Monday, January 25, 2010

The Crystal Ball '10: Miguel Tejada

I was going to do a Crystal Ball on Ty Wigginton this week. That seems like a waste of time now.

Break out your old Tejada jersey. You know you still have it.

Since every one else has weighed in on this deal over the weekend, I guess I will too. I am on record that I saw no need to bring in anybody else to play third base this season. I thought there were internal options that could have held down the fort until top 3B prospect Josh Bell was ready to take over sometime this season. But if they were going to pick someone up , I suppose that Miguel Tejada was the most complete third baseman left on the market. He can still hit a little and he should be able to play above average defense. It's not a bunch of money and it's only for one season. There is no bad 1-year contract really, the money isn't bad and if Bell is really, really ready, the team won't let Tejada won't block him.

Tejada had a .313/.340/.455 line (14 HR, 46 2B) for Houston last year which gives him a .799 OPS, very close to what he had for Baltimore in 2007. That's a pretty good bat for a shortstop, not so much for a third baseman. Coming back to the stronger league, CHONE projects him at .767 OPS which seems reasonable. That production would have put him squarely in the middle of all MLB third baseman and light years ahead of Melvin Mora's .679 OPS from a year ago. Tejada will hit in the .290-.300 range, hit double digit homers and 30+ doubles. And in case you forgot, he'll swing at anything loosely near the plate.

How will the glove play? Last year, Tejada was one of the worst defensive shortstops in baseball according to UZR and no team was looking to sign him as a shortstop for 2010. His range is diminished and his strong arm is still occasionally erratic. I would guess that he will not embarrass himself at third but I don't think he will be even average.

Was he worth bringing back to Baltimore? It depends on your goal. He will improve the team for 2010. I just hope that The Warehouse keeps its eye on the ball and trades Tejada if Josh Bell starts destroying the International League.

Photo by Keith Allison and used under the Creative Commons License 2.0

No comments: