Feb 21, 2013; Surprise, AZ, USA; Kansas City Royals shortstop Miguel Tejada (24) poses for a picture during photo day at the Royals Spring Training Facility. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

Tejada Officially Added To Roster, Added Value Is Questionable

It took 36 at-bats, just 36, for the Royals to see all they needed to see out of a 38 year-old middle infielder that hasn’t played major league baseball since 2011.

The Kansas City Royals on Sunday officially announced that Miguel Tejada has been added to the roster and will be traveling to Chicago to start the season as part of the big league club.

At the time of the announcement, the Miguel Tejada acquisition was the most #Royaling thing the Royals could do: allow a player to be put under contract that was not only old, not only not any good anymore, but he hadn’t even played in over a full season. Surely the initial reaction was just overblown, right? This was just a depth move for depth’s sake, and Tejada still had to do enough to prove he deserved to be on the roster.

Well that, and those of us that have followed the Royals under Dayton Moore, knew there was no way Miguel Tejada wasn’t breaking camp on the 25-man roster.

Tejada played in 16 games for the Royals in Arizona, collecting 12 hits and walking only once (no surprise there).* He played in another seven games for the Dominican Republic in the highly irrelevant, and oddly timed preseason tournament forcing allowing players being paid by an employer to risk injury for someone other than them, World Baseball Classic, collecting another six hits and walking one more time.

*pun not intended. Death to puns.

So in all it only took 55 spring at-bats for the Royals to determine that Tejada was fit for major league playing time? Or, was this move predetermined?

“We got great reports on him in winter ball and I wanted to see the whole package and I was very impressed,” Yost said in the story posted by Dick Kaegel.

“Whole package.” What the Royals really saw was a near-40 year-old playing games in the Mexican League against meh competition, and a handful of scattered at-bats in the spring, against meh competition, and decided $1.1 million was a fair price for the player.

Or was it…

“He still has plenty of bat speed, he’s versatile in terms of being a kid that can play third, second and first base, and shortstop. And tremendous leadership and tremendous experience,” Yost said, in the same story.

There’s the magic phrase: leadership and experience.

Miguel Tejada was last a good player in 2009, which was four years ago. He last played in the major leagues in 2011, which was two years ago. But somehow his “leadership and experience”, on a team that all of a sudden is filled with leadership-and-experience-narrative dudes, overshadows any tangible value or any very tangible risk.

Baseball payrolls and player acquisitions – especially for a small market – is about playing the odds. Odds are Jeff Francoeur will not repeat his “great” 2011 (in which he was just perfectly average), because he’s had more awful seasons than average ones. And odds are that Miguel Tejada will be little more than a drain on the payroll with limited production both offensively and defensively. Maybe there’s a chance this a good pickup and Tejada is actually production. There just aren’t any objective measures that say that’s possible.

And the bigger issue is there’s a player in the organization in Irving Falu who could provide exactly the same value, for half the cost.

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Tags: Kansas City Royals Miguel Tejada

  • jimfetterolf

    Is Tejada the new Yuni? I admit that I see no need for two UIF unless one is blindingly fast or something useful for PR/PH. Would have preferred Lough being kept or even Max Ramirez. Maybe the eyeballs saw something, that’s the curse of KC sports journalism, don’t seem to have anyone commenting on range, bat speed, field smoothness, any of the things management is looking at to make a decision.

    Let us mark this day, we may agree on something :)

    • Kevin Scobee


      There are just too many reasons not to have him on the team. Ramirez would add some pop off the bench, Lough is probably the third best outfielder and should be starting in right. But Tejada doesn’t serve a purpose.

      If its about leadership, make him a coach. Don’t waste $1 MM on a roster spot that could be used on younger, more capable talents. I just don’t get it.

      We also agree that Alex Gordon leads off a real game in just over 7 hours from now, and that’s damn awesome. :)

      • jimfetterolf

        This thread came to mind yesterday when Frenchy was facing a tough righty late, I caught myself wishing David Lough was on the bench after Dyson had been used as PR. Oh well…

        • Michael Engel

          Not super sure they’d have pinch-hit anyway. Tactically sound decision to make though. But it would have been nice to have had the option present.

          • jimfetterolf

            Having David Lough, who earned a look, would make a possible platoon seamless, starting off easy with a PH, then getting more frequent when facing a “tough” righty, then sample size could grow to become “official”.

            I do think Frenchy has a very short leash and I also wouldn’t be surprised to learn that the handshake with Tejada is he stays at the majors for awhile, then is released and becomes a coach if he can’t produce. Just hope Dave Lough hits the ground running in Omaha.

          • Kevin Scobee

            I was thinking about this (like you) and then come here and you’ve pretty much already said what I was going to. But I’ll beat the horse a little more.

            Elliot Johnson is a career journeyman whose only value is that he can play multiple positions. We could assume he plays them well, but odds are he’s mostly average. Two years ago he was a +4 fielder, last year he was a minus-6. Not a real amount of time in either year to discern one way or another, but when a guy doesn’t make it to the majors until he’s 27 and has never been a regular, he’s exactly the kind of guy a team should be looking to upgrade from, and not looking to acquire. (this is a tangent sorry)

            What we know for sure about Johnson is that he can’t hit. Like, at all. So he has no value as a late-inning pinch hitter.

            So that leaves the only guy on the bench that’s capable of pinch hitting in Miguel Tejada, who himself, mostly can’t hit anymore.

            So that leaves the only two pinch-hitting options being two guys that can’t hit, and because Tejada and Johnson are both, essentially, the same player at this point in there careers, why on Earth is there a need for *both* of them?

            This is a roundabout way of saying there’s no reason David Lough isn’t on the team. He doesn’t need to play everyday, but at this point in his career, he’s not going to be an everyday player anyway. Lough should at best be platooning with Francoeur who’s worse of a hitter against righties than Johnson is overall, and at worst (Lough) is a legitimate late-inning pinch hitting option when Francoeur is batting against a right-handed pitcher.

            Sheesh. I’m done now.

  • http://twitter.com/nikadimuz Kris Higdon

    Yes, choice of back-up middle infielder is going to kill this team! Why do I read these dumbasses?

    • Michael Engel

      That’s a very good question. Why DO you, anyway?

    • Kevin Scobee

      When there’s only so much money the organization can spend and when there’s a cap on roster spots, there is no such thing as a meaningless position. Backup middle infielders are important.