Kansas City Royals Ink Willy Taveras, George Sherrill and Dan Wheeler to One-Year Deals

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The Royals have reached one-year minor league agreements with three veterans: Willy Taveras, George Sherrill, and Dan Wheeler.

All three have received spring training invites with their contracts.

Willy Taveras, 30, is a journeyman outfielder who will be joining the 9th organization of his career. He’s predominantly known for his speed, both out of the box and between bases. He’s totaled 195 stolen bases throught his seven big league seasons and owns a career stolen base percentage of 81.5%. Taveras isn’t a high on-base guy (career .274 AVG, .320 OBP) and has never hit for much power (71 doubles, 8 HR, .327 Slg% in 2412 AB). He’s more of the slap-for-singles type. He was out of baseball in 2012. He made his last big league appearance for the Nationals in 2010 before spending all of 2011 on the Rockie’s Triple-A affiliate.

George Sherrill, 35, missed nearly all of last season after an elbow issue led to Tommy John surgery (he appeared in two games for the Mariners). Prior to last season, the lefty reliever had a 3.00 ERA and 38 Ks in 36 IP (50 appearances). In his nine pro seasons, he’s ammassed a 3.77 ERA, 56 saves, and a 2:1 K:BB ratio. He’s likely memorable to most due to his signature flat-brimmed hats, earning him the nickname “Brim Reaper”. He’s become more of a lefty-specialist now, with lefties hitting just .256/.275/.333 against him.

Dan Wheeler, also 35, spent all of last season with the Indians. A right-handed reliever, he appeared in 12 games, pitched 12.1 innings, and gave up 12 runs for the Tribe last season before being outrighted to Triple-A Columbus where he spent the rest of the season. Throughout his 13 year career, Wheeler has appeared in in 64 or more games six times (2005-10) while compiling a 3.95 ERA and a 1.222 WHIP. His best season was probably back in 2005 with Houston where he made 71 appearances, finished 20 games (including 3 saves), and had a 2.21 ERA – good for a 2.1 WAR. He’s held right-handed hitters to a .216/.267/.366 line for his career.

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