Miguel Tejada Rumors

Quick Hits: Biogenesis, Abreu, Mariners, A's

Major League Baseball considers the Biogenesis investigation closed in terms of looking into players, but they're still investigating the possible involvement of some agents, according to Bob Nightengale of USA Today (on Twitter).  Here's more from around baseball..

  • Speaking of Biogenesis, MLB released a statement saying that Miguel Tejada did not warrant any discipline based on what they uncovered in the investigation, tweets Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times.  Of course, Tejada will still have to serve his 105-game suspension for amphetamine use.
  • Jose Dariel Abreu is working on establishing residency in Haiti and there isn't an open showcase scheduled yet, according to Jesse Sanchez of MLB.com (on Twitter).  Abreu has drawn interest from several clubs so far including the Red Sox, Orioles, Pirates, and White Sox.  
  • The status of Mariners GM Jack Zduriencik is expected to be updated if not entirely clarified within the next few days, people familiar with the situation tell Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com.  When asked about speculation that the M's could make a play for Brian Cashman, club president Chuck Armstrong spoke positively of the Yankees GM but wouldn't discuss him in context.
  • The Athletics continue to look for catching help as they have been for the past couple of weeks or so, tweets Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle.
  • In retrospect, the Cardinals really could have used Kyle Lohse this season, writes Jeff Gordon of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

Quick Hits: Moreno, Pujols, Tejada, Benoit

Angels owner Arte Moreno is already in the process of evaluating the 2013 season and how to get the team back on track in 2014, as he explained in an interview with Barry M. Bloom of MLB.com.  Moreno said that the jobs of manager Mike Scioscia and general manager Jerry Dipoto would be evaluated as part of an organization-wide review that includes himself -- "I have to look in the mirror and say, 'Am I making the right call?'" Moreno said.  The owner also discussed roster moves that backfired, stadium talks with the city of Anaheim, how the Dodgers' success impacts the Angels and several other topics.

Here are more items as we wrap up a busy Monday in baseball...

  • Albert Pujols will be shut down for the rest of the season, the Angels confirmed today.  The slugger suffered a partial tear of the plantar facia of his left foot and hasn't played since July 26.  Pujols was bothered by foot injuries for much of the year and hit .258/.330/.437 with 17 homers in 443 PA, the worst season of his 13-year career.
  • Miguel Tejada was also facing a suspension for his involvement in the Biogenesis scandal before accepting his 105-game suspension for amphetamine use, ESPN's Pedro Gomez reports.  Major League Baseball gave Tejada the choice of accepting his 105-game ban or facing further punishment for his Biogenesis ties.  Gomez notes that Tejada "insists he does not plan to retire" though given Tejada's suspension, age (39) and decline in production, it's tough to see a team signing him this winter.  After not playing in the majors in 2012, Tejada hit .288/.317/.378 over 167 PA in a reserve role with the Royals this year.
  • Joaquin Benoit in a much better contractual position as he approaches free agency this winter than he was in the 2009-10 offseason.  MLB.com's Zack Meisel talks to Benoit about how he considered retirement due to shoulder injuries that caused him to miss the entire 2009 season, but rebounded to become one of the game's better relievers and now the Tigers closer.
  • Scott Boras and Jay Z have a fundamental disagreement about the role of an agent, Brian Costa of the Wall Street Journal explains.  "It is at once a clash of egos and ideas. At issue: To what extent are established agents like Boras missing out on marketing and endorsement opportunities for their clients? And to what extent should a baseball player even care?" Costa writes.  Robinson Cano, the top free agent of the coming offseason, made waves when he left Boras in April and hired CAA and Jay Z's Roc Nation Sports to handle his representation.

AL Central Notes: Tejada, Abreu, Indians, Gardenhire

Earlier this afternoon, Royals infielder Miguel Tejada was suspended for 105 games after a pair of positive tests for Adderall. Tejada will serve his suspension for the rest of this season and is expected to retire rather than sign with a team and serve the remainder of the punishment in 2014. He issued the following statement:

“I apologize to my teammates, the Royals organization and to the Kansas City fans. I have a medical condition that requires medication to treat. I took that medication while re-applying for a Therapeutic Use Exemption. Under the requirements of the Joint Drug Program, I made a mistake in doing so.”

Here's more out of the AL Central...

  • The White Sox will attend Cuban first baseman Jose Dariel Abreu's showcase next month, writes Dan Hayes of CSN Chicago. Executive vice president Kenny Williams told Hayes that the Sox need to see more of Abreu before making a decision, but spending money is something the team isn't afraid to do. Paul Konerko is a free agent at season's end, and Adam Dunn will be off the books following 2014.
  • In his latest Q&A with readers, Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer writes that while Alex Rios would've been a good fit with the Indians, the financial commitment to him was too much for the Tribe. Hoynes also tackles questions on acquiring a middle-of-the-order bat and Asdrubal Cabrera's struggles and trade value.
  • Twins manager Ron Gardenhire told Mike Berardino of the St. Paul Pioneer Press that he's not worrying about his own future following the dismissal of Phillies manager Charlie Manuel yesterday: "In all honesty, this is my 12th year (managing the Twins). It doesn't get much better than that. Managers just don't stay in places like that. I feel like I've been blessed. I'm lucky. I'm not going to sit here, if this is my last year, and mope, believe me. If it is my last year in Minnesota, I'm going to enjoy the hell out of it." Prior to Manuel's firing, he, Gardenhire and Mike Scioscia of the Angels were baseball's longest-tenured managers.

Miguel Tejada To Be Suspended For 105 Games

1:25pm: Bob Nightengale of USA Today tweets that Tejada did file an appeal, but he ultimately lost and will serve the entirety of the 105-game ban.

12:56pm: Royals infielder Miguel Tejada will be suspended for 105 games by MLB for the use of the banned amphetamine Adderall, Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports reports. Passan explains that, as Tejada had already tested positive in the past, two more recent positive tests provided the basis for the suspension, which is the third-longest in MLB history. (The second positive test resulted in a 25-game ban, with the third adding an additional 80 games.)

Tejada has elected not to appeal the suspension. Already on the 60-day DL, his suspension will nevertheless be applied over this season's 41 remaining games. Passan says that the 39-year-old former MVP is expected to retire rather than sit out the 64 additional games at the beginning of next year.

After failing to make a big-league appearance in 2012, Tejada signed a minor league deal with the Royals this past off-season. Appearing primarily at second and third, Tejada had posted a reasonably productive .288/.317/.378 line over 167 plate appearances for the Royals this season.

Quick Hits: Lohse, Crosby, Tejada

Kyle Lohse may not sign with a team until after the first-year player draft takes place in June, writes Jim Bowden of ESPN.com (Insider sub. required).  Where might Lohse sign?  Bowden writes that the Rangers are the most likely destination if he signs before Opening Day, while the Brewers, OriolesAngels, and Reds are also candidates. Here are more links from around MLB...

  • Recently released infielder Bobby Crosby will look to continue his comeback with an MLB team, according to Adam McCalvy of MLB.com. The Brewers released Crosby yesterday after determining that his chances of making the Opening Day roster were slim, but agent Paul Cohen said his client aims to continue playing.
  • MLB owners are moving toward eliminating the pension plans of non-uniformed employees, Adam Rubin of ESPNNewYork.com reports. White Sox owner Jerry Reinsdorf has opposed the idea, which will be put to the vote in May. Most owners now want to abolish the pension plan, Rubin reports. This would affect front office executives and scouts, among others.
  • Miguel Tejada has already asked about managing the Dominican Republic team at the next World Baseball Classic in 2017, Danny Knobler of CBSSports.com reports. "We'll see," said Moises Alou, the general manager of the Dominican team. Tejada, a veteran of 15 MLB seasons, last played at the MLB level with the 2011 Giants.

Zach Links contributed to this post.

Royals Notes: Shields, Davis, Tejada

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.

Royals Notes: Shields, Johnson, Tejada, Francoeur

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.

Royals Agree To Sign Miguel Tejada

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.

The Diamondbacks and Marlins had also shown interest in the SFX client this offseason.

Marlins Eyeing Tejada, Polanco, Inge

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.

Free Agent Rumors: Dempster, Ichiro, Jackson, Tejada

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.

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