The Kansas City Royals have signed outfielder Willy Taveras to a minor league contract.
willy taveras signs w/ royals, gets major league invite, as mlb.com reported— Jon Heyman (@JonHeymanCBS) December 11, 2012
Heyman adds that Taveras’ new deal with the Royals includes an invite to major league spring training.
Taveras last appeared at the major league level with the Washington Nationals in 2010. Since then he spent 2011 in the Colorado Rockies minor league system and sat out of professional baseball altogether last season.
In 2011 with the Rockies’ Triple-A affiliate Taveras hit .302/.336/.448 with 17 doubles, five triples and 10 home runs with 13 stolen bases in 17 attempts over 391 at-bats.
Over seven seasons at the major league level as a member of the Houston Astros, Cincinnati Reds, Rockies and Nationals Taveras has hit .24/.320/.327 with 195 stolen bases in 239 attempts. He finished second in the National League Rookie of the Year voting as a member of the Astros in 2005 after hitting .291/.325/.341 with 20 extra-base hits and 34 stolen bases in 45 attempts. He stole a career-high 68 bases in 75 attempts during the 2008 season.
The Royals are likely to stash Taveras away in the high minors as a source of potential outfield depth.