From Shortstop to Stop Gap

January 20, 2010 |

With Spring Training just weeks away it’s looking like Miguel Tejada may be the Orioles last, best option at third base this season. The offseason started with such promise after the team traded for Kevin Millwood and signed Garrett Atkins and Mike Gonzalez within a few days. Those are significant additions to the roster, but the team is still sorely lacking a proven corner infielder.

Andy MacPhail stated earlier this week that he prefers to play Garrett Atkins at first base rather than third. That’s good news because it means that career minor leaguer Michael Aubrey most likely will not be the Opening Day first baseman. On the other hand it means the Birds need to find an everyday third baseman, all apologies to Ty Wiggington.

Former Oriole Miguel Tejada and former Twin Joe Crede are just about all that’s left of the free agent third basemen. Crede is the better defensive player, but he’s battled back injuries and has only played 234 games over the past 3 seasons. Signing Crede would most likely result in an early callup for prospect Josh Bell.

That brings us to Tejada. MacPhail dealt Tejada to the Astros after the 2007 season for 5 players, most notably Luke Scott. Tejada’s time in Baltimore was filled with run production and steroid controversy. I’m willing to overlook the steroid talk. The team signed admitted steroid user Brian Roberts to a $40 million so I doubt they’d take a moral stand at bringing back Tejada. Also, Tejada is still remarkably productive. He knocked in 86 runs and hit 46 doubles last year while playing 158 games. He’d fit perfectly in the #6 spot in the order behind Luke Scott and in front of Matt Wieters. I’m on board. Bring back Miggy on a one year deal with a club option.

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