With the season starting in a little over a month, there will be a lot of eyes on Miguel Tejada – the former Oriole shortstop, turned third baseman.
As most remember, when he was with in Baltimore during his first stint, he objected to a position change and considered himself to be a viable major league shortstop; however, during the past few years with the Astros, his range – according to most scouts – had slipped.
Amazingly, he was still available into late January – a shocker to me; however, the trend over the past few years (especially with the decrease of steroid use in the game), teams are avoiding older players in favor of younger ones. That being said, the Orioles had a need, Tejada needed a job and both sides came to an agreement.
It will be interesting to see how Tejada does at third, considering he’s been a major league shortstop for his entire career. I know he played third at the World Baseball Classic in 2009, but never for an extended period of time.
The good thing with Tejada is the bat is still there. Although he’s not the same player that he was when he first signed with Baltimore, he did hit .313 last year with 14 homers and 46 doubles. Then again, keep in mind he played half his games in Houston’s Minute Maid Park – a hitter’s haven.
His numbers at the plate have dipped in the past few years, but he’s been durable and can produce at the plate.
Considering what was left on the market at third and first base, signing Tejada for one year will not be a death knell for the Orioles; in fact, it could only help the offense. Baltimore needs all the offensive firepower it can get considering they play in AL East, and Tejada’s signing will hopefully fortify a lineup with a lot of youth, but amazing potential.
When Dave Trembley writes out his lineup card, does Miguel bat in the two-hole, or further down — like in the 5th spot or so? At this point, he definitely will make the Baltimore offense better.
Really, I know a lot of people have criticized Tejada for his drug use, his sometimes apathetic nature, some of his lies, but from what I saw out of him in Baltimore, he’s a man – much like the departed Mora – with a sense of immense pride.
I can also mention he’s been through a lot with his trial for perjury, the age thing, scrutiny into his drug use and also the death of his brother; therefore, it might be safe to assume he’s a far different person than he was a few seasons ago. The Orioles are a different organization now, and perhaps the infusion of youth will embolden Tejada to be a spark for everyone.
In about two-and-half months, we’ll see if Tejada can deliver and help the team improve, or if his signing was another in a long line of many with the Orioles over the current losing spell that will prove to be ill-advised.
The million dollar is question is aside from Miguel being able to still produce — which he probably will in one shape or another — can he even play third?