Rockies sign Willy Taveras to minor league deal

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The Rockies have signed outfielder Willy Taveras to a minor league contract with an invite to spring training, according to the team’s Twitter feed.

This is a homecoming of sorts for Taveras, who batted .320 with a .367 on-base percentage and .748 OPS with the Rockies during the team’s World Series run in 2007. Baseball’s version of a rotten hot potato, this is actually Taveras’ sixth organization in the past year.

He signed with the Nationals last February after being designated for assignment by the A’s, but was released last May after batting .200 over his first 35 at-bats with the club. He had brief minor league stints with the Phillies, Braves and Rangers from there, but didn’t find his way back to the major leagues.

Though the 29-year-old outfielder offers plenty of speed and defensive ability, he has been one of the least productive players at the plate since the start of the 2008 season, putting up a lowly .581 OPS, the lowest during that timespan among players with at least 1,000 plate appearances.

Here’s the ugliness in full detail:

1. Willy Taveras – .581 OPS

2. Cesar Izturis – .596 OPS

3. Jason Kendall – .635 OPS

4. Bobby Crosby – .637 OPS

5. Andy LaRoche – .637 OPS

6. Brendan Ryan – .641 OPS

7. Gerald Laird – .644 OPS

8. Carlos Gomez – .647 OPS

9. Ronny Cedeno – .649 OPS

10. Pedro Feliz – .651 OPS

Good grief. Sorry to ruin your dinner, but this is a boring Monday.

Bryce Harper is pandering hard to Philly fans

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Bryce Harper hadn’t even addressed his new hometown fans before his Phillies jersey started selling like hotcakes. Since then, he’s said all the expected things. Talking about joining the Phillies, he said, “From day one, it felt right … I always talk about family and being a family, being one unit, and I get that from this team. Every guy has your back and vice versa. I’m very excited to go into battle with these guys.”

Harper is continuing to pander hard to Phillies fans. Behold his latest Instagram post:

Has anyone ever really longed to see the Liberty Bell?

Harper also famously recreated that Chase Utley scene from It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia with actor Rob McElhenney on Twitter:

In Harper’s next post, he will talk about alternating bottles of You-eng-ling beers with glasses of “wooder.” He’ll add that every so often he will treat himself to a steak sandwich with cheese on it, then go home to watch all of the movies in the Rocky series.