Tuesday, December 16, 2008
Forget Cameron, Look at Taveras
The Yankees seem to really be interested in Mike Cameron despite his high strikeout rate, low average, and age. For one year and $10 million the Yankees feel they can risk bringing in someone who has been very consistant in defense, has some speed, and some pop as well. However, the Yankees should take stock of the new market. Several teams have dropped arbitration eligible players to decrease their payroll. One of these players was Centerfielder Willy Taveras from the Colorado Rockies. Coming off of his worst season in the majors, Taveras batted a mere .251 with 1 homerun and 26 RBI's as the teams leadoff guy. Although those numbers seem anemic at best, it should not be overlooked that this was his career low, and that despite the fact it was his worst season, he still ended up stealing 68 bases, a career best. In 2007, Taveras batted .320, .278 the year before and .291 the year before that. The .251 would appear to be an aberration. Taveras has his downfalls. Namely, he has no power. He will not strikeout as much as Cameron, but will hit about 20 less homeruns than Cameron. Nearly all of Taveras' hits will be singles. However, by stealing 68 bases last season, there were alot of singles turned into doubles and some doubles turned to triples. The biggest reason the Yankees should consider Taveras is that Cameron's $10 million for one year could probably land Taveras for 3 years. He made $2 million this last year, and with a $1.3 million pay raise and a guaranteed 3 year contract, I think he would be willing to sign. Plus, a contract like that makes him easily tradeable, especially to small market teams, and his speed will always be in demand. The only reason the Yankees should pursue Cameron is if the Brewers are willing to take Igawa with the deal. Outside of that, sign Taveras and use the rest of the money saved on his contract to get a bat like Manny's into the lineup.