Part 3: Miguel Tejada and the Third Base HoleBy
Following up on yesterday’s discussion about a potential trade for Miguel Cabrera, our focus in third base should shift away from the young Marlins stud and on to some other, slightly less appealing options. The Yankees, you see, have announced that Phil Hughes, Joba Chamberlain and Ian Kennedy are all but untouchable. In a year in which the Yanks will have to fill that third base hole via a trade, this announcement still leaves the Yanks with a few appealing options.
For one of those options, we turn our attention south down I-95. Two hundred and two miles southwest of Yankee Stadium sits Camden Yards where the 31-year-old Miguel Tejada has manned short stop for the last three years. Now, the Orioles, according to a report in the Baltimore Sun, are ready to deal Tejada, and the price tag is not too steep.
According to the Sun, the Orioles are primarily looking for young, nearly Major League-ready position players. While the Yanks are short on that in their farm, the Orioles would not say no to a package with a few young arms either. As club President Andy MacPhail said of the beleaguered franchise, “Let’s get the young talent first, and then we’ll sort it out.”
And then along came Tyler Kepner with possibly the best news of the Yankee off-season: There’s a team out there actually interested in Krazy Kyle Farnsworth. That team just so happens to be the Baltimore Orioles. Are you thinking what I’m thinking? Could the Yanks really spin Farnsworth plus some lesser prospects to the Orioles for Miguel Tejada and the $26 million Tejada is owed over the next two season? I don’t see why not.
There is of course a rub. There always is. Miguel Tejada has played 1531 games at short stop during his career and zero at third base. The Yanks would have to convince Tejada – or, dare I suggest it, Derek Jeter – to switch to third base. I’m sure it won’t take much convincing if the Yanks can sell Tejada on playing for a winner.
At 31, Tejada’s on the down swing of a great career that has always seemed one step away from a major PED scandal. His power has declined a bit over the last few seasons, but he still seems good for about a .300/.360/.450 line. He stays healthy; he plays with intensity; and as Buster came oh-so-close to writing today, Tejada is a pretty good fit for the Yankees, all things considered.
I would almost say, with Farnsworth involved, that Tejada is the best option. They can ride it with Tejada for two years and then look at other options after 2009 when Miguel Cabrera hits the open market. Maybe I’m dreaming. Maybe the Orioles won’t give up a star player without much, much more in compensation. But I like this option quite a bit.