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Miguel Tejada Rumors
The Royals are looking for their first .500 finish since 2003, and there's optimism that the team could surprise people following a busy offseason. Here are the latest Royals-related notes…
- Though the Royals were reluctant to part with Wil Myers, Jake Odorizzi, Mike Montgomery and Patrick Leonard to acquire James Shields and Wade Davis, they made the trade. As Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports explains, club officials including GM Dayton Moore found it easier to approve the deal once they realized their farm system would still be deep.
- Moore says he learned from his former boss, longtime Braves executive John Schuerholz, that general managers must be prepared to take risks. “If you focus on what you’re giving up, you’ll never make a deal,” Moore told Rosenthal. “It will paralyze you.”
- The Royals didn't know it at the time, but the Diamondbacks, Rangers and Rays worked on a three-team trade that would have sent prospects to Tampa Bay, Shields and Davis to Arizona and Justin Upton to Texas. The Rays discussed this trade at the same time as they discussed possible deals with the Royals.
- Rival executives question Moore's decision to trade Myers, one of the game's top position player prospects, following a 72-win season. Yet as right-hander Jeremy Guthrie notes, “you can only stockpile prospects for so long.”
- The Royals face questions at second base, in the rotation and on the bench, Bob Dutton of the Kansas City Star reports. New additions Miguel Tejada and Elliot Johnson were acquired with the expectation that they'd make the team, though that's not absolute.
The Royals, as chronicled by MLBTR's Transaction Tracker, had a busy winter acquiring James Shields and Wade Davis in a blockbluster seven player trade, re-signing Jeremy Guthrie, and dealing for Ervin Santana and his $13MM salary. The Royals haven't reached the playoffs since winning the World Series in 1985. Could this be the year the post-season drought comes to an end? Bob Dutton of the Kansas City Star, in a Twitter Q&A exchange, says the list of things that have to go right for that to occur is shorter than in any season for maybe 20 years. Here are the other highlights from Dutton's weekend sessions:
- Dutton doesn't see the Royals extending Shields during the season and the likelihood of it happening after the season or next year isn't much better. Dutton argues why wouldn't Shields, who the Royals hold a 2014 team option, want to test the free agent market unless overwhelmed with an offer and why would the Royals make an overwhelming offer to a pitcher who will be 33.
- Elliot Johnson, the player to be named later in the Shields-Davis trade, was discussed as the final piece in the deal almost from the beginning. Johnson's inclusion as the PTBNL was announced one week after the Rays designated him for assignment.
- Dutton believes there's a good chance Johnson and Miguel Tejada both make the team as utility infielders, but adds neither is a lock.
- Jeff Francoeur, entering the final year of a two-year, $13.5MM contract extension he signed in August 2011, needs to show increased production to hold his job for the entire season.
- Dutton sees seven to nine guys making the Royals' 2013 Opening Day roster who weren’t with the team a year earlier.
The Royals have announced, via Twitter, the signing of infielder Miguel Tejada to a minor league contract. Dionisio Soldevila of the Associated Press, who first reported the agreement, has been told by both Tejada and his agent it is a MLB deal and the contract is worth $1.1MM plus $400K in performance bonuses (all Twitter links). ESPNDeportes.com's Enrique Rojas reports the deal will be converted to a Major League contract as soon as there is an opening on the Royals' 40-man roster (Twitter link in Spanish). Rojas also tweeted (link in Spanish) that Tejada told ESPNDeportes.com he's been given guarantees by the Royals he will make the team as a utilityman and second baseman.
"I'm very pleased with this. The contract with the Royals is a done deal. I'm going to try to help this team and their younger players. I'm so happy because this is what I was aiming for, a chance to get back to the majors," Tejada told the Associated Press (via ESPN.com).
Tejada signed a minor league contract with the Orioles last May. The 38-year-old requested his release after appearing in 36 games at Triple-A Norfolk with a slash line of .259/.325/.296 covering 151 plate appearances. Tejada last appeared at the MLB level with the Giants in 2011 posting a .239/.270.326 hitting line before being released.
Unimpressed by the third base market, the Marlins are turning to some veteran free agents with experience at the position. ESPN.com's Jayson Stark reports that the Marlins have been checking out Miguel Tejada in winter ball (Twitter link). The team has also kicked the tires on Placido Polanco and Brandon Inge, Stark reports.
Tejada didn't play at the MLB level in 2012, though the Orioles signed him to a minor league contract in May. The Diamondbacks are also interested in the 38-year-old and have offered him a minor league deal. Tejada, an SFX client, last appeared at the MLB level in 2011, posting a .239/.270/.326 batting line in 343 plate appearances with the Giants.
The market for Polanco has been quiet since the Phillies declined their half of the $5.5MM mutual option on his contract. The 37-year-old posted a .257/.302/.327 batting line in 328 plate appearances this past season, missing time with back injuries. ACES represents Polanco.
Similarly, the market for Inge has seemed quiet to this point in the offseason. The 35-year-old posted a .218/.275/.383 batting line with 12 home runs for the Tigers and Athletics this past season. Oakland hadn't ruled out re-signing the ACES client as of early November.
Approximately half of the free agents on MLBTR’s top 50 list remain unsigned, which means there will be lots of action in the next few weeks. Here are the latest free agent updates from around MLB…
- The Brewers, Red Sox and Royals are the "three main teams" looking at Ryan Dempster, reports Paul Sullivan of the Chicago Tribune (Twitter link). This would seem to eliminate the Cubs, who we recently heard weren't negotiating with Dempster.
- The Yankees are still talking to Ichiro Suzuki as they continue waiting to hear from Kevin Youkilis, Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com reports (on Twitter). Youkilis is weighing multiple offers and the Indians are also bidding for his services.
- The Royals and other teams seem “very cool” to Edwin Jackson, Bob Dutton of the Kansas City Star reports (on Twitter). In other words they aren't overly eager to spend aggressively on him.
- Braves GM Frank Wren said he has interest in certain outfielders as one-year stopgaps, ESPN.com’s Jerry Crasnick reports (on Twitter). The Braves need another outfielder, even after signing B.J. Upton.
- The Diamondbacks are very interested in Miguel Tejada, Enrique Rojas of ESPNDeportes.com reports (on Twitter, in Spanish). The team offered Tejada a minor league deal, but he’d like a guaranteed contract.
- The Marlins are only interested in Carl Pavano if he’ll accept a low base salary of $3MM or so plus incentives, Phil Mackey of ESPN 1500 reports (on Twitter). Pavano’s agent met with the Twins yesterday, Mackey adds.
Tejada played 35 games with the team's Triple-A affiliate, hitting .260/.327/.290 in 147 plate appearances. He hit .239/.270/.326 in 343 plate appearances for the Giants last season before being released.
Tejada, 37, contacted the Orioles about rejoining the team and they agreed to give him a look. He passed a physical yesterday and will remain in Extended Spring Training to work out. Tejada hit just .239/.270/.326 in 343 plate appearances with the Giants last season before being released in September. He spent 2004-2007 and the first half of 2010 with Baltimore, hitting .305/.354/.481 overall.
MONDAY: Tejada passed his physical and is expected to sign his minor league deal with the O's tomorrow, reports Roch Kubato of MASNsports.com (Twitter link).
FRIDAY: The Orioles are close to a deal with Miguel Tejada, reports Brittany Ghiroli of MLB.com (Twitter links). GM Dan Duquette told Roch Kubatko of MASNsports.com that they'll watch Tejada work out at the team's complex in Florida on Monday before officially signing him (Twitter link).
"We've got to take a look at him first," said the GM.
Tejada, 37, hit just .239/.270/.326 in 343 plate appearances with the Giants last season before being released in September. The SFX client spent 2004-2007 and the first half of 2010 with Baltimore, hitting .305/.354/.481 overall. Tejada could provide some third base depth is Mark Reynolds continues to struggle.
On this date in 2000, the Yankees signed Chien-Ming Wang as a 20-year-old amateur out of Taiwan for $1.9MM. The sinkerballer pitched to a 4.16 ERA in parts of five years with New York before hurting his shoulder and being non-tendered after the 2009 season. Here's the latest from baseball's two East divisions…
- Orioles GM Dan Duquette told Roch Kubatko of MASNSports.com that Miguel Tejada initiated contact with the team (Twitter link). Tejada will sign a minor league deal if he passes his physical on Monday, then will head to Extended Spring Training to work out.
- Adam Kilgore of The Washinton Post recapped a story told by GM Mike Rizzo at the Nationals Press Club luncheon. Rizzo spoke about his journey from minor league player to GM and the team's rise to contention.
- ESPN's Jim Bowden put together a list of trade candidates for the Yankees in wake of Mariano Rivera's torn ACL, including Brandon League, Joel Hanrahan, and Grant Balfour. The majority of MLBTR readers believe David Robertson should replace Rivera according to this morning's poll.
- The Blue Jays have started to show signs of contention in the AL East, writes Tim Brown of Yahoo! Sports. Toronto is 16-11 even though Jose Bautista has yet to really get going.
Don't expect Pedro to pull a Pettitte. Links are in Spanish…
- Bobby Abreu doesn't put a whole lot of stock in manager Mike Scioscia's prediction that the 38-year-old will get 400 plate appearances this season. "I've learned not to have much confidence in these people, but I hope they live up to what they told me," Abreu told Billy Russo at Lider en Deportes. "How long am I going to have to continue proving to people what I am, and what I'm able to do? At times it's like the work one does doesn't get appreciated, but here I am, and we'll continue the fight." Likewise, he said not knowing how much his time will be split between right field and DH has altered his preparation for the season. "It's clearly affected me, because I'm not used to that, and I don't know why they did it, but whatever; I'll keep on keeping on." Abreu said a month ago that he'd prefer being traded to playing off the bench.
- Pedro Martinez said in December that he would soon make his retirement official, but almost four months later, an announcement hasn't come. Martinez recently appeared on the television program El Despertador in his native Dominican Republic and said an official statement is nevertheless on the way. "We're working, and we're going to send out a press release," he said (as transcribed by Panorama Diario). "We're going to pick a date where we'll make an official announcement, and at the same time, give the Dominican public the opportunity to see it."
- Miguel Tejada still hasn't received any offers this offseason, but he has no plans to explore options in other leagues, the veteran infielder told the Dominican radio show Grandes en los Deportes (Twitter links.) "I play baseball because I like it. I don't have economic problems," Tejada said. "I believe there's still a lot of playing for me to do in the US."