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Wednesday, December 10, 2008

I Usually Don't Get Worked Up Over These Things, But...

The proposed trade between the Nationals and Rockies involving right-hander Tim Redding and outfielder Willy Taveras fell apart because one of the players did not pass his physical exam.

You mean the Willie Taveras? The same guy who went .251/.308/.296 last season in 470 at bats. Read that middle number again. He had a .308 on base percentage last season. Granted, he led the NL in stolen bases. But you know what the result was? 64 runs scored. SIXTY FOUR.

Willie Harris scored 58 runs in 100 less at bats from the bottom of the order for the most part.

For the SABR inclined reader, his OPS+ was 56. This number is based off how good a player is plus-or-minus 100. Of players with 350+ at bats, Corey Patterson was the worst in the NL at 48. Taveras was bottom ten.

He led off for the bulk of his at bats, and while in that slot OBP'd a cool .299.

Lifetime, his slash stats are: .283/.331/.337 (OPS+ 72). So at age 26, when a player starts to enter his prime years, Taveras had his statistically worst year in the bigs. Oh yeah, as a point of reference, Nook Logan's career OPS+ is 76.

Harris has OPS+'d 94 and 98 the last two years as a part-time player. His lifetime OPS+ is 75.

Of Taveras' 558 career hits, 80 have been of the extra-base variety. He's never had 20 doubles in a season, despite all that speed. His career triples high is five, despite all that speed and playing in Colorado the last two years.

He's had seven career home runs in 1972 at bats.

Now, I'm not going to argue that the Nats shouldn't trade Tim Redding if they get a good deal for a player in a position of need. But Willie Taveras, statistically speaking, was one of THE WORST regular position players in the majors last year. If you have a fantasy team where you need stolen bases and have a bunch of high average guys to cover for Taveras, sure, trade Redding for him. But real baseball doesn't work like fantasy.

Taveras is good for only one thing: Stealing second base when one of his weak ground balls manages to make its way through the infield.

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