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Reds acquire Miles in four-player deal

Reds acquire Miles in four-player deal

CINCINNATI -- The Reds acquired infielder Aaron Miles and a player to be named later from the A's on Monday for center fielder Willy Taveras and infielder Adam Rosales.

The move comes on the same day the club officially signed shortstop Orlando Cabrera to a one-year, $2.02 million deal with a $4 million mutual option for 2011.

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Taveras was due to make $4 million in 2010 while the 33-year-old Miles will make $2.7 million this season. The Reds were planning to sign Cabrera anyway, but can use the savings from the trade to partially offset that deal.

"It could have been done but it makes the breathing room a little easier," Reds general manager Walt Jocketty said.

Taveras, who was promptly designated for assignment by Oakland, departs after one very unsuccessful season as the Reds' leadoff hitter. In 102 games, he batted .240 with a .275 on-base percentage and 25 steals. In 437 plate appearances, he had just 18 walks.

Miles, acquired by the A's along with Jake Fox from the Cubs on Dec. 3, also struggled in 2009 after he signed a two-year contract with Chicago. He batted .185 in 74 games and was bothered by injuries to his throwing shoulder and elbow.

Over his seven big league seasons with the White Sox, Rockies, Cardinals and Cubs, Miles is a .282 career hitter with a .322 on-base percentage. He was part of the 2006 Cardinals World Series championship squad.

"Miles is a very good player," Jocketty said. "He had an off year last year. His two or three previous years were very solid. I would expect him to bounce back. I talked to him today. He's very excited about coming over here. He played an important role with [the Cardinals] in 2006 when [David] Eckstein got hurt late in the season. We were without a shortstop. Tony [LaRussa] talked to me about putting Miles at shortstop. He played flawlessly."

Taveras, who missed several games with various injuries, became more expendable once prospect Drew Stubbs reached the Majors in August. Stubbs was a much better defensive player and batted .267 with eight homers and 17 RBIs in 42 big league games. Taveras can only play center field and would have been of limited use off the bench.

Rosales spent the offseason in Mexican winter ball learning left field to improve his value to the Reds. He batted only .213 with four homers and 19 RBIs in 87 games during his rookie season. However, after being sent down he showed improvement -- posting a .349 average in 30 games with Triple-A Louisville. Known for his enthusiasm and hustle, he just spent the weekend with manager Dusty Baker as part of the Reds Winter Caravan tour.

As the Reds head to Spring Training, they could wind up with three bench players that are infielders. Besides Miles, the Reds signed Miguel Cairo to a Minor League contract last week and Paul Janish became a role player with the signing of Cabrera.

Mark Sheldon is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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