Miguel Tejada to the Giants: Okay. I guess. Whatever.

It’s understandable to hate the Miguel Tejada signing if you...

  • thought the Giants were going to pull out a hidden cache o’ cash and make a run for Carl Crawford or Jayson Werth with the money they’d save by starting Ryan Rohlinger
  • think that by having a lower payroll than expected, the Giants could then spend more on the draft and international free agents
  • believe that the money paid to Tejada could instead have been squirreled away to help sweeten an eventual extension to Tim Lincecum or Matt Cain.
  • are convinced that the Giants could have acquired one of Marco Scutaro, J.J. Hardy, or Jason Bartlett without giving up much more than a superfluous middle reliever and/or a C prospect.
  • didn’t mind the idea of the Giants going with an in-house option like Brandon Crawford, Manny Burriss, or Ryan Rohlinger
  • would have embraced a three-year, $21M deal for Juan Uribe
  • think Tejada is completely incapable of playing passable defense at short

All of those are good reasons to be disgruntled. But I can’t commit to a single one. The Giants weren’t ever going to get Crawford or Werth. The draft-bonus-for-Tucker gambit was an anomaly, and it doesn’t work in reverse. The money saved on the 2008 Giants ($76M total payroll) never made its way back to the roster, so I don’t see why the 2011 payroll should affect the possible 2013 free agents. The shortstops on the trade market were warty little critters, and their current teams are probably asking for an uncomfortable amount in return. The in-house options all stink. Uribe is overpaid now, and I’m fine with the Giants passing . And Tejada is probably below-average defensively, but only in that familiar and steady Edgar Renteria kind of way.

So, like, whatever. The Giants were completely hosed from the moment the season ended. Thomas Neal for Hardy/Bartlett, or money thrown at an overpriced Tejada? I probably take Tejada. Pay $20M+ for Uribe or Tsuyoshi Nishioka, or a one-season tourniquet? Tejada, probably. Start the season with Ryan Rohlinger, a natural third baseman who has had all of 320 minor league chances at shortstop in his career? You get the idea. I could have talked myself into a lot of the other options, but since Tejada is the answer, I zipped past the first four stages of grief and nestled right into acceptance.

Would have preferred stale Hydrox for Scutaro or Hardy if that’s all it took. Could have talked myself into Uribe for three years. Probably would have ditched Huff and Uribe to start Belt and Other if it meant Crawford or Werth in left. Can’t get worked up about Miguel Tejada. Just can’t. At some point, you start frothing over one-win WAR gaps that are largely based on disputable and volatile defensive numbers, and that’s when you need to have a cocktail, step back for a bit, and admit the projected difference over 162 games isn’t worth frothing over.

Actually, the correct answer was probably Renteria for $2M or $3M. Funny, that.

I’ll hope and secretly believe that Tejada can hold off age-related disintegration for another season, while still griping about every out he makes next season. That’s having it both ways, and it’s a technique used by intellectually dishonest and bitchy internet opinion-makers. You should try it. It’s fun.

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