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Willie Harris agrees to minor-league deal with Reds

Jan 23, 2012, 2:52 PM EDT

New York Mets v St Louis Cardinals Getty Images

Veteran role player Willie Harris has signed with the Reds, according to John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer.

Harris played last season with the Mets, hitting .246 with two homers and a .668 OPS in 283 plate appearances, and reportedly drew interest from the Nationals earlier this offseason.

Harris is a career .240 hitter with little power, but he draws lots of walks and has posted an on-base percentage above .340 in four of the past five seasons. Toss in the 33-year-old’s ability to play anywhere but catcher and shortstop defensively and he’s a useful player to have on the bench.

  1. b7p19 - Jan 23, 2012 at 3:09 PM

    This has Dusty Baker written all over it. He’ll do anything to keep Heisey off the field. Oh well, I guess someday he’ll be old and veterany and will get some playing over the next solid young outfielder in line.

    • metalhead65 - Jan 23, 2012 at 3:24 PM

      could not have said it better myself. frazier and valika looked pretty good when they got the chance to play which was not often but enough to show they could could be good off the bench. plus they also can play any position but catcher but yea makes more sense to sign a mets reject than play your own guys. how do dusty and walt expect these guys to be come the experianced vets they love if they never give them a chance to play? I wish somebocdy would offer them a washed pitcher for heisey so he would get a chance to play and prove crusty wrong. and as long as the guy has an era under 10 or once played for the cards walt would consider it.

  2. dapperdan50 - Jan 23, 2012 at 3:34 PM

    Willie Harris is one of only two players in in MLB history to be born in Cairo, GA. The other one was Jackie Robinson.

    • Matt Adams - Jan 23, 2012 at 4:23 PM

      Ernie Riles

      • dapperdan50 - Jan 23, 2012 at 5:12 PM

        I stand—or sit, actually—corrected!

  3. sknut - Jan 23, 2012 at 3:36 PM

    And I thought the Reds were all tapped out.

    http://hardballtalk.nbcsports.com/2012/01/23/reds-payroll-likely-to-be-down-slightly-from-last-season/

  4. whodeytn - Jan 23, 2012 at 5:11 PM

    This has Dusty Baker written all over it. He’ll do anything to keep Heisey off the field. Oh well, I guess someday he’ll be old and veterany and will get some playing over the next solid young outfielder in line.
    ———

    I think you’re confusing this with Ludwick.

    This move has nothing to do with Heisey.

    • b7p19 - Jan 23, 2012 at 5:24 PM

      It shouldn’t have anything to do with him, but it will. Ludwick too. It just seems like Dusty favors older, mediocre (or in Harris’ case well below average) players over better, younger players with higher upside. Just wait till he starts giving Harris starts in place of Heisey against righties for “matchup” reasons.

      I hope you’re right, but I fear you are not.

    • metalhead65 - Jan 23, 2012 at 7:39 PM

      unfortunatly it does. this gives dusty a trusted vet to play when ludwick gets a day off and keeps Heisey on the bench for pinch hitting only. he is also fast and can play centerfield but dusty would rather play the strikeout machine everyday than to sit him until he figures out how not to strike out everytime he bats. in the meantime Heisey just produces when he does play which makes signing somebody like ludwick to play ahead of him and pay him 2 million dollars to put up less numbers based on the fact he was good when he played for the cardinals even more stupid. and should cozart go into any kind of slump expect harris to get plenty of time there to or at least until walt can get ozzie smith or some other washed card shorstop to sign.

  5. studman4976 - Jan 24, 2012 at 7:00 AM

    Really Guys… The Reds Are Under Bufget on Last Years Payroll….. Do You Really Think That This Is the Last Move. I Expect a Last Minute Salary Dump Trade (to Undercut the Red Sox) and the Reds To Sign Oswalt to A One Year Contract… Hopefully the Reds are In It To Win It This Year!!!

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