Tejada May Be Limping Away
Through everything that has happened with Ruben Tejada this postseason, one thing gets lost in the shuffle. He’s not a good SS and he’s starting to get expensive. With these things in mind, he’s not a lock to return in 2016:
Also, it doesn't sound as if Ruben Tejada is a slam dunk to be tendered a contract. Could be Matt Reynolds for that spot, competing for SS.
— Mike Puma (@NYPost_Mets) November 12, 2015
Tejada is expected to receive $2.5 million in arbitration. He cannot be a free agent until 2018. He may have poor range (-5.6 UZR), but he catches everything hit to him. He’s a career .255/.340/.323 hitter. Long story, short. He’s a major leaguer. Maybe not a great one, but a major leaguer nevertheless.
It also means he’s as asset. Yes, this is the second time he’s broken his right leg. I know he’s not what everyone imagined he would be when the other shortstop left in free agency. However, he’s a competent player who is not making that much money. Last time the Mets made a penny wise, pound foolish decision like this was Justin Turner, and we know how that worked out.
Tejada is about to turn 27, so you can argue he’s about to be entering the prime of his career. The Mets seem to be letting Daniel Murphy walk and installing Dilson Herrera at second. If Herrera isn’t ready, Wilmer Flores (the lesser of all evils at SS) would be the most likely candidate to play second. Except he can’t in that situation because the Mets non-tendered Tejada. Also, what happens if Flores repeats his early season SS struggles?
I’m sure the Mets will look to get someone to replace Tejada, but it’s slim pickings. Do you really want to see Jimmy Rollins or Alexei Ramirez there everyday? It’s one thing to bring them in and give them a chance, it’s another to have to rely upon them. This more than anything is the reason why Tejada is so important.
The Mets need to keep Tejada.