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Taveras and his lousy contract

From Christina Kahrl at Baseball Prospectus....the Reds win a dubious award!

Worst Two-Year Contract: Willy Taveras, Reds $6.25 million

The problem with signing Willy Taveras has little to do with the total expense; it's not zero dollars down, but in baseball terms it's not really all that expensive. It has even less to do with the things that he does do well, like run and steal bases (generating a NL-best 11.9 Equivalent Baserunning Runs, covering the gaps, throwing pretty effectively for a center fielder). The problem is what Taveras is being employed to do—lead off—and the chance that he can deliver on it with even a modicum of effectiveness. His park-neutral PECOTA rojection for 2009 is for a .319 OBP, which doesn't sound too good for a team that got a .326 OBP from its weak crew of leadoff options last year. The real pity is that the Reds could have instead run with a platoon that puts sophomore Chris Dickerson in center and leading off—Dickerson's projected to a park-neutral .331 OBP which he'd surpass if his minor league splits held in the majors and he was limited to starting versus righties. And no, employing Dickerson wouldn't cost "only" $6.25 million the next two years—money that might have instead been spent on getting a left fielder who might actually help the Reds score some runs.

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