The Cardinals have announced that they’ve designated infielder Ruben Tejada for assignment. Mark Saxon of ESPN.com was first to report on Twitter that the DFA was likely. Tejada’s roster spot will be taken by Matt Carpenter, who’s returning from the paternity list.
St. Louis faced a choice between cutting Tejada loose and optioning Greg Garcia. The latter may have made the decision for the team with a highly productive game tonight. He’s now blasted two home runs (among eight total hits) and drawn seven walks in just twenty-one plate appearances.
Garcia, of course, has never hit at anything close to that rate in the minors. But the 26-year-old is clamoring for a larger opportunity, and Tejada no longer really is needed for the reason he was acquired.
St. Louis inked Tejada to a $1.5MM deal after he was cut loose by the Mets, with the Cards still trying to figure out what to do with Jhonny Peralta on the DL. In the interim, Aledmys Diaz has taken over at short and Peralta is now nearing a return, reducing the need for middle infield help with Garcia, Jedd Gyorko, and Kolten Wong also all on hand.
The 26-year-old Tejada has certainly not helped his cause. In 40 plate appearances, he owns a .176/.225/.235 slash. That doesn’t inspire much confidence given that Tejada has hit at about 15% below the league average rate over his career. Plus, he’s known more as a competent than a high-quality gloveman. All that being said, capable middle infielders who are competent offensively aren’t easy to find, so it seems reasonable to expect plenty of interest from teams looking for depth up the middle.