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kpresidente
12-28-2008, 10:50 AM
With more PA's Hopper would crash and burn, just like Willy T has. I'm just saying that the Reds already have a Taveras on the team.

Hopper's actually better, because his wide splits (200 points of OPS) means he might be competent in a platoon or as a situational pinch-hitter. Tavares has virtually no split (8 points), so there's no situation where he can benefit the team.

membengal
12-28-2008, 11:08 AM
This almost feels like I should start another thread with it, but since we already have too many Taveras threads, I will put it here and hope it doesn't get lost.

The difference between the vast majority of us of who are annoyed/frustrated/upset etc. with this move and the few who seem okay with it is one of expectations and a divide over what speed can do to mask other offensive flaws.

Basically, what would Taveras have to do in order to make his woeful inability to hit a ball with any authority, ever, not a millstone around this team's neck?

I see a few extremely unlikely possibities, but possibilities nonetheless:

1. Channel Vince Coleman's 1987 season. Coleman, in 1987, hit .289/.363/.358 for a .721 OPS. Yes, he had a worse slugging percentage than his on-base. Hard to do, but Coleman also swung a noodle at the plate. He also stole 109 bases and was caught only 22 times, getting on base enough to score 121 runs in 623 at-bats. Ominously for those us now forced into rooting for Taveras, Coleman drew a career-high 70 walks that year, but, that provides a template for what Taveras will need to do. If he can put together that kind of line, he will not affirmitively hurt the Reds.

By the way, check out Coleman's 1986 season, just for fun. If you want to know the line at which speed does not help, that's it. Coleman stole 107 bases and was caught only 14 times. Course, he OPS'd .581 (.301 OBP w/ a .280 SLG). Yuck. And don't think for a second that such an armageddon line is out of Taveras' reach. It is as possible as a .720 OPS...)

http://www.baseball-reference.com/c/colemvi01.shtml

2. Historical Reds precedent for what would acceptable? Dave Collins' 1980 season. .303/.366/.370 for a .736 OPS. 79 steals and caught 21 times. 94 runs scored. Easily his career year, by far, it occurred at age 27. He never approached that kind of effectiveness again.

http://www.baseball-reference.com/c/collida02.shtml

3. M a y b e I could live with Brett Butler's 1989 season where he went .283/.349/.354 for a .703 OPS. 100 runs scored, but only 31 stolen bases. His steals were off a bit that year, relative to the years he had been having, largely because his .349 was so LOW compared to what he usually put up. In fact, the marvel of Butler, who also swung a noodle, was that he found a way to get on base at rates that made him crazy valuable to teams, even with his low SLG, even as he got older. A remarkable player, and if he had not tortured the Reds so much over his career, one I would have appreciated more at the time.

http://www.baseball-reference.com/b/butlebr01.shtml

Of those three players, only Butler had a career where he was a valuable starter while swinging a noodle at the plate. To say that I don't expect Tavares to all of a sudden learn the ways of the Butler is an under-statement...

So, there. In fairness, from my head, are three comps of seasons that Taveras could put up that are technically in his reach, as they are seasons that don't require him to all of a sudden have found power. Which ain't happening.

So what am I left with, as a fan? I will root for a miracle. I will root that he puts up a career season this year and close to one next. I will root that if he defies expectations based on his history and puts up two years with .720+ OPS' (again, I laugh at just how awful he is that reaching for below league average represents his high point), that the Reds don't turn around and then give him a long-term contract. I will root that he by himself resurrects the go-go 80s, and gives the Reds a jolt of speed that impacts the games he gets on base like Coleman did.

Course, in rooting and hoping for all that, I completely understand just how crazy unlikely that is. Do those of you who support the move similarly understand just how crazy unlikely it is? But I will root and hope for it all the same, because I am a fan, and that's the nature of fandom, in the end. Hoping that the guys wearing your favorite team's laundry do wonderful things.

But I most certainly do wish they had chosen other options that didn't involve a player needing a career season/miracle just to be slightly below league average. That would have been swell. Ah welll, the road less traveled, as always, for the Reds...

BuckeyeRedleg
12-28-2008, 11:23 AM
Great post, membengal!

I posed this question before and never got an answer, but does anyone know if the grass (or height of it) at GABP still plays a role in neutralizing the "hitter's park" label that the park has been given?

We know balls fly out at a higher rate than most parks, but I thought that ground balls were lost in the thick furry stuff.

If the grass still plays a role in weakening grounders, I would think that Willy could benefit from playing 81 games at GABP.

I'm searching for anything positive here.

Redhook
12-28-2008, 11:31 AM
Great post Membengal!

I could find some positives too if they had a good cleanup hitter playing LF. In fact, if they did have one I wouldn't be disappointed with this move (I know I'd be in the minority). What I have a problem with, and others have stated this, is this most likely is the Reds BIG move. That, to me, is what's so depressing.

mth123
12-28-2008, 11:45 AM
One thing to think about here is that the need for an upgrade at SS is even more vital now than ever. If the plan is really small ball, then I have to wonder if the Reds won't be changing the field conditions. Small ball's hey day was when team's played on artificial turf with concrete underneath. They had fast guys who beat the ball on the ground looking for a fast track to get the ball to the OF or a high bounce that enabled them to beat the throw. That era is over. If the team wants to play that way, I foresee a rock hard IF at GABP with some real short grass. I know that there is the possibility of bunts and high grass that slow the roll for beating the throw, but that is not how small ball was successful in its era. The rock hard IF with a lot of grounders to the OF is the way to sustain that if its even possible anymore.

If they do that, a top SS who can cover a lot of ground with a strong arm is more necessary than ever. Without it, teams will beat the reds at their own game.

lollipopcurve
12-28-2008, 12:00 PM
Do those of you who support the move similarly understand just how crazy unlikely it is?

I'm sure it varies from person to person. But really, who cares?

membengal
12-28-2008, 12:02 PM
In the context of these threads, it matters a bit. It might stop the "talking past each other" aspect to things, that always marked the, say, Dunn threads.

lollipopcurve
12-28-2008, 12:08 PM
In the context of these threads, it matters a bit. It might stop the "talking past each other" aspect to things, that always marked the, say, Dunn threads.

That would require both sides understanding the other's point of view.

Mario-Rijo
12-28-2008, 12:13 PM
If you are pro Taveras you probably feel he can hit well enough to not be of negative overall value to the team (along with his speed & defense). He has no pop (and by that I mean he even struggles hitting the ball out of the IF) and he doesn't BB much. So his entire offensive value has to come from him hitting for a high average, which he's never consistently done. He's a career .283 hitter people which isn't good at all if you don't walk and hit leadoff. And he's moving to a park that supresses BA in favor of slugging. So if you are pro Taveras tell me how this doesn't make sense to you?

If you are anti Taveras you already know this.

Matt700wlw
12-28-2008, 12:16 PM
His speed on the basepaths can be very beneficial...

...however, his strength isn't getting on base.



That could be an issue.



They still need a bopper in the lineup.

mth123
12-28-2008, 12:17 PM
Great post, membengal!

I posed this question before and never got an answer, but does anyone know if the grass (or height of it) at GABP still plays a role in neutralizing the "hitter's park" label that the park has been given?

We know balls fly out at a higher rate than most parks, but I thought that ground balls were lost in the thick furry stuff.

If the grass still plays a role in weakening grounders, I would think that Willy could benefit from playing 81 games at GABP.

I'm searching for anything positive here.

Just saw this. Small ball teams usually were successful on turf with concrete IF, high bounces and fast rollers that get into the OF. The slow track approach can work until its adjusted to. Guys like Taveras don't hit the ball hard enough to deter teams from taking the slow roller away by simply playing in closer. The fast track, OTOH, does not allow the team to play deeper, because the speedy player will beat the longer throw. If they want to take advantage of this style, low grass and a hard surface is the way to go.

That means the team needs a stellar IF defense to prevent the opposition from beating them at their own game. The Reds have no such defense.

IslandRed
12-28-2008, 12:25 PM
Basically, what would Taveras have to do in order to make his woeful inability to hit a ball with any authority, ever, not a millstone around this team's neck?

When it comes to NL leadoff hitters, because they come up with the bases empty fairly often, I'm generally not concerned about a guy having a noodle bat as long as it comes with good expected OBP and the ability to hustle himself around to score, e.g. Reggie Willits or Jacoby Ellsbury. If Tavares manages an OBP of .350 or better -- possible but certainly not probable, IMO -- and has a good year on the basepaths and in the outfield, he won't be dragging the team down. But if he goes all Corey Patterson on us? Well, I just hope they're ready to move fast to Dickerson and/or Stubbs.

Degenerate39
12-28-2008, 12:34 PM
How much are the Reds paying him?

Marc D
12-28-2008, 12:34 PM
Well, I just hope they're ready to move fast to Dickerson and/or Stubbs.

And admit that they signed Willy T when they had better, or at least equal, options in house already? Not likely.

Raisor
12-28-2008, 12:34 PM
How much are the Reds paying him?

No one knows yet.

blumj
12-28-2008, 12:38 PM
When it comes to NL leadoff hitters, because they come up with the bases empty fairly often, I'm generally not concerned about a guy having a noodle bat as long as it comes with good expected OBP and the ability to hustle himself around to score, e.g. Reggie Willits or Jacoby Ellsbury. If Tavares manages an OBP of .350 or better -- possible but certainly not probable, IMO -- and has a good year on the basepaths and in the outfield, he won't be dragging the team down. But if he goes all Corey Patterson on us? Well, I just hope they're ready to move fast to Dickerson and/or Stubbs.
Reggie Willits and Jacoby Ellsbury are both already struggling with the same problem: you will see nothing but strikes and IFers will play you close until you prove that you can hurt them with power. And this with Willits being naturally very patient, and Ellsbury being a slugger compared to Taverez.

westofyou
12-28-2008, 12:39 PM
How much are the Reds paying him?

I'm betting 2 at 3.75 with the back end taking the bulk.


* 2 years (2009-10)
o signed by Cincinnati as a free agent 12/27/08
* 1 year/$1.975M (2008)
o re-signed by Colorado 1/18/08 (avoided arbitration)
o performance bonuses: $50,000 each for 500, 550, 600 PAs
o non-tendered by Colorado 12/12/2008
* 1 year/$0.402M (2007), renewed 3/07
* 1 year/$0.4M (2006), re-signed 3/06
* 1 year/$0.316M (2005), re-signed 2/05
* rights retained in trade 3/04, allowing him to go to minors after being selected in Rule 5 draft 12/03
* ML service: 3.028

CougarQuest
12-28-2008, 12:54 PM
Just checking in to see if the sky fell again in Redszone land with every Reds acquisition.

What's the over/under on how many won't be fans of the Reds?

What's the over/under on how many feel this is the worst move ever made by the Reds?

What's the over/under on how many feel the Reds will be worst off than they were last year?

Ltlabner
12-28-2008, 12:58 PM
So if I'm Chris Dickerson, I'm trying to figure out why the FO doesn't like my game but somehow think Willy Fricken Traveras is the answer to any sort of question.

I mean, did Dickerson fart in Dusty's soup or something?

Ltlabner
12-28-2008, 01:06 PM
This signing combinded with the comment about the difficulty about signing a big bat tells me they are punting on 2009. Patching together a team with whatever cheap stopgaps can be had sounds like the direction BCast wants to go.

The big questions is whether he's playing it safe due to the uncertain economic outlook or if this is becomming BCasts MO. That is a couple of signings every year, patching together a team and keep telling everyone how you want to 'win now'.

RedsManRick
12-28-2008, 01:08 PM
Norris Hopper has been WAY better on offense then Willy T in their careers.

OBP-367
SLG-.371
OPS-738
OPS+ 89

In fact, Hopper's career numbers look alot like Willy T's career YEAR.

Willy T 2007
OBP-.367
SLG-382
OPS-749
OPS+ 89

With more PA's Hopper would crash and burn, just like Willy T has. I'm just saying that the Reds already have a Taveras on the team.

Exactly. Tavares and Hopper have basically the exact same skill set. They make decent contact and run fast, but don't walk and don't hit for any power. They can only OBP at an acceptable level when they're bunting for singles at an unsustainable league-leading rate. And when they aren't doing that, they provide sub-replacement production.

For all the people who are saying "well, at least we're not going with Norris Hopper", you've got it backwards. We're going precisely with Norris Hopper; only we're guaranteeing him a spot on the 25 man roster for the next two years and our GM is stating that he's the solution to both our CF and leadoff problems.

Hopper's 2007 and Taveras' 2007 were frighteningly similar:


AVG/ OBP/ SLG BABIP BUH%
Hopper .329/.371/.388 .369 56.3%
Taveras .320/.367/.382 .371 64.4%

Both guys, in a partial season, put up a big batting average driven by an extremely high success rate bunting for base hits. Their isolated discipline and power were still pathetic. A dip in batting average, resulting from an expected regression in the success and/or frequency of bunting for base hits, would crater the rest of their production.

Because we realized Hopper's game was a house of cards and because he got hurt, he didn't get the opportunity to have his production tank. Taveras, because he was healthy, because he steal a base, and because he's a "proven vet" did get the chance. Predictably, his production fell off a cliff.

Walt's statement "He needs to get back to the way he was swinging the bat and getting on base a couple of years ago" is complete ignorance to the reality of how Taveras had a successful season. It's wishcasting at its most irresponsible. 2007 wasn't a peak production season due to the confluence of skill and experience during his late 20's. It was a classic luck driven career year. Apparently Jocketty's idea of a solution is relying on good luck.

Tavares is no better a solution than Hopper; He just costs more. Now, it's completely possible that Tavares manages to provide positive value. It just makes very little sense to rely on it -- particularly when doing so likely robs opportunity from somebody with a much higher ceiling and a much lower cost.

Cyclone792
12-28-2008, 01:17 PM
The only word to sum up my feelings on this signing is disappointment. There just isn't any other way to put it; I'm disappointed in this franchise right now.

Unless the Reds are planning on a major move for either left field or shortstop - and it doesn't sound like that's going to happen - this team is just going to struggle to score runs. The on-base percentage looks abysmal, and the road slugging percentage isn't likely to be much better. What slugging we do get at this point is likely to be a mirage from the aid of the ballpark. Center field isn't improved one lick, and left field still has a gaping hole in it. And shortstop ... well it isn't going to work as of now, just like it didn't work last season.

This team is now counting on an overwhelming performance from the pitching staff to contend for the playoffs. Amongst that:

1) Aaron Harang, Edinson Volquez, and Johnny Cueto need to combine for about 650 innings of sub 3.50 ERA pitching
2) Bronson Arroyo needs to have a little bit of luck on his side and turn in a performance closer to his 2006 than either his 2007 or 2008
3) Owings has to solidify the 5th slot with 4.50 ERA ball
4) The bullpen has to at least be a minimum of above average to good

Can some of those things happen? Sure. Can they all happen simultaneously? That'd be an awful bet, and it's not likely to happen. But unfortunately we need all those things to happen. Not only would we be counting on improved performance, we'd also be counting on perfect health from the entire pitching staff. We just know that's not likely to happen.

In a nutshell, for this team to compete for a playoff spot in 2009 we need to have a top 3 pitching staff in the NL. Do people really think that's likely? More importantly, do people want to depend on that happening?

I know I don't.

Raisor
12-28-2008, 01:26 PM
In a nutshell, for this team to compete for a playoff spot in 2009 we need to have a top 3 pitching staff in the NL. Do people really think that's likely? More importantly, do people want to depend on that happening?

I know I don't.


As it stands right now, even assuming that the Reds find a LF that can create 90-100 runs, the team will need to have a RA of about 600 to make the playoffs.

If the team winds up with Jerry Hairston in LF, then they'll need to have a RA of about 550.

Volquez, Harrang, Cueto are good, but...

_Sir_Charles_
12-28-2008, 01:30 PM
Hey, WV. Way to take it to my Bucks today. Wow. That was a butt kicking.

No kidding. That second half was embarrasing. But then again, I knew we weren't as good as we were ranked...especially after losing Lighty to injury. Either way though, WV looked fantastic.

AmarilloRed
12-28-2008, 01:34 PM
I seem to recall Patterson had the job as our starting CF for two months, before he lost it because the Reds realized he was a disaster as a lead-off man. Patterson only got more playing time because of the rash of injuries. I expect if Taveras does as bad at lead-off as everyone expects, he will be banished to the bench. Unfortunately, it will be a lot harder to get rid of this contract.

_Sir_Charles_
12-28-2008, 01:37 PM
Bruce was called up 5/27/08. Freel went to the DL (for the rest of the year) on 6/4/08. They were both on the active roster at the same time for about one week so that's a bogus point.

Rem

Good point. I was thinking it was more like a month. The only thing I was trying to say was that Dusty wasn't sitting Bruce in favor of a vet. Whoever that vet might've been.

mth123
12-28-2008, 01:37 PM
I seem to recall Patterson had the job as our starting CF for two months, before he lost it because the Reds realized he was a disaster as a lead-off man. Patterson only got more playing time because of the rash of injuries. I expect if Taveras does as bad at lead-off as everyone expects, he will be banished to the bench. Unfortunately, it will be a lot harder to get rid of this contract.

Two year deal. Best hope is a platoon with Dickerson. If I thought that would happen, I wouldn't be so unhappy about this move. Walt says two of his spots are set with Bruce and Taveras. He's the starter.

RedsManRick
12-28-2008, 01:37 PM
I seem to recall Patterson had the job as our starting CF for two months, before he lost it because the Reds realized he was a disaster as a lead-off man. Patterson only got more playing time because of the rash of injuries. I expect if Taveras does as bad at lead-off as everyone expects, he will be banished to the bench. Unfortunately, it will be a lot harder to get rid of this contract.

It took a .220 batting average for Dusty to sit Patterson down. If Taveras is hitting .250, he'll be providing negative value, but I seriously doubt Dusty would sit him down. As we saw with Patterson, Dusty needs to have no other choice -- he won't make it on his own volition.

KronoRed
12-28-2008, 01:39 PM
So if I'm Chris Dickerson, I'm trying to figure out why the FO doesn't like my game but somehow think Willy Fricken Traveras is the answer to any sort of question.

I mean, did Dickerson fart in Dusty's soup or something?

Dickerson has little history of MLB hitting, sure Willy stinks to high heaven, but he's a veteran at stinking it up :thumbup:

Blitz Dorsey
12-28-2008, 02:15 PM
I can't believe the secrecy in terms of what the Reds are paying Taveras. If we were talking about a good player, or even a slightly above average player, I could understand.

blumj
12-28-2008, 02:20 PM
Do teams usually tell you what they pay players? I always assumed it came from the players/agents side.

Ltlabner
12-28-2008, 02:46 PM
Dickerson has little history of MLB hitting, sure Willy stinks to high heaven, but he's a veteran at stinking it up :thumbup:

Good point. He's got "vet experience" and "knows how to win" because he was on a World Series Team.

Plus he fills the apparently newly created "CF/Leadoff Position". I don't remember getting the memo that that was a new MLB position, but what do I know.

Besides, I was looking for an excuse to roll out the "fart in his soup" line.

dougdirt
12-28-2008, 02:49 PM
Good point. He's got "vet experience" and "knows how to win" because he was on a World Series Team.

Plus he fills the apparently newly created "CF/Leadoff Position". I don't remember getting the memo that that was a new MLB position, but what do I know.

Besides, I was looking for an excuse to roll out the "fart in his soup" line.
I think you also missed the memo that the Reds needed one, because last I knew the Reds had a guy for that 'position' already.

Ltlabner
12-28-2008, 02:53 PM
But I've got no problem at all with his defense, his speed or his hitting for that matter.

His defense is mediocre, his speed has no positive effect on his value and his hitting is abysmal.

Why on earth do you have no problem with that?


Heck, I'm not even expecting him to be handed the CF starting job. The results of ST will determine that.

You are kidding yourself if you think there will be any real "competition" for the starting CF spot. Willy's been pimped as the leadoff CF bat. Walt himself has said so. Dusty has a track record of batting the CF leadoff. And Dusty has a track record of going with vet goodness.

Sorry SC, baring injury or divine intervention Willy T will be in CF come opening day.

Roy Tucker
12-28-2008, 03:41 PM
Fay's reading of the tea leaves... speed, defense, pitching. Maybe Hairston in LF.

Man, we are going to have to get some really good pitching.

http://news.cincinnati.com/article/20081228/SPT04/812280439/1071



Reds think speed's the ticket
Signing Taveras signals new direction

By John Fay jfay@enquirer.com December 28, 2008

The signing of Willy Taveras might be a precursor to a new, different type of Reds team.

General manager Walt Jocketty said as much when he said the club is still interested in bringing back Jerry Hairston Jr.

"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," Jocketty said. "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 be a little bit different kind of team."

How different? Consider the Reds had Ken Griffey Jr. and Adam Dunn as starting outfielders for the past seven seasons. Griffey and Dunn have 889 home runs between them. Taveras and Hairston have 46.

The Reds targeted Taveras as soon as the Colorado Rockies, his last club, didn't offer him a 2009 contract. The Reds were the first team to call, and quickly made an offer.

"He fills a couple of needs," Jocketty said. "He gives us very good defense in center field, and he's potentially a very good leadoff man."

Potentially is the key word in that sentence.

Taveras is coming off a year in which he hit .251 and had a .308 on-base percentage.

"He needs to get back to the way he was swinging the bat and getting on base a couple of years ago," Jocketty said. "Jamie Quirk, who's with us now, was with Willy in Colorado and feels like Willy can get back to that."

Taveras hit .320 and had a .367 on-base in 2007. His career on-base percentage is .331. He has virtually no power. His career slugging percentage is .337. He has 80 extra-base hits in 1,973 career at-bats.

Taveras is one of the fastest runners in baseball. He led the majors with 68 steals last season and was caught only seven times in 75 attempts.

Taveras is still young. He turned 27 on Dec. 25. He sees this as an opportunity to get his career back on track.

"It's a young team," he said. "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."

Taveras mentioned Baker several times in a conference call with reporters.

"I've heard from plenty of guys that he lets you do what you do well," Taveras said. "I'm looking forward to playing for him."

Taveras broke into the majors with the Houston Astros.

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

The Reds have an offer out to Hairston. They are still in the running to sign Rocco Baldelli, another free-agent outfielder. Jocketty said the Reds still are looking into Baldelli's medical reports but expect to have further discussions.

dougdirt
12-28-2008, 03:44 PM
Of course Willy feels lucky to play for Dusty. He went from #5 outfielder for the other interested teams to a leadoff hitter for 2 years.

remdog
12-28-2008, 03:48 PM
It's been mentioned that Tavaras will add depth to the OF and I have no problem with him as the #4 OF----in L'ville. :p:

Rem

Ltlabner
12-28-2008, 03:50 PM
"He needs to get back to the way he was swinging the bat and getting on base a couple of years ago," Jocketty said.

You mean poorly as opposed to downright awful? If he goes back to 2008, 2006 and/or 2005 form he'll improve all the way up to bad.


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

For those who argue Willy T won't be penciled in as starting CF. Here's another bullet in the "500 PA's for Willy T" gun.

While Willy T's comment might be true for him, or Corey Patterson, it doesn't apply (apparently) to Chris Dickerson.


"I've heard from plenty of guys that he lets you do what you do well," Taveras said. "I'm looking forward to figuring out what the hell I do well."

Cleaned that up a bit.

Falls City Beer
12-28-2008, 03:56 PM
Man, we are going to have to get some really good pitching.



Yep. But it ain't there.

corkedbat
12-28-2008, 03:57 PM
Those quotes by Jocketty are disgusting

Caveat Emperor
12-28-2008, 04:06 PM
Those quotes by Jocketty are disgusting

To you & I, maybe -- but this move is surprisingly playing well with the average Reds fan.

I spent 15 minutes last night talking with someone who was "excited" that the team wouldn't be "all strikeouts and home runs," as he put it.

mth123
12-28-2008, 04:11 PM
To you & I, maybe -- but this move is surprisingly playing well with the average Reds fan.

I spent 15 minutes last night talking with someone who was "excited" that the team wouldn't be "all strikeouts and home runs," as he put it.

Ground outs and no runs instead.

_Sir_Charles_
12-28-2008, 04:25 PM
His defense is mediocre, his speed has no positive effect on his value and his hitting is abysmal.

Why on earth do you have no problem with that?

Because I'm not of the same opinion as you in those areas. I've seen him play defense dozens of times with my own eyes. He's MUCH better than mediocre. I don't give a crap what some defensive metric says...they're all crap anyway. I've yet to see a TRULY effective defensive stat, so I'll stick with my own two eyes (actually four) on that one. His speed DOES have positive effect if you would actually look at it without the pessimism. He gets hits at a .280 clip, not great but around average. His OBP stinks overall, but when he IS on base he reaks havoc on the opposing pitchers and defense. If Baker goes back to managing aggressively on the basepaths with hit & runs and such then his speed will only help his fellow teammates with bigger IF holes. As for his hitting...ignore the walks and the obp for a second. What do you consider to be an average major league batting average to be? I look for .270 or higher. He's getting hits at the same pace as your average player. Is it good? Hell no. I don't really like him as a player overall, but I don't see him as a hinderance. He just needs to be used correctly. Whether Dusty will do that or not remains to be seen. It also remains to be seen if he'll be the starter or not. Walt's not done and neither are the minor-leaguers.




You are kidding yourself if you think there will be any real "competition" for the starting CF spot. Willy's been pimped as the leadoff CF bat. Walt himself has said so. Dusty has a track record of batting the CF leadoff. And Dusty has a track record of going with vet goodness.

Sorry SC, baring injury or divine intervention Willy T will be in CF come opening day.

Stubbs, Cumberland, Dorn, Dickerson...depending upon ST, any one of those guys could land roster spots (I'd say it's almost a certainty that Dickerson will at least). If Walt adds some more players (not a stretch by any means) it could mean another OF'er which pushes Dickerson into the CF mix, or it could mean a 3b-man which pushes Edwin into the OF mix and Dickerson back into the CF mix as well. If that new OF'er or 3b-man is quick with good OB skills...why couldn't they end up being the leadoff man? Or Dickerson for that matter? All I've been saying is that I like the acquisition because it gives us depth at a position we're sorely lacking at right now. If we don't add more, then he'll get a good bulk of the time there. Fine, it allows us to not push the minor leaguers. If they prove that they're ready NOW...fine, he provides another set of legs to let the rook work himself into the bigs. Either way, we're not going to be winning THIS season. If by next season we're seriously contenders (which I think we'll be) then Taveras is still there as another OF'er for depth.

But either way, I do think they'll be competition for the slot during spring training.

westofyou
12-28-2008, 04:28 PM
Wily Taveras... Alex Cole without the glasses.

dougdirt
12-28-2008, 04:30 PM
Sir Charles, the problem with adding Taveras for depth is that he isn't being added as depth. He is being added as a starter. If he were a backup, no one would be all too upset because giving him 100 PA isn't going to beat this team into submission. When you give him 600, its an entirely different story. If you think he isn't written in at #1 CF already on the lineup card, you are absolutely kidding yourself.

mth123
12-28-2008, 04:31 PM
Wily Taveras... Alex Cole without the glasses.

No Alex Cole could take a walk and got on base at a pretty decent rate most of his limited career. Defense was his biggest flaw.

_Sir_Charles_
12-28-2008, 04:37 PM
Sir Charles, the problem with adding Taveras for depth is that he isn't being added as depth. He is being added as a starter. If he were a backup, no one would be all too upset because giving him 100 PA isn't going to beat this team into submission. When you give him 600, its an entirely different story. If you think he isn't written in at #1 CF already on the lineup card, you are absolutely kidding yourself.

As things stand RIGHT NOW...yeah, he's the CF'er and leadoff hitter. I'm not arguing that. But do you SERIOUSLY think Walt's DONE? Do you seriously think none of those minor leaguers I mentioned won't get ST invites? So as I said, if the kids aren't ready...fine, Taveras gets the bulk. Who the hell cares, we're NOT going to the playoffs this season. It's NOT going to happen.

As for the "being added for depth" argument....like I said, as of right now, no he's not being added for depth. But that's because we only had 2 freaking outfielders! Adding more will push him further down on the need list. Either from the outside or from the minors. But Walt can't see into the future. He's looking at things as they stand right now. He's also seeing that it's possible he won't be able to add that next outfielder. So why would he say that Taveras is being added for depth until he knows that he's got another guy coming in for certain? So either way, starter or backup...I'm fine with it because we desperately need OF'ers. For either stopgaps, backups, depth or starters. Does anybody here seriously want to head out there with Dickerson/Hopper/Bruce and no backups? Not me.

dougdirt
12-28-2008, 04:45 PM
I don't think the Reds have absolutely any plans of bringing in anyone else to compete for the CF job. Its not in their plans.

No one wants to head out there with Hopper/Dickerson/Bruce. But that is absolutely no different than going out there with Taveras/Dickerson/Bruce. Yeah, we have one more player, but its not any different. The Reds need to bring in good players, not players who suck. Adding suck doesn't address any problem at all.

Ltlabner
12-28-2008, 04:48 PM
His speed DOES have positive effect if you would actually look at it without the pessimism. He gets hits at a .280 clip, not great but around average. His OBP stinks overall, but when he IS on base he reaks havoc on the opposing pitchers and defense. If Baker goes back to managing aggressively on the basepaths with hit & runs and such then his speed will only help his fellow teammates with bigger IF holes. As for his hitting...ignore the walks and the obp for a second. What do you consider to be an average major league batting average to be? I look for .270 or higher.

Maybe, just maybe, some year these numbers will sink in.


NAME YEAR PA OBP SLG OUTR SB% VORP EqA RAR RAP
Willy Taveras 2008 538 .308 .296 .67658 90.7% 2.0 .238 4.2 -19.2
Willy Taveras 2007 408 .367 .382 .62745 78.6% 16.4 .261 12.5 -1.8
Willy Taveras 2006 587 .333 .338 .66099 78.6% 5.1 .242 6.9 -12.4
Willy Taveras 2005 635 .325 .341 .65984 75.6% 4.9 .242 7.3 -15.7

There is no evidence whatsoever that his speed is worth a damn. His SB% has hovered at noneffective 3 out of 4 years. His EqA, which incorporates base-running, has been below average (.260 EqA is considered average) 3 out of 4 years. His out rate has been 65% or higher 3 out of four years.

The one year his EqA was above average (by a whopping .001) it was driven by a.....you guessed it.....367 OBP. That year he went on to have a SB% just barely over acceptable. So it wasn't speed/base-running driven. It was OBP driven.

He's got a below average OBP (even then it's propped up by one good year). Below average EqA, ineffective stolen base percentages and high out rate. He's not reeking havoc on anything other than the backside of his uni.

As far as batting average. I don't really care. There's a host of far more effective metrics and all of them say he stinks.


But either way, I do think they'll be competition for the slot during spring training.

Sorry bud. The only competition will be for Dusty to see how quick he can manufacture reasons to sit the other guys in favor of Willy.

_Sir_Charles_
12-28-2008, 04:49 PM
I don't think the Reds have absolutely any plans of bringing in anyone else to compete for the CF job. Its not in their plans.

No one wants to head out there with Hopper/Dickerson/Bruce. But that is absolutely no different than going out there with Taveras/Dickerson/Bruce. Yeah, we have one more player, but its not any different. The Reds need to bring in good players, not players who suck. Adding suck doesn't address any problem at all.

Again, I agree. I think they want to bring in someone for the LF vacancy. They've already got people to compete for the CF slot, but the competition won't take place unless they get someone to fill the LF slot.

I've said this numerous times and have yet to get an answer. Who, other than Taveras, could we have gotten to fill the CF void from the FA market? Who would've accepted a 2 year deal? I didn't see anybody I'd want from the CF candidates.

Ltlabner
12-28-2008, 04:53 PM
His speed DOES have positive effect if you would actually look at it without the pessimism. .

Something else of interest for all the fans of the "speed offsets low OBP" argument.


NAME YEAR PA OBP SLG OUTR SB% VORP EqA RAR RAP
Willy Taveras 2008 538 .308 .296 .67658 90.7% 2.0 .238 4.2 -19.2

The one year Willy T stole bases at an effective rate (2008) his value over a replacement level player was non-existent. His production, including base running, was significantly below average and he scored nearly 20 less runs than the average center-fielder.

So if speed truly offset the inability to find first base, why did Willy T have no actual production to show for it?

mth123
12-28-2008, 04:55 PM
Again, I agree. I think they want to bring in someone for the LF vacancy. They've already got people to compete for the CF slot, but the competition won't take place unless they get someone to fill the LF slot.

I've said this numerous times and have yet to get an answer. Who, other than Taveras, could we have gotten to fill the CF void from the FA market? Who would've accepted a 2 year deal? I didn't see anybody I'd want from the CF candidates.

The answer is nobody. The real question is why Taveras over Dickerson/Hopper? Taveras adds nothing. If Dickerson and/or Hopper suck, the team moves on to Stubbs, Heisey, Henry and any number of Dewayne Wise types that are always out there (Jerry Hairston Jr is exhibit A of how acquiring guys on minor league deals can fill a role with some level of ability). Instead we're locked in for two years to somebody we know will suck. The question is not who would I prefer over Taveras. The real question is whether or not bringing in Taveras is worse than doing nothing. I'd prefer they did nothing.

dougdirt
12-28-2008, 04:59 PM
Again, I agree. I think they want to bring in someone for the LF vacancy. They've already got people to compete for the CF slot, but the competition won't take place unless they get someone to fill the LF slot.

I've said this numerous times and have yet to get an answer. Who, other than Taveras, could we have gotten to fill the CF void from the FA market? Who would've accepted a 2 year deal? I didn't see anybody I'd want from the CF candidates.

You are absolutely kidding yourself if you think any move is going to be made that leads to any competition for the CF spot in Cincinnati short of an injury to WT.

Will M
12-28-2008, 04:59 PM
Baldelli still has serious questions about his health.
Hairston isn't really a centerfielder.
if walt was looking for a guy who can actually play CF defensively to bring in either as competition for Dickerson or to partner/platoon with Dickerson who else was actually available?

Dickerson/Taveras is actually better than Dickerson/Freel and trading Freel upgraded the catcher spot

_Sir_Charles_
12-28-2008, 05:01 PM
Maybe, just maybe, some year these numbers will sink in.

As far as batting average. I don't really care. There's a host of far more effective metrics and all of them say he stinks.

Sorry bud. The only competition will be for Dusty to see how quick he can manufacture reasons to sit the other guys in favor of Willy.

He stinks. I know that. I've always known that. I haven't argued that. But you're still failing to answer my questions.

If he's on base....will his speed be an asset? Will that speed have an effect on the opposing team? To say no is to be oblivious to the game of baseball. Yes, yes...I know. He doesn't get on base. Nope, never. He'll never get on base at all. Not once.

Yes, I know you (and nearly every person on this board apparently) hate the batting average stat. But, just for arguments sake, lets take your hatred of that stat out of the equation. Go back to when you were a kid and hadn't heard of Bill James before. What did you consider to be a good batting average for an average ML player? What was "acceptable" as a BA?

And lastly, yes, I know you (and nearly every person on this board apparently) hate Dusty Baker. But again, just for arguments sake, let's assume that he's not a narrow minded moron and he's not going to pencil in the CF for leading off and the SS for batting second. Let's say he's not going to hand the CF starting job over to Taveras on a silver platter. Does anybody here seriously think that if Stubbs for example hits .750 with 10 hr's in ST he won't push Taveras for the CF job? Does anybody here seriously think that if we bring in a power hitting LF'er that Dickerson doesn't get serious consideration for the CF job if he hits .320 and hits 5 dingers in ST? I'm not ready to pencil in ANYBODY until after ST. And I'm pretty sure that neither is Baker.

dougdirt
12-28-2008, 05:02 PM
Baldelli still has serious questions about his health.
Hairston isn't really a centerfielder.
if walt was looking for a guy who can actually play CF defensively to bring in either as competition for Dickerson or to partner/platoon with Dickerson who else was actually available?

Dickerson/Taveras is actually better than Dickerson/Freel and trading Freel upgraded the catcher spot

Except there will be no Dickerson/Taveras in CF. There will be Taveras in CF and a competition for LF that will involve Dickerson, but not likely that he is the guy who winds up there.

mth123
12-28-2008, 05:04 PM
Baldelli still has serious questions about his health.
Hairston isn't really a centerfielder.
if walt was looking for a guy who can actually play CF defensively to bring in either as competition for Dickerson or to partner/platoon with Dickerson who else was actually available?

Dickerson/Taveras is actually better than Dickerson/Freel and trading Freel upgraded the catcher spot

I'm not convinced that Taveras is better than Freel as the RH half of a platoon. I'm not convinced he's better than Hopper for that matter. He just costs money and limits flexibility. He wasn't brought in to platoon. He's your 650 PA per year starter in CF. If I thought he was the RH half of a platoon, I'd actually be "meh" on this one.

Taveras was brought in so the team could market to its fans that the Reds went out and got the major league SB leader in 2008 in order to sell tickets. Winning games is not the primary concern IMO.

_Sir_Charles_
12-28-2008, 05:05 PM
Something else of interest for all the fans of the "speed offsets low OBP" argument.

LOL. I'm not arguing that speed offsets low OBP. I'm saying that his speed is still an asset. I know he doesn't get on base enough. He's crappy at the plate. But after he DOES get on....his speed's not an asset?

Ltlabner
12-28-2008, 05:06 PM
If he's on base....will his speed be an asset? Will that speed have an effect on the opposing team?

I'm not ready to pencil in ANYBODY until after ST. And I'm pretty sure that neither is Baker.

First question: No. The numbers clearly show that Taveras speed is not an asset on the base paths. Speed on the base-paths is good. Actually great. But only in the hands (or legs) of someone who uses it well.

Ignoring that you can't steal first, Willy Taveras has shown he hasn't used his speed well the few times he makes it 90' past home plate.

Second question: Dickerson performed nicely in 100+ real, live, major league at bats yet Walt and Dusty have made it perfectly clear they aren't going with him as a starter.

Yet you want me to believe they will sit vet player with the two year deal based on a rookie having a nice spring training?

Really?

membengal
12-28-2008, 05:09 PM
LOL. I'm not arguing that speed offsets low OBP. I'm saying that his speed is still an asset. I know he doesn't get on base enough. He's crappy at the plate. But after he DOES get on....his speed's not an asset?

It is an asset, once he's on base. No one here is arguing that it isn't (as long as his % of thefts is 80% or greater...)

What assurances does Walt offer (or you, or anyone) that Tavares will find his way on base over 600at-bats like a 1980 Dave Collins, 1987 Vince Coleman, or a 1989 Brett Butler (my examples from page 34 of this thread)? Why do you, or anyone, expect that Tavares will all of a sudden find his inner OBP daemon and become a useful asset to the Reds in 2009? Has he changed something fundamental about his game that the Reds know about because of Quirk? Is that it? Is there something to hang our hats on with regard to hoping that he will be able to get on enough to not affirmitively harm this team in 2009? If so, what is it, other than blind hope?

dougdirt
12-28-2008, 05:11 PM
Winning games is not the primary concern IMO.

The scary thing is, they might actually think this is the way to go about winning games. Thats even worse than just giving lip service to sell tickets.

_Sir_Charles_
12-28-2008, 05:11 PM
The answer is nobody. The real question is why Taveras over Dickerson/Hopper? Taveras adds nothing. If Dickerson and/or Hopper suck, the team moves on to Stubbs, Heisey, Henry and any number of Dewayne Wise types that are always out there (Jerry Hairston Jr is exhibit A of how acquiring guys on minor league deals can fill a role with some level of ability). Instead we're locked in for two years to somebody we know will suck. The question is not who would I prefer over Taveras. The real question is whether or not bringing in Taveras is worse than doing nothing. I'd prefer they did nothing.

The reason it's not Dickerson/Hopper over Taveras is because we haven't filled the LF spot either. As of right now, we can't move onto Stubbs, Heisey, Henry & company because they're not ready as far as we know right now. ST will be a big determining factor for that. But how about this for a scenerio...Stubbs & company aren't ready for prime time. We don't sign a LF'er OR Taveras. Hopper's not over the injury or Bruce/Dickerson get injured. Now what? Taveras doesn't lock us into a long term commitment. We've still got options, now we just have more flexibility. That's it. I'm just stunned by the uproar. If we'd gotten a solid LF'er first and THEN signed Taveras as competition for Dickerson...I bet there'd still be a hissy-fit here. :O)

Ltlabner
12-28-2008, 05:11 PM
But after he DOES get on....his speed's not an asset?

Clearly not. His EqA is still miserable. His value over a replacement player is still miserable. His ability to score more runs than an average centerfielder is still miserable.

If his speed is producing all this benefit, shouldn't we see the effects in his value somewhere?

The only benefit his speed brings is the mystical "pressure on the pitcher". That's not a bad thing. But answer me this...is it worth harming your team by having an proven offensive zero solely to get a perceived benefit the times when he is on base?

Do you have any quantifiable evidence that his speed has produced any tangible results?

lollipopcurve
12-28-2008, 05:13 PM
blind hope

Is that like soulless analysis?

dougdirt
12-28-2008, 05:15 PM
The reason it's not Dickerson/Hopper over Taveras is because we haven't filled the LF spot either. As of right now, we can't move onto Stubbs, Heisey, Henry & company because they're not ready as far as we know right now. ST will be a big determining factor for that. But how about this for a scenerio...Stubbs & company aren't ready for prime time. We don't sign a LF'er OR Taveras. Hopper's not over the injury or Bruce/Dickerson get injured. Now what? Taveras doesn't lock us into a long term commitment. We've still got options, now we just have more flexibility. That's it. I'm just stunned by the uproar. If we'd gotten a solid LF'er first and THEN signed Taveras as competition for Dickerson...I bet there'd still be a hissy-fit here. :O)

So we take guys suited for CF, brought in a worse CF only to play other, better options for CF, in LF? My brain hurts.

The issue with that line of thinking is we didn't need to move onto the Stubbs/Heisey set of guys. WE HAD A CF ALREADY. We needed a LF. Walts solution was to get another CF who wasn't as good as the current ones he had and play a group of CF that are better than his current CF in LF.

Highlifeman21
12-28-2008, 05:16 PM
okay so now we have the following...

1. Willy Taveras
2. Brandon Phillips
3. Joey Votto
4. LF please...
5. Jay Bruce
6. Edwin Encarnacion
7. Ramon Hernandez
8. Alex Gonzalez

Not bad if we can add a solid right handed bat for the 4 slot...

Since when does Brandon Phillips play SS?

1. CF
2. SS
3. Respect dude, respect


You know how The Dusty makes out his lineup card...

membengal
12-28-2008, 05:17 PM
Is that like soulless analysis?

I'm not sure why you are making this personal, lollipop, but if you have a problem with me, I am available PM. I don't appreciate being lumped any certain way. If you check back, I was one of the very early adopters of the Josh Hamilton experiment in early spring training '07. That was not based on "soulless analysis" but on seeing stuff with him and his swing that made me think there really might be something there, something which had not showed up in his numbers in his minor league comeback to that point in time. What is there with Tavares that promises something different?

As for what I have said in this thread, I stand by it. And I ask again, what, exactly, is Walt basing this move on in terms of expecting Tavares to jump his OBP up to levels where he doesn't hurt this club? Changed swing? Different approach to his at-bats? Watched Max Dugan Returns for the Charlie Lau scenes? What, exactly? Because otherwise, it looks like we are reduced to blind hope. Something Reds fans are painfully familiar with.

SteelSD
12-28-2008, 05:19 PM
If we'd gotten a solid LF'er first and THEN signed Taveras as competition for Dickerson...I bet there'd still be a hissy-fit here.

And if apples were oranges, they'd be a different color. Your position has basically broken down to, "He sucks, but maybe it won't be that bad as long as the Reds don't use him very often."

First, when the sole defense of a player acquisition is that maybe he won't play a lot, that's a complete indictment of the move. It's where Juan Castro and Corey Patterson live. Second, there's already been a positive declaration that Willy Taveras is the starter in Center Field and will hit leadoff for the Reds.

Taveras is NOT "competition" for anyone.

_Sir_Charles_
12-28-2008, 05:21 PM
First question: No. The numbers clearly show that Taveras speed is not an asset on the base paths. Speed on the base-paths is good. Actually great. But only in the hands (or legs) of someone who uses it well.

I'm rather surprised by that answer. Somebody who swipes 30 to 60 bags a year and is only getting tossed out 10 a year isn't good on the base paths? His steal totals are going up and his thrown out totals are going down. Does anybody really think that isn't showing that he's improving on the basepaths? Or is one year just an abberation?


Ignoring that you can't steal first, Willy Taveras has shown he hasn't used his speed well the few times he makes it 90' past home plate.

The getting home part is dependant in a rather large part on his teammates, don't you agree? Advancing bases via the steal is never a bad thing...is it?


Second question: Dickerson performed nicely in 100+ real, live, major league at bats yet Walt and Dusty have made it perfectly clear they aren't going with him as a starter.

Yet you want me to believe they will sit vet player with the two year deal based on a rookie having a nice spring training?

Really?

If they don't sign a LF'er...yeah, they'll use Dickerson as the starter. I really don't think there's any doubt about that. But to put him in over Taveras as the starting CF'er when all we've really seen is a VERY small sample size of 100+ ab's...that's stretching it. And no, I don't think they'll sit a vet over a rookie completely. I think they'll give the rookie some starts occasionally and work him into the lineup if he's performing well. That's exactly why I like the signing. It gives them that option. Without that option, they'll be forced into PUSHING that rookie into the starting job if an injury occurs to the only 3 other OF'ers we have....not an unlikely occurance given Hopper & Dickerson's injury history. So yes...Really.

Highlifeman21
12-28-2008, 05:24 PM
Who would you rather have, Mark Teixeria? Would you have wanted the Reds to dish out 180 million on one ballplayer? Look at what the free agents are getting on the market with the Yankees setting the bar. Do you think the Reds can compete for some of the prime talent? Do you really want to pay 50 million for two years of Manny Ramirez?

You play the hand your dealt with. In defense of the Reds, they are buying Taveras when his stock is at an all-time low. His numbers will probably improve in 2009. There was no secret he was on the outs with manager Clint Hurdle in Colorado. He isn't the greatest leadoff hitter or centerfielder by far but this is the hand the Reds have to play.

The hand the Reds had to play was not signing Willy Taveras.

Unfortunately, they did the exact opposite. It's kinda like someone telling you not to do something, and then you do it anyway...

mth123
12-28-2008, 05:24 PM
The reason it's not Dickerson/Hopper over Taveras is because we haven't filled the LF spot either. As of right now, we can't move onto Stubbs, Heisey, Henry & company because they're not ready as far as we know right now. ST will be a big determining factor for that. But how about this for a scenerio...Stubbs & company aren't ready for prime time. We don't sign a LF'er OR Taveras. Hopper's not over the injury or Bruce/Dickerson get injured. Now what? Taveras doesn't lock us into a long term commitment. We've still got options, now we just have more flexibility. That's it. I'm just stunned by the uproar. If we'd gotten a solid LF'er first and THEN signed Taveras as competition for Dickerson...I bet there'd still be a hissy-fit here. :O)

He most certainly is the starter. The GM said so, the Manager's track record says so and his two year deal says so. If he was merely an "alternative" it wouldn't be a two year deal. There certainly is a level of suck where Taveras can lose the job, but he sucks already and he was brought in to be the starter. He'd have to be Patterson bad to lose the job and given that its a two year deal, probably worse than that in 2009.

There are always alternatves. Laynce Nix and Darnell McDonald are two signed this off-season. Guys are cut loose all the time. Willie Taveras is guaranteed suck.

_Sir_Charles_
12-28-2008, 05:25 PM
It is an asset, once he's on base. No one here is arguing that it isn't (as long as his % of thefts is 80% or greater...)

What assurances does Walt offer (or you, or anyone) that Tavares will find his way on base over 600at-bats like a 1980 Dave Collins, 1987 Vince Coleman, or a 1989 Brett Butler (my examples from page 34 of this thread)? Why do you, or anyone, expect that Tavares will all of a sudden find his inner OBP daemon and become a useful asset to the Reds in 2009? Has he changed something fundamental about his game that the Reds know about because of Quirk? Is that it? Is there something to hang our hats on with regard to hoping that he will be able to get on enough to not affirmitively harm this team in 2009? If so, what is it, other than blind hope?

I don't see any assurances. Heck, I don't even see any real HOPE of that happening. But take Taveras back off the roster. Where's the replacement solution? Where? If you say Dickerson...then where's the LF solution? If you say Hopper...then where's the backup if an injury occurs? If you say Edwin to LF and Dickerson to CF...then where's the 3B option? It sucks...we're shorthanded anyway you look at it. We needed an OF'er desperately, but we didn't want to handcuff ourselves with a longterm deal or a big contract. The CF market is pitifully thin and beggers can't be chosers.

dougdirt
12-28-2008, 05:25 PM
If they don't sign a LF'er...yeah, they'll use Dickerson as the starter. I really don't think there's any doubt about that. But to put him in over Taveras as the starting CF'er when all we've really seen is a VERY small sample size of 100+ ab's...that's stretching it. And no, I don't think they'll sit a vet over a rookie completely. I think they'll give the rookie some starts occasionally and work him into the lineup if he's performing well. That's exactly why I like the signing. It gives them that option. Without that option, they'll be forced into PUSHING that rookie into the starting job if an injury occurs to the only 3 other OF'ers we have....not an unlikely occurance given Hopper & Dickerson's injury history. So yes...Really.

I think taking a player who always had under achieved but always had a ton of potential (Dickerson) who finally started piecing things together (both in the minor leagues for a year and a half before his major league stint and that major league stint) is a much better bet than a known terrible player.

Highlifeman21
12-28-2008, 05:25 PM
Again, you don't see what I'm getting at. There is no way the Reds or pretty much any team can compete with the Yankees for star players when they deal out over $400 million for three ballplayers. And the free agent market isn't that great this year. You acquired a ballplayer that is coming off the worst season of his career. Odds are the numbers will be better than the 2008 season. There is no long term commitment and it buys time for the future centerfielder of the Reds, Stubbs, to develop and not be rushed.

That is if Stubbs is ever ready to play at the MLB level.

membengal
12-28-2008, 05:27 PM
I don't see any assurances. Heck, I don't even see any real HOPE of that happening. But take Taveras back off the roster. Where's the replacement solution? Where? If you say Dickerson...then where's the LF solution? If you say Hopper...then where's the backup if an injury occurs? If you say Edwin to LF and Dickerson to CF...then where's the 3B option? It sucks...we're shorthanded anyway you look at it. We needed an OF'er desperately, but we didn't want to handcuff ourselves with a longterm deal or a big contract. The CF market is pitifully thin and beggers can't be chosers.


CF---Dickerson.

LF---any of a number of options who are still on the market or by trade. We are WAY too early in this process to have panicked. If this move was made out of panic, well then, laughable. I have laid out realistic drop-back scenarios for LF/3b in other threads, and won't go into them here, because none of them alter the basic math that Tavarers is no better than Dickerson, and potentially FAR worse.

dougdirt
12-28-2008, 05:28 PM
I don't see any assurances. Heck, I don't even see any real HOPE of that happening. But take Taveras back off the roster. Where's the replacement solution? Where? If you say Dickerson...then where's the LF solution? If you say Hopper...then where's the backup if an injury occurs? If you say Edwin to LF and Dickerson to CF...then where's the 3B option? It sucks...we're shorthanded anyway you look at it. We needed an OF'er desperately, but we didn't want to handcuff ourselves with a longterm deal or a big contract. The CF market is pitifully thin and beggers can't be chosers.
The other option was Dickerson. The LF option was Free Agency or a trade. Neither of which was going to result in the amount of suck that a Willy Taveras would. Adding bad players just to fill spots does not create solutions, just more problems.... such as why are better players on the bench and why is a roster spot taken up by a terrible player for two years.

OnBaseMachine
12-28-2008, 05:29 PM
There is no long term commitment and it buys time for the future centerfielder of the Reds, Stubbs, to develop and not be rushed.

Sorry, but Redszone has already deemed Stubbs a bust after two years.

Ltlabner
12-28-2008, 05:29 PM
I'm rather surprised by that answer. Somebody who swipes 30 to 60 bags a year and is only getting tossed out 10 a year isn't good on the base paths?

Yes.

First, look at the rate stats, not the counting states. He's only stolen bases at an effective rate once out of four years. That's an "aberration" not a trend.

If all this speed was helping him take extra bases and stretch singles into doubles, why doesn't it show up in his EqA (which includes base running), his value over replacement level players or the number of runs he scores? It should show up somewhere, yet it doesn't.


The getting home part is dependant in a rather large part on his teammates, don't you agree? Advancing bases via the steal is never a bad thing...is it?

I agree run production depends on your teammates. He's gone from a team that was in the World Series two years ago to the Reds. Are you arguing that the Reds will be more effective at giving him a chance to use his speeds than did the Rockies?

Highlifeman21
12-28-2008, 05:29 PM
Wow, what a depressing lot. Can NOBODY remain optimistic? Last year was Taveras' worst year. A down year. Why can't anybody see him making improvements? He's young, quick, has hit for a decent average normally, is an excellent baserunner. Yes, he has little to no power and he doesn't walk enough. But I don't see a SINGLE player on any team that doesn't have SOME flaws. What I'd prefer to look at are his GOOD aspects. Considering that it's only costing us cash and not prospects and it's only for 2 years, I like this move. I love Dickerson, but he's far from proven. Our other minor league options just simply aren't ready yet. And instead of rushing them, we've now got a stopgap until they are. I forsee a very solid year from Taveras this year....and a second place finish.

Aside from Willy Taveras having speed, what are his GOOD aspects?

2nd place as in 1st place being the worst record in MLB, and you get the #1 draft pick in the 2010 draft, b/c you can't possibly be serious that the Reds will finish 2nd in the NL Central.

_Sir_Charles_
12-28-2008, 05:30 PM
Clearly not. His EqA is still miserable. His value over a replacement player is still miserable. His ability to score more runs than an average centerfielder is still miserable.

If his speed is producing all this benefit, shouldn't we see the effects in his value somewhere?

The only benefit his speed brings is the mystical "pressure on the pitcher". That's not a bad thing. But answer me this...is it worth harming your team by having an proven offensive zero solely to get a perceived benefit the times when he is on base?

Do you have any quantifiable evidence that his speed has produced any tangible results?

No, I don't. But then YOU also haven't see what his speed produces in our lineup yet either. What his speed produces is dependent upon his teammates driving him in. Do you really expect him to steal his way around on his own everytime? No. But I do expect him to steal his way into scoring position quite often after he reaches first. After that, it's up to his teammates and his manager to move him around.

I get this striking feeling that everybody here thinks I like Willy Taveras as a player. I don't. He stinks. It's the deal that I don't dislike. It's the giving time to the kids that I don't dislike. It's the extra body that didn't cost us a prospect that I don't dislike. It's the extra team speed and the extra stolen bases that I don't dislike. It's his nice defense in a prime defensive position that I don't dislike. His hitting abilities...I dislike.

durl
12-28-2008, 05:32 PM
I fail to see how this signing signals the end of the Reds franchise. Taveras was 2nd in ROY a couple of years ago, he's managed to reduce his K ratio while still being an incredible base stealer (91% success rate).

For the period 2005-2007, Taveras has put up decent numbers. His OBP is almost identical to Josh Hamilton's (.367 to .368); his BA is similar to Matt Holliday's (.320 to .326). If you extrapolate out the number of games played, his TB count is not that far behind Pat Burrell.

I don't think he's the single player that will make the Reds a playoff team but I'm really not buying into this doom-and-gloom talk around here. Let's just hope that his numbers last year were an anamoly and he'll get back to his pre-2008 numbers...but keep his SB count up.

RedlegNation
12-28-2008, 05:34 PM
I think you are right about the OF market and Walt knows it. $11 Million for Dye in 2009 is going to be way over-priced and dealing prospects be it Bailey or anyone else for the right to pay it is nuts.

I agree, and though I've been pretty displeased with most of Jocketty's moves, not trading for Dye was a good decision. Just didn't make sense for this team, as currently constructed, to go out and spend that type of money on a player like Dye.

I think we just need to recognize that there is NO chance the Reds are going to be competitive in 2009 and hope the front office can make moves to prepare for 2010.

After a decade of losing, it makes me sick to my stomach to type that.

dougdirt
12-28-2008, 05:36 PM
I fail to see how this signing signals the end of the Reds franchise. Taveras was 2nd in ROY a couple of years ago, he's managed to reduce his K ratio while still being an incredible base stealer (91% success rate).

For the period 2005-2007, Taveras has put up decent numbers. His OBP is almost identical to Josh Hamilton's (.367 to .368); his BA is similar to Matt Holliday's (.320 to .326). If you extrapolate out the number of games played, his TB count is not that far behind Pat Burrell.

I don't think he's the single player that will make the Reds a playoff team but I'm really not buying into this doom-and-gloom talk around here. Let's just hope that his numbers last year were an anamoly and he'll get back to his pre-2008 numbers...but keep his SB count up.

ROY tells us what? Other than most BBWAA don't know much about baseball that is.

For the period of 2005-2007 Taveras didn't have a .367 OBP. That was one year and it was driven by extreme luck, not skill. Same goes for that batting average.

Even his Pre 2008 numbers suck. He has produced an OPS over .685 one time in his entire career. Once. Once. Once. Think about that. The Reds just gave him a 2 year deal, coming off the worst season of his pathetic career. I don't even know the right word to use to describe how bad of an idea that actually is.

_Sir_Charles_
12-28-2008, 05:38 PM
So we take guys suited for CF, brought in a worse CF only to play other, better options for CF, in LF? My brain hurts.

The issue with that line of thinking is we didn't need to move onto the Stubbs/Heisey set of guys. WE HAD A CF ALREADY. We needed a LF. Walts solution was to get another CF who wasn't as good as the current ones he had and play a group of CF that are better than his current CF in LF.

Of course we needed a LF'er. Have you seen us sign one yet? No. I firmly believe that Walt is trying to sign one. But with the market and his current struggles to do so...it was time to get an emergency plan. Does anybody here want us to sign a LF'er for a very long contract and get gouged? How many here want Pat Burrel for a 6 year deal for 100 million? I don't think any Reds fan wants us to overpay and cripple our future by doing that. I also don't think any Reds fan wants us to deal away our future by passing out our prospects for aging LF'ers who's numbers are on the decline either. Apparently, that's what Walt's options are for LF right now. So if it turns out that he can't get a good deal for a LF'er...then don't sign one. Go with Dickerson for this season and grab a LF'er at the trade deadline, or next offseason, or wait until a farmhand is ready (possibly quite soon).

dougdirt
12-28-2008, 05:40 PM
December is not time for an emergency plan. February is. Still doesn't change the fact that they went with the emergency plan for a CF when they already had one.

OnBaseMachine
12-28-2008, 05:41 PM
While I'm 99.9% sure that Taveras is going to be worthless offensively, I'm at least hoping his defense will rebound. In 2005 and 2006 with the Astros, he posted a UZR/150 of +8.9 and +15.1. In 2007 and 2008 with the Rockies he was well below average at -17.4 and -9.7. The spacious CF in Coors could have something to do with that drop off. At the very least, let's hope his defense returns to where it was in 2005-2006.

_Sir_Charles_
12-28-2008, 05:42 PM
And if apples were oranges, they'd be a different color. Your position has basically broken down to, "He sucks, but maybe it won't be that bad as long as the Reds don't use him very often."

First, when the sole defense of a player acquisition is that maybe he won't play a lot, that's a complete indictment of the move. It's where Juan Castro and Corey Patterson live. Second, there's already been a positive declaration that Willy Taveras is the starter in Center Field and will hit leadoff for the Reds.

Taveras is NOT "competition" for anyone.

Yes, he does suck. And if we're forced to use him a lot it will suck even more. But what would suck even WORSE than that would be if we didn't sign him OR a Lf'er and rushed the kids and ruined their futures. This team's time isn't now...but it's soon. A two year deal does not cripple this teams future. We needed depth, and we still need MORE depth, but until we get that MORE depth...he's the starter. And my position hasn't broken down...it's the same as it has been since day one.

Highlifeman21
12-28-2008, 05:43 PM
I don't see the Reds signing a LF now. Dickerson isn't the bat off the bench, he's the LF.

The Reds replaced Adam Dunn with Chris Dickerson.

The Reds replaced Corey Patterson with Willy Taveras.

and got weaker at BOTH positions.

That kinda impresses me.

... in a bad sorta way...

SteelSD
12-28-2008, 05:47 PM
Yes, he does suck. And if we're forced to use him a lot it will suck even more. But what would suck even WORSE than that would be if we didn't sign him OR a Lf'er and rushed the kids and ruined their futures.

No. Standing pat would not have been worse than not signing Taveras. Hurting your team is never better than not hurting your team. Options, both internal and external, exist for slotting a more productive player into Center Field. The Reds weren't somehow backed into a corner. In fact, Jocketty's been targetting Taveras for some time. Even tried to trade for the guy.


This team's time isn't now...but it's soon. A two year deal does not cripple this teams future. We needed depth, and we still need MORE depth, but until we get that MORE depth...he's the starter. And my position hasn't broken down...it's the same as it has been since day one.

Players who stink don't provide "depth". They just provide stink.

Highlifeman21
12-28-2008, 05:47 PM
If by "Ya'll" you mean me, then the answer is yes. While the 2 get on base at the exact same pace in terms of OBP, I value the hit over the walk. The hit has more value. It advances runners, puts pressure on the defense and creates more options for the manager. But I don't undervalue the walk. Many here simply OVERvalue it. Just like many here OVERvalued Dunn.

The hit doesn't have more value when there aren't guys on ahead of you.

Willy Taveras will be the leadoff hitter. Leadoff. 1st guy in the lineup. Only time he might have guys on for him, is when spots 7, 8 or 9 are on base ahead of him.

Regardless, I want our leadoff guy to get on base, and that's something Willy Taveras just doesn't do, even when he hits for a .280 AVG....

_Sir_Charles_
12-28-2008, 05:48 PM
I think taking a player who always had under achieved but always had a ton of potential (Dickerson) who finally started piecing things together (both in the minor leagues for a year and a half before his major league stint and that major league stint) is a much better bet than a known terrible player.

Do you think I don't agree? I love Dickerson and I'm hoping he's the starting CF'er all season long. But it won't happen unless we sign a solid LF'er or a solid 3b and move Edwin to LF. It also won't happen if Dickerson's injury history keeps repeating itself.

Let me be clear, I want this team to go young. I love watching the young kids play with the excitement and enthusiasm. But that being said...Taveras is also young and energetic and full of potential...but I'd still prefer Dickerson. So we need to start hoping and praying that Walt finds us a good deal on a solid LF'er/3B'man and that Chris stays healthy and hits the cover off the ball.

icehole3
12-28-2008, 05:49 PM
Aside from Willy Taveras having speed, what are his GOOD aspects?


He came cheaper than Patterson according to what CTrent was told.

RedlegNation
12-28-2008, 05:52 PM
December is not time for an emergency plan. February is. Still doesn't change the fact that they went with the emergency plan for a CF when they already had one.

Sadly, this summarizes things perfectly.

reds44
12-28-2008, 06:12 PM
Willy Taveras has been the starting CF on two different teams who have gone to the World Series. You can't say can't win with him.

icehole3
12-28-2008, 06:19 PM
Willy Taveras has been the starting CF on two different teams who have gone to the World Series. You can't say can't win with him.

Intangibles dont count around here, only calculations count, it's called, "mountain of evidence."

RedsManRick
12-28-2008, 06:20 PM
Willy Taveras has been the starting CF on two different teams who have gone to the World Series. You can't say can't win with him.

You also can't say from that simple fact that he positively contributed to his teams' success nor predict what value he's likely to provide in the future. It's a completely valueless observation other than to establish that his presence does not preclude winning. Hardly a ringing endorsement.

Always Red
12-28-2008, 06:25 PM
Willy Taveras has been the starting CF on two different teams who have gone to the World Series. You can't say can't win with him.

Maybe he's a good luck charm?:thumbup:

Cyclone792
12-28-2008, 06:37 PM
As it stands right now, even assuming that the Reds find a LF that can create 90-100 runs, the team will need to have a RA of about 600 to make the playoffs.

If the team winds up with Jerry Hairston in LF, then they'll need to have a RA of about 550.

Volquez, Harrang, Cueto are good, but...

Yup, that's essentially the point. Sadly, many other people around here just don't comprehend this.

Right now we have two avenues to the playoffs:

1) Two or more hitters just absolutely go off and perform WELL above their expectations. The most likely hitters to do just that are Bruce, Votto, and Encarnacion - they're probably the only hitters even remotely capable of doing that. Dickerson would probably fit that group too (if he even plays). Still, the probability of the Reds having two guys do that just should not be expected. Even if this criteria is achieved, the pitching staff needs to at least be "good" or better.

2) The pitching staff is DOMINANT. Not merely good, but DOMINANT. We're talking three Reds pitchers in the All-Star game and the 2009 NL Cy Young Award winner on this staff dominant. The pitching staff would have to allow fewer than 650 runs. To put that in perspective, the Dodgers were the only NL team to allow fewer than 650 runs (648), and they play in a pitcher's park. We'd have to allow under 650 with half our games in GABP.

Neither one of these scenarios is likely, which also means that the playoffs aren't likely either.

The Lost Decade strikes again.

Falls City Beer
12-28-2008, 06:40 PM
Yup, that's essentially the point. Sadly, many other people around here just don't comprehend this.

Right now we have two avenues to the playoffs:

1) Two or more hitters just absolutely go off and perform WELL above their expectations. The most likely hitters to do just that are Bruce, Votto, and Encarnacion - they're probably the only hitters even remotely capable of doing that. Dickerson would probably fit that group too (if he even plays). Still, the probability of the Reds having two guys do that just should not be expected. Even if this criteria is achieved, the pitching staff needs to at least be "good" or better.

2) The pitching staff is DOMINANT. Not merely good, but DOMINANT. We're talking three Reds pitchers in the All-Star game and the 2009 NL Cy Young Award winner on this staff dominant. The pitching staff would have to allow fewer than 650 runs. To put that in perspective, the Dodgers were the only NL team to allow fewer than 650 runs (648), and they play in a pitcher's park. We'd have to allow under 650 with half our games in GABP.

Neither one of these scenarios is likely, which also means that the playoffs aren't likely either.

The Lost Decade strikes again.

I don't know a single poster on this side of the board who thinks the Reds will contend in 2009.

Caveat Emperor
12-28-2008, 06:40 PM
Intangibles dont count around here, only calculations count, it's called, "mountain of evidence."

Heart and hustle make for great hollywood copy, but a poor method of measuring the worth of an athlete.

Cyclone792
12-28-2008, 06:41 PM
I don't know a single poster on this side of the board who thinks the Reds will contend in 2009.

It strikes me as silly to be in favor of Willy Taveras if you're preparing for 75 wins.

Falls City Beer
12-28-2008, 06:42 PM
It strikes me as silly to be in favor of Willy Taveras if you're preparing for 75 wins.

How many were in favor of Wily T--on this side of the board? I think I counted three people.

Let's not kid ourselves, though: when the vaunted farm ain't doin' much by way of providing everyday players, GMs can do some less than desirable things to fill out a roster on the nickels and dimes left over in payroll.

Caveat Emperor
12-28-2008, 06:45 PM
How many were in favor of Wily T--on this side of the board? I think I counted three people.

And your point is?

There isn't a single logical argument to be made that ends with "...and, in conclusion, I feel Willy Taveras will be a valuable addition to the starting lineup."

If you can find me one and back it up, I'm willing to listen. Until then, I'll take the fact that there are only 3 people in favor of Taveras on this board as a compliment to the overall baseball acumen of the posters here.

Falls City Beer
12-28-2008, 06:47 PM
And your point is?

There isn't a single logical argument to be made that ends with "...and, in conclusion, I feel Willy Taveras will be a valuable addition to the starting lineup."

If you can find me one and back it up, I'm willing to listen. Until then, I'll take the fact that there are only 3 people in favor of Taveras on this board as a compliment to the overall baseball acumen of the posters here.

My point is that there's not "so many people" who don't grasp the Reds' situation, as Cyclone claimed. I think almost everyone here grasps their situation.

OnBaseMachine
12-28-2008, 06:50 PM
Let's not kid ourselves, though: when the vaunted farm ain't doin' much by way of providing everyday players, GMs can do some less than desirable things to fill out a roster on the nickels and dimes left over in payroll.

Jay Bruce, Joey Votto, Edwin Encarnacion (I know, but the Reds developed him), and Chris Dickerson are all homegrown. As was Adam Dunn. The Reds flipped a prospect for Phillips. Very rarely do you find a team with eight homegrown position players.

Will M
12-28-2008, 06:55 PM
And your point is?

There isn't a single logical argument to be made that ends with "...and, in conclusion, I feel Willy Taveras will be a valuable addition to the starting lineup."

If you can find me one and back it up, I'm willing to listen. Until then, I'll take the fact that there are only 3 people in favor of Taveras on this board as a compliment to the overall baseball acumen of the posters here.

IF Taveras sucks like its 2008 then he should be a bench player. as a 25th man he does add some value to the team. ie defensive sub and pinch runner.

IF he can get his OBP up to 2007 levels then Dusty can put a bat in his hands. the idea that WT is going to get 600 ABs if he plays like he did last year is a bit odd to me. yes i know Patterson played a lot last year but part of that was due to the fact that the team was so undermanned.

RedsManRick
12-28-2008, 06:56 PM
How many were in favor of Wily T--on this side of the board? I think I counted three people.

Let's not kid ourselves, though: when the vaunted farm ain't doin' much by way of providing everyday players, GMs can do some less than desirable things to fill out a roster on the nickels and dimes left over in payroll.

The base of below market and highly productive talent in the rotation and lineup would have allowed for this team to be competitive in the 09-10 window given the right set of additions -- ones which could have been made within a reasonable payroll allowance and willingness to trade possible future production for present production.

To date, the Reds approach has been to add marginal talent and pray. If it's not going to happen in 2009-2010, then why waste your money on Tavares -- just play Dickerson or Hopper and be done with it. If you're trying to win in 2009-2010 and you know you need to improve both offensively and defensively, then how does adding Willy Taveras help? Regardless of what you're trying to accomplish in 2009, adding Taveras doesn't seem to make any sense.

mth123
12-28-2008, 07:01 PM
IF Taveras sucks like its 2008 then he should be a bench player. as a 25th man he does add some value to the team. ie defensive sub and pinch runner.

IF he can get his OBP up to 2007 levels then Dusty can put a bat in his hands. the idea that WT is going to get 600 ABs if he plays like he did last year is a bit odd to me. yes i know Patterson played a lot last year but part of that was due to the fact that the team was so undermanned.

Its odd to all of us. Its the reason for the outrage. But Walt annointed him CF and Lead-off hitter. He specifically said that two of the OF spots were filled with Bruce and Taveras and LF is still to be filled.

So, if his awful 2008 is good enough to get him a 2 year deal where he is named the starter, how bad does he have to be to lose that spot? I think its chiseled in stone.

Cyclone792
12-28-2008, 07:02 PM
My point is that there's not "so many people" who don't grasp the Reds' situation, as Cyclone claimed. I think almost everyone here grasps their situation.


How many were in favor of Wily T--on this side of the board? I think I counted three people.

Let's not kid ourselves, though: when the vaunted farm ain't doin' much by way of providing everyday players, GMs can do some less than desirable things to fill out a roster on the nickels and dimes left over in payroll.

You miscounted by 25 then.

And FWIW, I wasn't talking about this board anyway. I was talking about this city.

SteelSD
12-28-2008, 07:03 PM
How many were in favor of Wily T--on this side of the board? I think I counted three people.

http://www.redszone.com/forums/showthread.php?t=73156

28 people wanted him here. Although I do realize that number may have dropped since then because what seems like a good idea at the time sometimes seems a lot worse when it actually happens.

OnBaseMachine
12-28-2008, 07:05 PM
I wouldn't mind as much if Taveras was only being brought in to be the 5th outfielder. He could provide a little value as a defensive replacement/pinch runner/sac bunter when needed. It's the fact that he's basically already been anointed the starter and lead off man that upsets me. I just hope Jocketty has a short leash with him if/when he stinks up the place.

Marc D
12-28-2008, 07:11 PM
I wouldn't mind as much if Taveras was only being brought in to be the 5th outfielder. He could provide a little value as a defensive replacement/pinch runner/sac bunter when needed. It's the fact that he's basically already been anointed the starter and lead off man that upsets me. I just hope Jocketty has a short leash with him if/when he stinks up the place.


Its a good thing we have a manager like Dusty that we can count on to use him correctly huh?

:(

westofyou
12-28-2008, 07:13 PM
what seems like a good idea at the time sometimes seems a lot worse when it actually happens.

Incidents that come to mind often are prefaced with such statements as:

If he can learn to take a walk...

If he doesn't hit in the air...

If he can stay healthy....

These of course are equal to the infamous last line of many a daredevil and teenager.... Hey Guys, check this out.

_Sir_Charles_
12-28-2008, 07:15 PM
I don't know a single poster on this side of the board who thinks the Reds will contend in 2009.

*raises hand*

Contend, yes. Reach playoffs, no.

Kc61
12-28-2008, 07:21 PM
How many were in favor of Wily T--on this side of the board? I think I counted three people.

Let's not kid ourselves, though: when the vaunted farm ain't doin' much by way of providing everyday players, GMs can do some less than desirable things to fill out a roster on the nickels and dimes left over in payroll.

Frankly, as one of the three, I think some fans aren't being realistic.

The Reds have many holes. Their essential philosophy seems to be "go young." They spent a lot of dough on the draft and international signings this year. They obviously couldn't fill their many holes with expensive players at all vacant positions.

I can see the Reds' reluctance just to hand over centerfield to Chris Dickerson. I remember all the minor league forum discussions about he is a fourth outfielder type, has a very high strikeout rate. In fact, when Stubbs looked like a possible backup, fans were comparing him with Chris Dickerson.

So the Reds gambled on Taveras, a guy with great speed and base running ability, who is only 27, and who started in center for two World Series teams. The challenge will be to get his OBP up.

OBP is important, but Taveras has shown that, in a given year, he can get on base. The Reds will have to work on this with him.

But if he gets his OBP up to about .340, even .335, he can be a very effective weapon for the Reds. I've seen his impact on games when he is going well, and it's a helpful dimension.

I still think the Reds owe the fans one after giving up Dunn and they need to get a real good hitter in left field. I'll be disappointed if they don't.

But this Taveras thing could work out ok. I disagree with the alarm of this thread.

Falls City Beer
12-28-2008, 07:30 PM
The base of below market and highly productive talent in the rotation and lineup would have allowed for this team to be competitive in the 09-10 window given the right set of additions -- ones which could have been made within a reasonable payroll allowance and willingness to trade possible future production for present production.

To date, the Reds approach has been to add marginal talent and pray. If it's not going to happen in 2009-2010, then why waste your money on Tavares -- just play Dickerson or Hopper and be done with it. If you're trying to win in 2009-2010 and you know you need to improve both offensively and defensively, then how does adding Willy Taveras help? Regardless of what you're trying to accomplish in 2009, adding Taveras doesn't seem to make any sense.

The Reds needed three relievers and at bare minimum one very good starter starter, a defense, and a part of an offense to contend. In one offseason. Good luck with that.

RedsManRick
12-28-2008, 07:33 PM
The Reds needed three relievers and at bare minimum one very good starter starter, a defense, and a part of an offense to contend. In one offseason. Good luck with that.

So given the difficulty of adding a lot of pieces, add one that doesn't provide any benefit? I fully understand the scope of the challenge. I just don't understand how the difficulty of the task justifies taking steps in the wrong direction.

If Tavares is a bridge to a better team in the future, he's redundant. If he's part of the immediate solution to the mound of problems you've identified, he's a pretty poor one. In either case, I don't see the logic.

Falls City Beer
12-28-2008, 07:35 PM
And FWIW, I wasn't talking about this board anyway. I was talking about this city.

Fair enough, but you can understand my confusion. "Here" usually means here.

And I was referring to the acquisition of Tavares thread, the one where it was Krusty, icehole, and SirCharles against a crowd.

Falls City Beer
12-28-2008, 07:36 PM
So given the difficulty of adding a lot of pieces, add one that doesn't provide any benefit? I fully understand the scope of the challenge. I just don't understand how the difficulty of the task justifies taking steps in the wrong direction.

If Tavares is a bridge to a better team in the future, he's redundant. If he's part of the immediate solution to the mound of problems you've identified, he's a pretty poor one. In either case, I don't see the logic.

I'm not defending the Tavares acquisition; I thought it was bad.

GADawg
12-28-2008, 09:12 PM
what's the record for number of pages in a single thread anyway? This thing is outta control.

Blitz Dorsey
12-28-2008, 09:32 PM
what's the record for number of pages in a single thread anyway? This thing is outta control.

Let's just say Erik Bedard is not getting nervous yet.