68 stolen bases

jlohm1
12-27-2008, 10:32 PM
Hey Jlohm if you can fix the topic on the thread to say Taveras it would be appreciated. I like the signing and it does improve are defense in the middle with Phillips, Gonzales and Taveras up the middle that is a pretty good combination. Hopefully we can add a power hitting left fielder still though.

no problem.

i agree. i think this is really good for the Reds.

I say we should try to resign Hairston still. he could play LF for us, or he could play SS if Gonzo isnt back. he could take Freel's place on the team as well.

coltsfan11
12-27-2008, 11:34 PM
Very good signing here. Good outfielder plus good speed on the bases.

mr. red
12-28-2008, 12:03 AM
I really do not think we should bring back Hairston...we do not need him in our OF...Dickerson will play LF...Kepp will back up Gonzo...we need to get Wigginton or Baldelli for the bench...or Bradley to be our everyday LF...Taveras will give us what we need at the top of the order--not sure why people compare him to Patterson

Right now..with or w/o JHJ...

1. Taveras CF
2. Dickerson LF
3. Phillips 2B
4. Votto 1B
5. EE 3B
6. Bruce RF
7. Gonzalez SS
8. Hernandez

Buckwheat
12-28-2008, 12:04 AM
still, you cant argue about 68 stolen bases

Those would do fine somewhere else in the lineup. The fact that people think stolen bases= leadoff hitter bothers me.

1-800-STFU
12-28-2008, 01:02 AM
He sucks, thank you for taking him away from the White Sox.

We wanted him.

IowaAJ
12-28-2008, 01:10 AM
hopefully he does a lot of the drag bunt stuff he did when he played for Houston.

IowaAJ
12-28-2008, 01:11 AM
I agree that if we can get a power hitter and RBI guy to put in left field then I would sign him over JHJ but if we can't then Hairston would be a solid signing and a good utility player for us.

jlohm1
12-28-2008, 02:26 AM
Those would do fine somewhere else in the lineup. The fact that people think stolen bases= leadoff hitter bothers me.

i agree. i would rather see him in the second spot, but it looks like he'll be leading off. I think Hopper is a great leadoff hitter. wow... imagine Hopper in LF, Taveras in CF, and Bruce in RF. thats a nice OF.

yank00
12-28-2008, 11:32 AM
Reds GMs seem to love handing out multiyear deals to true mediocrities. Score a point for Taveras' agent, who somehow convinced the Reds to go to two years after no one was willing to trade a minor prospect to the Rockies for him just a couple of weeks ago. What makes it especially silly in this case is that Taveras would have been under control for 2010 even if he had signed a one-year deal. He has just 4+ years of service time and wouldn't have been eligible for free agency unless he was non-tendered again. Taveras almost certainly will act as the Reds' everyday center fielder and leadoff hitter. Chris Dickerson, who had 17 extra-base hits in 102 at-bats last season (Taveras had 18 in 479), is still an option in left at the moment, but the Reds probably aren't through.

IowaAJ
12-28-2008, 12:49 PM
OT new update from Jocketty


On Taveras' terrible 07: "I think last year was the aberration, I base that a lot on Jamie Quirk who was with Willy the last two years. He saw him in ‘07 and he changed his approach. He has to use his speed to get on base and create havoc."

Jocketty said he thought Taveras "was trying to change his approach in Coors Field. He did not bunt as much last year."

With Bruce in right, Taveras in center, what about left: "At the present it’s Dickerson and Hopper and whatever else we end up doing."

As for those other things...



Jerry Hairston: "I talked to them before Christmas." Jocketty said he still would hope to sign Hairston, and he could be in the left field mix -- "We’re still trying to get Hairston, we’ll have a different look on our club, but we still have guys like Votto, Bruce, Phillips, Encarnacion and even Hernandez with power."

Pat Burrell: "We haven’t talked to them at all for a while. We’re going to hold back and see what else happens."

Rocco Baldelli: "The health is a big issue, his durability and how much he’ll play. We’ll continue to look."

The Yankees outfield glut (Nick Swisher and Xavier Nady): "We’ve had some discussions, I wouldn’t say anything's close."

Barry Bonds/Sammy Sosa: "I don't think so."


http://www.thelotd.com/ctrent/blog/2008/12/27/from_walt_jocketty_1227

Buckwheat
12-28-2008, 07:47 PM
i agree. i would rather see him in the second spot, but it looks like he'll be leading off. I think Hopper is a great leadoff hitter. wow... imagine Hopper in LF, Taveras in CF, and Bruce in RF. thats a nice OF.

From what I saw, Dickerson was a pretty cool looking leadoff guy.

Also, Taveras shouldn't be second if you plan to hit Phillips third, a guy who hit .261. I think a leadoff man in Dickerson and 9 hitter in Taveras would be interesting for you guys. Bat the pitcher 8th since Taveras can't get an extrabase hit to save his life.

jlohm1
12-28-2008, 10:52 PM
From what I saw, Dickerson was a pretty cool looking leadoff guy.

Also, Taveras shouldn't be second if you plan to hit Phillips third, a guy who hit .261. I think a leadoff man in Dickerson and 9 hitter in Taveras would be interesting for you guys. Bat the pitcher 8th since Taveras can't get an extrabase hit to save his life.

see i think the pitcher should always bat 9th because they are usually the worst hitters in the line up. i say bat him second, but then we would have 3 right handed hitter, well, it depends.
i say:

Hopper/Dickerson, LF
Taveras, CF
Bruce, RF
Phillips, 2B
Votto, 1B
EE, 3B
Gonzalez, SS
Hernandez, C
Pitcher

uh... maybe we need another lefty now that i look at it. i just went by the Reds depth chart and took the starters.

mr. red
12-28-2008, 11:57 PM
dickerson should not be hitting leadoff because of his K rate...he strikes out too much to be a leadoff guy...dickerson can get the runner over..and with taveras at the top, that means the runner over to 3rd

Buckwheat
12-29-2008, 01:28 AM
dickerson should not be hitting leadoff because of his K rate...he strikes out too much to be a leadoff guy...dickerson can get the runner over..and with taveras at the top, that means the runner over to 3rd

Are you kidding me? You don't care about strikeouts at leadoff. He doesn't normally have RISP!

Old Sweater
12-29-2008, 05:12 AM
hopefully he does a lot of the drag bunt stuff he did when he played for Houston.


Taveras led the NL in bunts and infield hits for the 2007 Rockies.

I liked Taveras but his legs seem to get nicked up with stints on the DL.

To many weak little flares and pop ups.

Runs better routes now on fly balls hit over his head now but still plenty of room for improvement on his routes.

I was pumped when the Rockies got him because I heard he had a plus arm which I didn't see to much of. Not as good as Brad Hawpes and way behind Larry Walkers.

I wish Willy good luck with the Reds, and hope he has a great year, with a better OBP then the .308 he put up this year with the Rox.

mr. red
12-29-2008, 01:18 PM
Are you kidding me? You don't care about strikeouts at leadoff. He doesn't normally have RISP!

No I am not kidding. How can you say you do not care about strikeouts at the lead-off spot? What is the main job of the lead-off man? TO GET ON BASE.

Buckwheat
12-29-2008, 05:53 PM
No I am not kidding. How can you say you do not care about strikeouts at the lead-off spot? What is the main job of the lead-off man? TO GET ON BASE.

Dear lord. That's what I said in the start of the thread.. A strikeout is nothing but an out. It's just a big deal with RISP since you can't even move them over.

A leadoff hitter usually has no one to move over, since the pitcher usually can't hit a lick or he is LEADING OFF THE GAME. So a strike out is an out.. A regular out. Striking out does not bring his OBP down, you fool, nor does it null someone's ability to get a hit or take a walk.

mr. red
12-29-2008, 08:55 PM
Dear lord. That's what I said in the start of the thread.. A strikeout is nothing but an out. It's just a big deal with RISP since you can't even move them over.

A leadoff hitter usually has no one to move over, since the pitcher usually can't hit a lick or he is LEADING OFF THE GAME. So a strike out is an out.. A regular out. Striking out does not bring his OBP down, you fool, nor does it null someone's ability to get a hit or take a walk.

to some extent i see where you are coming from, but why would you hit dickerson leadoff? taveras has much more speed and if you hit willy 2nd he isn't stealing. bump him to 7th and what are the chances hernandez knocks him in?

if you have a guy at the top of the line up who is whiffing for most of his outs...then you put yourself in a situation where you cannot manufacture hits...i would take taveras at the top so that he can steal if anything. Please, please do not explain how statistics work in baseball, I am well aware. I want a guy who will be making contact leading off and at least when contact is made there is a chance he gets on base..you lose that chance with a guy who Ks a lot. We have only a small sample of what Dickerson can do...Taveras is what a lifetime .280 + hitter. get him on..he will run and dickerson and the guys behind him will get him in

jlohm1
12-29-2008, 10:58 PM
but if he hits 2nd he can still steal bases. he has Bruce, Votto, and Philips behind him to knock him in

mr. red
12-30-2008, 02:09 AM
but if he hits 2nd he can still steal bases. he has Bruce, Votto, and Philips behind him to knock him in

understood..but do you want phillips coming up with runners on 1st and 3rd or 1st and 2nd....i love dickerson, do not get me wrong--we need him at the top of the lineup, but i want taveras (the current league leader in SB) as my leadoff guy. he can take second base more often than dickerson..and with phillips up (a guy who is an early swinger)--how often can you steal taveras? you decrease his running game since phillips is a free swinger. you have to hit taveras THEN dickerson

IowaAJ
12-30-2008, 01:18 PM
I'd bat Taveras 1st and Dickerson 2nd because with Taveras leading off of 1st base it leaves a big hole for Dickerson to hit through. Here would be my batting order if we don't add another bat. I would platoon Hopper and Dickerson in Left if we don't sign another player.

1 Taveras CF
2 Dickerson Lf
3 Encarnacion 3B
4 Votto 1B
5 Phillips2B
6 Bruce RF
7 Gonzales SS
8 Hernandez C
9 Pitcher

mr. red
12-30-2008, 04:01 PM
Can you explain why you hit EE 3 and BP 5?

EE has to hit later in the lineup with that .260 avg...not to mention phillips ability to run and how he is more likely to get on base than EE. phillips has to be hitting 3rd if not for anything more than he will be getting on base more than EE and he has speed

IowaAJ
12-30-2008, 05:22 PM
I don't know I guess it could go either way but with Phillips batting 5th it would take some of the pressure off of him and he would be able to relax and just hit because he wouldn't be counted on to be one of our big RBI guys.

Buckwheat
12-30-2008, 05:31 PM
Can you explain why you hit EE 3 and BP 5?

EE has to hit later in the lineup with that .260 avg...not to mention phillips ability to run and how he is more likely to get on base than EE. phillips has to be hitting 3rd if not for anything more than he will be getting on base more than EE and he has speed

Edwin had a .340 OBP last year.

Phillips had a .312 OBP last year.

You do realize there is a stat for getting on base, right?

mr. red
12-30-2008, 09:58 PM
Edwin had a .340 OBP last year.

Phillips had a .312 OBP last year.

You do realize there is a stat for getting on base, right?

no way..do they keep track of how many home runs you hit too?

please see my reasoning above as to why phillips should hit 3rd

IowaAJ
12-30-2008, 10:13 PM
I think Encarnacion has really improved his patience at the plate and I expect a breakout season from Encarnacion this year. I put Phillips in the 5 slot because it takes pressure off him by making him not the main RBI Guy. I get what your saying because Phillips has been a better hitter then Edwin but I think he is a better fit for the 3 hole.

jlohm1
12-30-2008, 10:30 PM
no way..do they keep track of how many home runs you hit too?

thats enough now.

jlohm1
12-30-2008, 10:34 PM
understood..but do you want phillips coming up with runners on 1st and 3rd or 1st and 2nd....i love dickerson, do not get me wrong--we need him at the top of the lineup, but i want taveras (the current league leader in SB) as my leadoff guy. he can take second base more often than dickerson..and with phillips up (a guy who is an early swinger)--how often can you steal taveras? you decrease his running game since phillips is a free swinger. you have to hit taveras THEN dickerson

yea but a lead off hitter should have a high OBP, a lot of BB, low strikeout rate, and should take a lot of pitches as well as being fast.

mr. red
12-30-2008, 11:04 PM
yea but a lead off hitter should have a high OBP, a lot of BB, low strikeout rate, and should take a lot of pitches as well as being fast.

that is what i am saying! who will get more walks? who will strikeout less? who is faster?...Taveras!

OK so Dickerson had a higher OBP last season..but he only had slightly over 100 ABs...can he do that again..maybe?

jlohm1
12-31-2008, 01:11 PM
CINCINNATI --- The financial details have emerged about free-agent center fielder Willy Taveras' two-year contract, signed on Saturday with the Reds.

Taveras will earn $6.25 million in the deal that runs through the 2010 season. The 27-year-old will get $2.25 million in 2009 and $4 million in '10.

The deal also comes with several potentially lucrative incentives, including an additional $250,000 in 2009 for 600 plate appearances and up to $500,000 for 600 plate appearances in '10. Taveras will also donate one percent of each season's base salary to the Reds Community Fund.
reds.com (http://cincinnati.reds.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20081231&content_id=3730575&vkey=news_cin&fext=.jsp&c_id=cin)

jlohm1
12-31-2008, 01:14 PM
that is what i am saying! who will get more walks? who will strikeout less? who is faster?...Taveras!

OK so Dickerson had a higher OBP last season..but he only had slightly over 100 ABs...can he do that again..maybe?

he only had 36 BB last year.


also, i didnt know he is from the Dominican Republic. that will help with the rest of our young, Latin American players.

MooseWithFleas
01-03-2009, 07:34 PM
Good move, this provides the Reds with a constant lead off hitter, which they did not have in 08. Taveras wreaks havoc on the basepaths and can be a great disturbance to opposing pitchers, opening up the opportunity to mistakes being thrown to the heart of the reds lineup. Taveras avg. suffered in 08, but if he can pull it up to .270 and his OBP to .340, he will be an absolutley fantastic acquisition.