Skip to content

A's and Reds swap unwanted Taveras and Miles

Feb 1, 2010, 1:14 PM EST

ESPN.com’s Buster Olney reports the A’s have acquired Willy Taveras and Adam Rosales from the Reds for Aaron Miles and a player to be named later or cash.
Miles went from Chicago to Oakland in the December trade for Jake Fox because the Cubs wanted to dump his $2.7 million salary, but he lasted all of two months with the A’s and has now been swapped for Tavaras and his $4 million salary.
Taveras lost his starting job to Drew Stubbs after batting .240/.275/.285 in 140 games last season to rank among the worst hitters in baseball. He still has plenty of speed and plays good defense, so unlike Miles he’s not totally useless. After five seasons in the minors Rosales finally got an extended look in the majors last year, but struggled and projects as little more than a solid bench player.
In other words, the A’s-Reds swap may contain the least combined value of any three-player trade of major leaguers in baseball history. Oakland “wins” in the same sense that someone trading a month-old turkey sandwich for a year-old ham sandwich is technically getting the better deal, but in the end you don’t want to eat any of it.
Mostly the trade makes me wonder what the A’s are doing, because they just got finished lessening the outfield logjam by trading Scott Hairston and Aaron Cunningham to the Padres for Kevin Kouzmanoff. Now they’re dealing for Taveras (although they may end up just releasing him) and are reportedly close to signing Gabe Gross, which would leave the following outfielders to sort through:
Coco Crisp
Rajai Davis
Ryan Sweeney
Travis Buck
Jack Cust
Willy Taveras
Gabe Gross
Eric Patterson
Cust will be primarily a designated hitter, but that’s still an awful lot of bodies for three spots and most of them have similar skill sets. Which is to say they run fast, play good defense, and can’t really hit. If the A’s use Cust at DH and Crisp in center field they could form a pair of lefty-righty platoons with Sweeney-Davis and Gross-Taveras, but that would a) devote six roster spots to the outfield, b) still leave Buck and perhaps Patterson at Triple-A, and c) be horrible offensively.
One of the most-quoted lines in Moneyball comes when a scout questions a player’s physique and general manager Billy Beane defiantly responds: “We’re not selling jeans here.” However, after looking at that list of outfielders it’s tough not to conclude that Oakland is now very much in the denim business.
UPDATE: Taveras won’t be doing any modeling for the A’s, denim or otherwise. They’ve already designated him for assignment.

  1. APBA Guy - Feb 1, 2010 at 1:34 PM

    Aaron, you realize Oakland used to be owned by the Haas family, the ones who owned Levi’s. Denim is in the blood.
    And like the once proud Levi’s franchise the A’s are a shadow of their former selves, now reduced to collecting cast-off outfielders while the front office promises that someday, sure someday, someone will play in the green and gold who can actually propel the ball more then 200 feet.
    Personally I think the team is getting confused by all the time they spend with their soccer interests. Speed and enduraance are fine qualities. Baseball players should have as much of those as they can get.
    But they should also be able to hit.
    The bottom line with all those outfielders as that they can’t be sure who will be the best of the bunch in 2010. They’ll all come to Spring training. They’ll keep 5. The others go to Sacramento and if the 5 don’t produce, they’ll hop the Sacramento shuttle and be exchanged for the AAA guys.
    Nobody in the stands, all 800 of them, will notice any appreciable difference in the play. There will be a lot of close, low scoring games with some ooh-aah catches in the outfield, and they will all blend together into another 75-87 season.

  2. Phil - Feb 1, 2010 at 1:45 PM

    Yeah, Miles sucked in 2009, but unlike Wee Willie, Dusty won’t be blinded by his speed and stick him in the 1- or 2-hole. If Miles can revert to an approximation of what he was pre-2009, he could be a useful backup infielder if used sparingly. No trade that gets Taveras off the 40-man and way from Cap/n toothpick can be all bad.

  3. Tom Shumaker - Feb 1, 2010 at 3:45 PM

    Best decription of a bad trade I’ve ever read: “The A’s-Reds swap may contain the least combined value of any three-player trade of major leaguers in baseball history. Oakland “wins” in the same sense that someone trading a month-old turkey sandwich for a year-old ham sandwich is technically getting the better deal, but in the end you don’t want to eat any of it”.
    I’m still laughing. Way to go, Aaron. You made my day!

  4. Slick Willy - Feb 1, 2010 at 3:55 PM

    So I guess Taveras doesn’t go into the Hall of Fame wearing an A’s hat? (Unless he buys one in the lobby, of course. Ba-doom.)

  5. The Rabbit - Feb 2, 2010 at 1:18 AM

    I must be missing something so I’m more than happy to listen to others who have info that I’ve overlooked.
    I “scouted” Rajai Davis last year for my fantasy league. At the beginning of the season, he was platooned, batting 9th, and was abysmal.
    When he was given the opportunity to play every day (around mid-June), he went on a tear and quickly moved to 2nd in the batting order. He finished the season with .305 average, batting .315 against lefties and .299 against right handers. His average was higher with RISP.
    If you consider that 2008 was his first real year in the majors (in which he batted .260 for the A’s), I’d have disagree that he “can’t really hit” unless the definiton for players than “can hit” must also have home run power.
    I know that fantasy ball does not emphasize all of the tools that are necessary to succeed in real baseball; however, I am happy to say that I picked up Davis in July as a free agent. He was certainly one of the factors (along with Ben Zobrist who I also drafted as a free agent the day after Iwamura was hurt) that contributed to my first place finish in the league.

Leave Comment

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!

Featured video

Cubs shore up rotation with Jon Lester
Top 10 MLB Player Searches
  1. C. Gonzalez (2232)
  2. D. Ross (2123)
  3. J. Grilli (2090)
  4. A. Pierzynski (2010)
  5. D. Young (1971)
  1. S. Smith (1905)
  2. M. Scutaro (1895)
  3. T. Stauffer (1864)
  4. W. Myers (1845)
  5. D. Haren (1831)