Reds,Taveras reach 2-year deal

Published 12:11 am Sunday, December 28, 2008

Willy Taveras and the Cincinnati Reds have agreed to a two-year contract, filling the team’s need for a center fielder and leadoff hitter.

The speedy Taveras is coming off a disappointing season with Colorado. He batted .251 with a paltry .308 on-base percentage, though he did lead the major leagues with 68 stolen bases.

Reds general manager Walt Jocketty announced the move Saturday.

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Taveras, who turned 27 on Christmas, became a free agent when the Rockies decided not to offer him a contract by the Dec. 12 deadline. He spent two injury-plagued seasons in Colorado after he was acquired from Houston in December 2006.

Taveras has a .283 career batting average with seven homers, 109 RBIs and 169 stolen bases.