There wasn't a lot of fanfare when the Nationals signed outfielder Willy Taveras to a minor league contract on February 15. He'd been DFA'ed by Oakland right after the A's had acquired him from Cincinnati for Aaron Miles.
The $4 million he's owed this season will be paid by the A's, and inasmuch as it appears he'll be part of the outfield picture for the Nationals, they'll only have to pay him the minimum.
At one point in his career, Taveras looked like the next big thing, as far as stealing bases was concerned. He led the NL in steals in 2008 with 68, but dropped to just 25 last year, his only season with the Reds. Still, his 162 game average is 49 swipes. With just 8 home runs in almost 650 games, it's clear that power isn't part of his agenda. He can score runs, though, and has been a reliable defender in centerfield.
Taveras figures to play more corner outfield with the Nationals, and at 29, may see this year as his last chance to show someone else he's still a major league player. The club likely would've preferred to slot Roger Bernadina in a rightfield-by-committee role, but Roger has an option left, and can play every day at AAA until something opens up in DC.