Monday, May 7, 2012

Miguel Tejada Coming Back to Baltimore, I Try to Figure Out Why

Reports started late yesterday afternoon, first through a Twitter account that is billed as the official twitter feed of Miguel Tejada and then through various media outlets (although I believe Britt Ghiroli of was the first) that Tejada was reporting to Sarasota for a workout and a physical with Baltimore.

However, Tejada started talking. First, he went on Z101 in the Dominican Republic to talk about the signing, then ne spoke to the AP and ESPN Desportes. I ran a few of his quotes through Google Translate and here's a  compilation:

"It's a Major League contract, on Monday the team will give the details of the contract...I'm super happy for this opportunity to return to the majors, that's what matters most to me...I report Monday to Sarasota, then I will have a physical and after a few days I will report to the big team."

So from Tejada's mouth, we learn that, pending a physical, the Orioles have offered him a major league deal (Tejada has hinted that he believes it will be for more than the MLB minimum) and that he expects to be in Baltimore a few days after he passes the physical.

So where does he fit on this roster?

I suppose the easy answer is that C Luis Exposito is sent back down to Norfolk to make room for Tejada but that would give the Orioles 8 infielders which is an odd configuration. Wilson Betemit could slide over as a fourth outfielder but to say he's played the outfield sparingly during his career would be a huge understatement. Ryan Flaherty was playing out in left yesterday so maybe the Orioles have no set infielder/outfielder roles anymore? I mean, I guess if Chris Davis can pitch, all barriers are down.

One would assume this signing is in response to Mark Reynolds' abysmal fielding. But Tejada is going to have to field at Gold Glove levels to make up for the difference in offense. Miguel Tejada is the definition of washed up. No projection system has him slugging even .400 and on the most optimistic have his OPS over .700. His fielding at third, if you recall 2010, was not so great. If fact, Reynolds' UZR numbers are waaaaayyyyy better than last season, at least so far. He has a -10.8 UZR/150, right in line with his career averages (his errors have been really bad, his range has been respectable). Tejada's UZR/150 at third base for 2010? -9.9.

It's a puzzling move all around. If you were going to pick up someone to play third, why not grab Brandon Inge who was waived a couple of weeks back?

Hopefully, I'm wrong. But this signing looks like a colossal waste of time and resources.

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