What initially appeared to be an internet hoax has transformed into a real possibility as the Orioles appear set on signing veteran infielder Miguel Tejada.
The 37-year-old will report to the team’s spring training facility in Sarasota to take a physical and work out on Monday. Assuming the physical shows no surprises, it is believed the Orioles will sign him to help improve their depth at third base.
Tejada has had two other stints in Baltimore, playing for the Orioles from 2004 to 2007 and for part of the 2010 season. The aging infielder spent the 2011 season with the San Francisco Giants, hitting .239 with four home runs and 26 runs batted in in 92 games while playing shortstop, third base, and second base. He posted a career-low .596 OPS for the offensively-challenged Giants.
With Mark Reynolds struggling at the plate and in the field, the Orioles have used Wilson Betemit more than expected at third base, where he is not strong defensively. Tejada may provide a slight upgrade defensively over Reynolds or Betemit, but it’s difficult to justify his addition considering how dramatically he’s declined offensively over the last three seasons.
A Tejada signing would be the second veteran addition since the start of the season after executive vice president of baseball operations Dan Duquette signed infielder Bill Hall to a minor-league contract last month. It might be a low-risk move, but Tejada is a far cry from the hitter he was even three years ago let alone the man who drove in 150 runs in his first season with the Orioles in 2004.
It is unclear how much time Tejada would need in extended spring training before potentially joining the big league club.