Don’t Be Surprised If Ruben Tejada Remains Shortstop Starter

Considering how things have unfolded in the shortstop market, speculation is the Mets will give Ruben Tejada another chance to live up to the expectations he generated two years ago.

Stephen Drew, who would have been ideal at Citi Field, had too expensive a price tag for even the Red Sox, so there was no way he was coming to Flushing.

TEJADA: Could remain starter.

TEJADA: Could remain starter.

The Mets’ next choice, Jhonny Peralta, wound up with St. Louis, which is just as well because as a PED user, his production must be viewed skeptically. And, $52 million over four years is excessive under those conditions.

I’ve never been a Tejada fan. I don’t believe he hustles and his sometimes lack of work ethic and commitment is annoying. However, his attendance at a fitness camp in Michigan – along with Lucas Duda and Wilmer Flores – presents him in a different light.

It demonstrates an effort, and at this point, that’s something important to the Mets.

Two years ago, his first as a starter in the post-Jose Reyes era, Tejada didn’t report to spring training early as manager Terry Collins wanted. He wasn’t technically late, but Collins believed Tejada should have demonstrated more enthusiasm in preparing for his first season.

Was Collins wrong for thinking that? No. Was Tejada wrong for not reporting early? Technically, no, but he did leave a bad impression.

Tejada redeemed himself with a good season, hitting .289 with a .333 on-base percentage. However, Tejada got off to a horrible start, both in the field and at the plate last year. Following an injury and lengthy stay in the minor leagues, Tejada finished with a .202 average and .259 on-base percentage at the time his season ended with a broken leg.

Economically, Tejada made $514-thousand last year, his third in terms of service time, so the Mets know they won’t pay a lot of money.

There’s literally not a better option in the free agent market, at least not one with an injury history – Rafael Furcal – or who’ll want an excessive amount of money.

The Mets’ timetable to pose serious competition has now been pushed back to 2015 following the season-ending injury to Matt Harvey.

Given that, plus the economic factors, paltry market and nothing in the farm system – Flores is not an option – it makes sense to give Tejada another opportunity.

If Tejada plays the way he did two years ago, that’s something the Mets can live with. And if not, then there’s always next year.

ON DECK: How Mets’ 2014 roster currently shapes up.

9 thoughts on “Don’t Be Surprised If Ruben Tejada Remains Shortstop Starter

    • I believe in Omar Infante. Never looked at him as a target. He comes across as the gritty type, one that’s able to perform under the NY spotlight. Just checked the link, good article, I’ll reply to it later. Espinoza, got my attention, being a realistic option. Castro, you’d figure would be so prohibitive in terms of prospects. Between the three teams with an embarrassment of riches at the shortstop position, TB, ARI, OAK, you’d think that the Mets could get creative with one, and not have to give up a ‘good young power arm’ which I am not willing to do. Obviously I have no say in the matter, but would be crushed, as a fan, if we gave up on one of our kids.

  1. Let Tovar and Flores compete with Tejada for
    SS! Yes I said Flores because he played SS in the minors for years and what do they
    have to lose? Wouldn’t 70+ rbis look good at SS? As far as Tovar not playing AAA
    he and Tejada would bat 8th for now so it wouldn’t hurt us to bad but Flores would
    bat higher in the order! This would also save us from trading Montero!

    • I could live with that scenario. I’ve watched plenty of Tovar, being a resident of Binghampton. He finished with the highest BA in the second half, is touted as having great range, and is a line drive hitter.

    • I like the idea of giving Flores a chance at the job for the same reason. He played SS before and has shown power. Better than a quasi-washed up Furcal.

      • Well, I’m a Furcal advocate, and would not be if I thought he was washed up. Tommy John surgery should be amongst the least concerning injuries for a SS, considering the success rate for pitchers. That said I respect your opinion and believe that Flores getting a chance is plausible scenario, and one I’m open to exploring.

  2. I have been thinking of Furcal for a handful of reasons.
    A) The Mets have SS targeted as a position they need to upgrade and feel that Furcal, would thrive in NYC if given the opportunity.
    B) DIrt cheap, short term, low risk, fits the mold.
    C) Maybe Tejada, relegated to back up, takes it as a real kick in the teeth and acquires the competitive edge the team’s apparently looking for.
    D) With 2015 being a realistic year of making a nice run, and 2014 being a year we “dumpster dive” bridging the gap, Furcal could pay out in spades. Lightning in a bottle, easy to envision with Furcal.
    E) I want to get my hands in the dumpster and collect as many crusty Vets as possible.
    F) Furcal will not cost prospects, and will not hinder are future. If we traded for a SS, then we’d have to pray that he could play ball as a NYM. SO many hitters fail given that task. My gut says, Furcal, is the type that would relish the opportunity.
    G) Buy low, and maybe sell high, ala Marlon Byrd.

    Good article, I hate the idea of 2014 being cast aside. I will not give up hope unless were 10 games out, with 50 to go. Or something along those lines. Be back later to check out the next post, I see you have one on deck.

  3. I would not be surprised to see Ruben as the starter.

    I have already given up on the offseason.

    This was the year to build a base so we can make some noise in 2015. Going through yet another year of crap signings because the owner is broke sucks