Cincinnati Reds: Adios, Willy Taveras!

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Cincinnati Reds: Adios, Willy Taveras!
Chris Graythen/Getty Images
The day I thought would never come is finally here: Willy Taveras is gone.

Yes, it’s true folks. Reds fans everywhere are breathing a collective sigh of relief in between their shouts of joy.

The deal? Oakland sends journeyman infielder Aaron Miles and a player to be named to Cincinnati in return for the outfielder Taveras and infielder Adam Rosales.

While most Reds fans will miss Rosie’s hustle and attitude, none of us will miss his offense. I hate to be the mean guy who doesn’t regret losing the fan favorite. I thought Rosales was a nice, genuine guy and embodied the type of athlete that Reds fans adore.

It’s nothing personal, I just feel that if he needed to go in order for Willy to get lost, that’s OK. Collateral damage, in a sense. I wish him nothing but the best in Oakland.

The craziest part about this trade is that not long after the deal cleared, Oakland promptly designated Willy Taveras for assignment! So Willy was cut before he could fax over his hat size to the Oakland clubhouse manager.

Surely this is a record. The shortest tenure of a player for a major league club: Willy Taveras, Oakland Athletics, five minutes.

Mike Piazza was a Florida Marlin longer than that.

So the Reds signed free agent Orlando Cabrera to man shortstop for 2010 and perhaps 2011. This meant that either Paul Janish, Rosales, or Drew Sutton had to go in order to make room.

All of this moving-and-shaking started last offseason.

The Cubs signed Aaron Miles to a ludicrous two year, $4.9 million contract. Miles batted .185 and was terrible defensively as well.

The Reds signed Willy Taveras to an even more ludicrous two year, $6.25 million agreement. Taveras paid the Reds back by hitting .240 and stealing only 25 bases. That's 75 short of what he promised in spring training and 43 short of his 2008 mark; Not exactly what the Reds were looking for.

Oakland came calling for Jake Fox and Chicago probably forced them to take Aaron Miles as a part of the deal. In fact, the Cubs agreed to pay $1 million of the $2.7 million owed to him in 2010.

General Manager Walt Jocketty wanted Aaron Miles (he played for him in St. Louis) and rid of Taveras, while Oakland wanted Adam Rosales and rid of Miles. 

The deal was struck and now Oakland paid Cincinnati to do their dirty work: cut Willy Taveras. 

Not only are the Reds rid of a light hitting shortstop and Taveras’ albatross of a contract, they also freed a roster spot for Orlando Cabrera.

Now, does this place Miles on the Reds 40-man roster? Probably, but I hope not. 

If Miles is not on the 40-man, then the talks that are rumored to have heated up between Cincinnati and Jonny Gomes may indeed be getting red hot by now. I’m hoping it's true, no matter Aaron Miles’ status on the roster.

So who is this Aaron Miles?

Well, Rotoworld.com summed up Aaron Miles’ future with the Reds as such: "Miles was acquired from the Cubs along with Jake Fox in December. He’ll continue to be worthless on Cincinnati’s bench, if he makes the club at all."

Ouch.

Don’t worry about Miles not making the club though. Rotoworld must not be familiar with how things run in Cincinnati. He’ll be there with bells on come April 5, so let’s just hope another nightmare doesn’t replace the one that just left. 

If Miles isn’t guaranteed a spot on the club, then who would take his place?

The Reds have signed both Miguel Cairo and Chris Burke to minor league contracts with invitations to spring training. Sutton came over last season from Houston in exchange for Jeff Keppinger. He played several games in the last half of the season and was nothing short of underwhelming. 

Todd Frazier’s name has been tossed around as an extra infielder too. Last but not least, we shouldn’t forget about Paul Janish. Janish handled himself with Gold Glove-form in 90 games last season. However, his .211 batting average leaves much to be desired.

The only part about today's deal that still worries many in Reds Nation is that perhaps the Reds are going to swoop in and re-sign Taveras, now that he's a free agent.

Would this really come as a surprise?

One would say that this is a simple situation that spring training will take care of. The problem is that everyone thought the same for left field last season. Who ended up there? Darnell McDonald.

Who knows what will happen, but nothing can take my joy away today.

Unless they re-sign Taveras. I’m waiting for it to roll across the ticker.

So I’ll recap by doing some simple math.

Give away two bad players. Take one bad player. That leaves you with one bad player instead of two.

Sounds like a good deal to me.

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