After playing his first six years of pro baseball with the New York Mets, Ruben Tejada is gone. Tejada went unclaimed through waivers and is now officially a free agent for the first time.
Tejada’s contract was tendered back in December, but New York added two middle infielders, Neil Walker and Asdrubal Cabrera, less than a month afterwards. Cabrera could potentially be on the DL when the regular season begins in just under 3 weeks, so the fourth year, Wilmer Flores may be starting off the season at short for the Mets, with fomer Rockie and Diamondback, Matt Reynolds serving as backup.
Tejada had the second longest tenure with the Mets coming into the season, only behind captain David Wright who commented on Tejada, “I will be rooting for Ruben and he will be missed.” Tejada had been healthy coming into Spring Training, despite missing the rest of the playoffs with a fractured right fibula after Chase Utley’s brutal slide into second base in NLDS Game 2.
Tejada his a career .255 with the Mets over his six year stint with the team, and played the bulk of his games at shortstop, making some starts at second base; he even saw 18 starts at third base last year after David Wright’s injury. He had 7 errors in 113 appearances in the field in 2015, 5 of them in his 81 games at shortstop.
When Tejada was originally placed on waivers, the interest level surrounding him was fairly low, given the $3 million price tag he brought along with him. Since the Mets cut him more than 15 days prior to Opening Day, they only have to cover 1/6 of the $3 million.
Currently, the most likely potential destination for the shortstop appears to be St. Louis, who saw its starting SS, Jhonny Peralta, suffer a thumb injury that will most likely bench him for at least a couple of months. The Mets are believed to be replacing Tejada with a backup catcher, or a righty who can provide more pop off the bench. Tejada had just 10 HRs in his 6 years in New York, including 3 last season.