Monday, February 15, 2010

If the Nationals lose 100 times again, this may have something to do with it

Today, the Nationals signed Willy Taveras to a 1-year deal. Why they signed him is beyond me. Taveras is the ultimate 1-tool (stolen base) player. Yes he can run and steal bases (while limiting how often he gets caught)......but the Taveras signing (even to a modest $400,000) makes me scratch my head and think along the lines of how does he keep finding work?

Despite hitting in hitter-friendly parks the last couple years ('08 in Colorado, '09 in Cincinnati) Taveras' hitting performance has been nothing to write home about (55 OPS+ in '08 48 OPS+ in '09......ouch). On top of that, he's gotten 400-plus plate appearances in those seasons while not even being close to being an asset at the plate.

If nothing else, getting rid of Taveras does seem to improve teams (Rockies went from 74 to 92 wins after he left Colorado and the Reds seem primed to improve from their 78 win season in 2010.) Still, if Taveras somehow gets another 400+ plate appearances and they lose another 100-plus games (again), we at least know where a lot of the blame can get distributed to.

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