The New York Mets have placed shortstop Ruben Tejada on waivers, the first step in what will likely mean the end of his time with the team. The Mets’ on-again, off-again starter at shortstop since 2011, Tejada was once again slated for a bench role this season after the team signed Asdrubal Cabrera to a two-year contract.
Tejada has a career .255 batting average and a .330 on-base percentage to go with three home runs and four stolen bases per season. In other words, he’s a perfectly adequate shortstop (Baseball-Reference.com lists former Mets shortstop Rafael Santana as a comparable player, and that sounds about right). And since he was due to make $3 million this season – nearly double his 2015 salary of $1.8 million – it seems the Mets realized it would be more in their interest to waive him than keep him. Assuming he passes through waivers, the Mets would be responsible for just $500,000 of that $3 million salary.
The St. Louis Cardinals could make a call to Tejada’s agent, to keep Jhonny Peralta’s seat warm until he comes back from his thumb injury in three months or so. The Los Angeles Dodgers might also kick the tires for some infield depth with prospect Corey Seager dealing with a knee injury. Or Tejada could possibly move to second base for a team that needs some depth there, since he has logged time in that position as well.
Tejada might be best known outside of Queens for being the victim of Chase Utley’s infamous slide in last year’s National League Division Series that resulted in a broken leg and a missed opportunity to play in the World Series. If the Dodgers were to sign him, he would be teammates with Utley and that would be one interested fly on the wall in that locker room. Wherever he ends up, it appears Tejada is completely recovered this spring and is ready to help a new team.