Community Projection: Miguel Tejada

It would appear to the layman, the unfamiliar, that Miguel Tejada’s miserable 2010 with the Orioles is a sign that he’s slowing down. It would also appear that his range has disappeared with age, as his last full season at short for the Orioles made the baby UZR King weep tears of blood1. It would appear like Tejada doesn’t have a lot left in the tank. Yes, it would appear as such, gentle reader, if you were so inclined; however, you may be surprised to know, barring some sort of calamity or there is something that could possibly counteract this thought, and b…

Alright, I got nothing.

It really seems like Miguel Tejada is going to be a dud on the offensive and defensive side for the Giants this year. A part of me wants to equate him to Juan Uribe – you take the bad defense and OBP to get a little pop at a position that doesn’t usually have players with pop – but Uribe’s defense is completely underrated. No one underrates Tejada’s defense. If his agent were to prepare one of those PowerPoint presentations for prospective suitors, it would probably be something meant to draw attention away from questions about defense, like a dozen slides with women in bikinis holding the MVP trophy.

 

But, hey, there’s also his time with the Padres to consider. It wasn’t all just Oriole implosion – when Tejada got to the Padres, he played a perfectly cromulent shortstop by most accounts, and he added a little power to a team that was starved for it. If Tejada could repeat his Padres performance – 104 OPS+ with defense that largely goes unnoticed – everyone would be thrilled. So there’s a chance that this deal could really, really work out, even if Tejada doesn’t win a World Series with a home run.

Still, I don’t have a good feeling about this one. It feels like I’ll look up at the scoreboard in July, and Tejada will be hitting .240/.280/.340, and he’ll still be chasing after a ground ball from Opening Day. But I’m completely okay with the signing.

The options were:

  • Start Brandon Crawford or Ehire Adrianza. This would have been a Bocockian bear trap in what would otherwise be a semi-legitimate offense. No dice.
  • Trade for someone. The Padres got Jason Bartlett, but it cost them some interesting players. A comparable trade for the Giants would have been Thomas Neal and Dan Runzler to start, and I’m not sure if that would have done it. That also ignores that Bartlett’s value supposedly comes from his defense, and his UZR has been holding hands with Thelma for the past couple of season, revving the engine of a ’66 Thunderbird.
  • Sign someone with a 20% chance of doing something of note, keep the prospects.

The correct answer might have been "trade for J.J. Hardy," whom the Orioles received for two lackluster relief prospects, but we’ll never know what the Twins wanted from the Giants, and the reason the Twins got pennies on the dollar is probably because the Giants signed Tejada, which took all sorts of leverage away for Minnesota. I’d guess that the Twins were asking for something a little more substantial before the Giants pulled out. That’s just a guess, of course.

So I don’t think Tejada will do well this year. But I don’t mind the Giants gambling on him. It’s a weird dynamic.

Also, my boss hopped in my office and said I could leave early today if included a mention of Bugle Boy Jeans in whatever I was writing. I have no idea why. But I can safely say that Tejada’s prime is so far in the past, it might as well be a pair of Bugle Boy Jeans. Or something. Now I can make happy hour.

Miguel Tejada

AB: 421
AVG: .254
OBP: .299
SLG: .381
HR: 11
UZR: -11 ÷ 0

1.Sabermetric Fairy Tales: Vol I, Harper Collins, 2009

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