The Mets were critical of Ruben Tejada. So what?

Matthew Cerrone, Lead Writer

Ruben Tejada was not bothered by hot stove talk about free-agent SS Stephen Drew, nor was he upset about the team’s criticism of his work, he told reporters in St. Lucie on Monday.

“I don’t think anything about that,” Tejada said. “I think only about my preparation, to come here and do my job. I pay attention only to me.”

Tejada is 24 years old. He’s had two decent seasons. He hit just .202 last year. In his best season, 2012, he still had below-average production when compared to other starting shortstops. He’s not an All-Star…

Ruben Tejada 1 (Baron)Yes, the Mets have spent the better part of the last year talking negatively about Tejada, mostly because they claim he showed up to camp last year out of shape. So what? Why is pushing him in public a bad thing?

OK, so maybe they look a tad foolish having to go back to him as an every-day player, but that’s only embarrassing if he continues to struggle. It’s popular in media to goof on the team now having to ‘sell us on Tejada,’ but what if, with new dedication and athletic training, he can exceed expectations? Then what? The story will likely then pivot to one of motivation instead of embarrassment.

These guys are professional baseball players. They earn what they get through performance, dedication and hustle. Why Tejada and not someone else? I don’t know. But, I’m told by people who know him that Tejada is a tough, smart kid with a good sense of humor. He should take it personally, and I hope it helps motivate him.

Tejada’s got the potential to be a good middle infielder, capable of doing a lot of little things to help the team win. So, keep pushing him, Mets, he has a lot to prove and you have nothing to lose…




101 comments
capnclutch
capnclutch

I get that tejada is still young and did have good success 2 seasons ago, but what if he does exactly what he did last season. It's not worth that risk. With drew at least you know what you're going to get.

Joe Paulson
Joe Paulson

"that’s only embarrassing if he continues to struggle"

raise your hand if you want to wait another season to see if adding him to a bunch of other question marks will work out. I see only limited takers.

mike23
mike23

Still hoping Drew is some how signed to a good contract sooner rather than later, than you can use Tejada as a backup at SS/2b

eric88
eric88

Mets management gambling on Tejada and letting Drew sign cheap somewhere else had better be right on this one. This SS issue has been on the Blogs and newspapers since Sandy said at the Winter Meetings in early December that his #1 priority at the meetings was getting a new SS. Everyone will be watching.

cver
cver

Throwing him under the bus in the press, whether they are keeping him or not seems to me to be rude and unprofessional.  If he needs to be called out in the press to get it together, he might not belong on the team.  The Mets have a bad track record, even recently, with weird stuff leaking both about their players and former players just freshly going out the door.  I wonder if the Dodgers are very concerned about Justin Tuner, for example and why the Mets had him for 2 years, if he was a problem.  Tejada and Ike should have either been traded or kept and it all done quietly, like professional front offices, which no matter what folks are going to say about how they got this prospect of that, they aren't really - even still. 

I also wonder about whether it was so wise to let your top pitching prospect throw "97 mph" so early in the spring.  Aren't they supposed to hold back early on?

hashburry
hashburry

I have no idea who this post is even directed to, or what the point is.  Reporters?  Mets management?  Tejada?  Cerrone's dog?

metstones
metstones

So by Cerrone's thinking if we were to say he is a lazy writer, keeps writing the same crap over and over not too mention he cowtows to the Mets brass then maybe he will get better at his job? I doubt it, just like I doubt Tejada will.

rstpigeon
rstpigeon

Ugh! You don't motivate people by publicly berating them. That's basic management. All this says is that this organization doesn't know how to conduct business.


It's appropriate for the manager and team leaders to approach him and deal with it, in private. constructively and professionally.The Mets, having taken this issue public not only look foolish, they look like bullies.


Disappointing post, Matt. I hope Tejada does well. I'll never believe it was due to their handling, though.

Macacawitz
Macacawitz

If you need to have it explained to you why bashing your players in public is a bad thing, you're beyond help.    You clearly have no idea - I mean NO idea - what it's like to be part of a team.  What a manager, a GM, or an owner says behind closed doors to a player is their business.  It's between them.  They have a right to call a player out if they feel the player is underperforming; but to do it in public is completely inexcusable.   The way this team is run is so far from what you might find in a professional organization, it borders on the ridiculous.  

Bob Giacalone
Bob Giacalone

It's bad management to publicly ridicule your players. He's no star--I'm not even sure he is serviceable--but you don't badmouth your players publicly because it sends a bad message to ALL players that the team isn't behind them when things go wrong (and they do--for all players at some point in their careers).

metstones
metstones

Just a little perspective of what Drew averages a year.


Avg.  HR  2B  3B  SLG  OBP

264   11   26   8    435    329


Does anyone think Tejada can put these kind of numbers up...ever? 

yankeehater
yankeehater

On a good team, Tejada is a utility middle infielder. Hopefully Ceccinni starts earning that #1 pick status this year. Peralta should have been the main target this year, followed by Granderson, a pitcher, and Nelson Cruz (I would have been happy with Loney as well). This was my wish-list in September and the Mets didn't abide by it....so shame on them when they win 75 games this year..

Mau Agudelo
Mau Agudelo

Matt just doesn't get it. The mets didn't want this guy, but because the Cardinals outbid them on the guy they wanted and they have no money to get another SS, then try are stuck with Tejada!

Tarheel11
Tarheel11

So if Stephen Drew were to sign with the Mets would there be any question as to whether he would be the starter? Could be me, but I'm assuming not. So then why is it that Tejada's own manager said he had to beat out Q for the starting job? Really? Beat out Q? That sounds like an all star!

Not that it matters because we aren't signing Drew anyway, but can we just stop with the Tejada is better than Drew garbage

DIY Degree
DIY Degree

Let's be honest with ourselves: wasn't Ruben Tejada always about making the best of a bad situation?


1)He became the starter because we were too broke to keep Reyes.  

2) He remained the starter because we had no minor league depth. 

3) Now he's starting again because trades didn't pan out and we're too broke to sign Drew. 


We've been getting "sold" on Tejada since day one. His presence on the team has never been about him being good. It's been about the appalling lack of alternatives driven by the team's inability or refusal to spend. 




Beamen321
Beamen321

I was under the impression that Tejada was an above average shortstop in 2012. And according to Fangraphs, it appears that Tejada is actually a better defensive SS then Drew. 

metstones
metstones

The starting SS on the New York Mets would not even start on the Long Island Ducks. Tejada's best season would pale in comparison to Drew in a average season.

baseballnblues
baseballnblues

@capnclutch Yes you do... you get Tejada (in a good year) with slightly more power for about $9.5 million more.

Alessandro Fustinoni
Alessandro Fustinoni

Drew sucks! Why do people still want this scrub?! I'd rather see Tejada there at 24 years old than Drew! Giving up on young players is just not a good idea! They leave Queens and help other teams! It's happened too often!

Alessandro Fustinoni
Alessandro Fustinoni

They've been throwing all off-season. Plus, it was his first day in front of everyone and he was amped up! it's normal.   Plus, Thor at 97 is only about 80%. Wait until he goes 100%. Seeds i say. the kid thhows seeds!!

baseballnblues
baseballnblues

@rstpigeon Yes. the Mets have a nasty habit of using the NY media as a "motivator" for players. Too bad they haven't learned that this really doesn't do anything but make people bitter. However, I do believe that Tejada will bounce back strong this year but will be gone by next season no matter how he performs. The Mets will certainly look to free agency for SS next offseason, which is why they are reluctant to sign Drew as well as more than happy to run Tejada out there every day and see if he's still got something of value.

Alessandro Fustinoni
Alessandro Fustinoni

They won't be saying anything this season.. This season is going to be a magical one in Flushing! Pitching, Pitching, Pitching! Everything else is going to fall into place!

Bob Giacalone
Bob Giacalone

@PL Worthington III They'll promise that 2015 will be the Mets year. Then, they'll do the same for 2016. In the meantime, stupid Mets' fans will continue to pay high prices for tickets to a sub-par team. 



Alessandro Fustinoni
Alessandro Fustinoni

Absolutly. 2b's he can, batting average he can and has done it before and OBP he can. I will take that over that scrub's line any day of the week. He doesnt have to hit me 11 HR's. We have Wright, Young, Grandy, Ike and TDA that hit dingers. Give us great D and decent offensive #'s and we'll be fine!

Dan Bahr
Dan Bahr

@metstones The point is not whether or not Tejada can put up those kinds of numbers;  it's whether those numbers are worth $10 million per year or more as well as the loss of a draft choice.  I think not.

DIY Degree
DIY Degree

@Mau Agudelo  I agree, although to play devil's advocate, it must put Sandy, Terry, etc. in a very tough position. Everyone knows Tejada was their backup plan. They wanted another SS desperately and now have to pretend they preferred Tejada all along. 

Best they can hope for is a breakout season that makes them look brilliant. Unfortunately, it feels like that is the basic strategy for the entire roster. 

Starz31
Starz31

@Tarheel11  No one is saying Tejada is better than Drew. The only point to make is that Tejada is a much better value than Drew. And if Drew were signed to a $10+ million/yr deal, he would be starting. There's no conspiracy there. 

ken1010
ken1010

I don't mind Tejada.  He might have potential to be an average shortstop.

But I don't want to see Quintanilla  this year at all!!!!  Sorry Q, but you're 32 with a lifetime OPS+ of 56.  

Chapter 7
Chapter 7

Worst part is they "sold" him to us as a capable replacement to Reyes, we saw his abilities or lack there of, they bashed his work ethic, and now they're trying to sell him to us again. All while a significant upgrade is available for a little more $$$.

Starz31
Starz31

@DIY Degree  He had some potential in 2011 and 2012. He was a solid option after Reyes. And at his age he had a decent glove and range with a good enough bat. If he could hit consistently, like he did in 2012, then we wouldn't be having this conversation because he would be a bargain SS and a decent #8 hitter. 

metzfan22
metzfan22

@metstones  Yeah, because Drew is Ernie Banks all of a sudden. Gimme a break. If he was any good, he'd have been signed already. 

strato
strato

I want to smoke what this guy smokes

thehat
thehat

@Dan Bahr @metstones  Fangraphs disagrees with you.  They had Drew valued at 16 mil and 18 mil his last 2 seasons without the horrific ankle injury.

DIY Degree
DIY Degree

@Starz31 I agree, he showed some flashes. But flashes is all they were. Would any team trade us their starting SS for Tejada right now? I think that's a great and revealing question. 

metstones
metstones

@Beamen321 @metstones  Really? Not counting the 2 injury short seasons can you explain how Drew has had some very bad seasons?

Alessandro Fustinoni
Alessandro Fustinoni

Drew is worth 6 mill a year if that! Right on Dan! Preach on my brotha! preach on!

Starz31
Starz31

I think they should go after him for a one year deal and that's it. He's just not worth more than that but we would be our best SS option for this season. I just don't think he settles for less than $10million, and that's probably why he's still a FA.

metstones
metstones

@Starz31 @metstones @Dan Bahr  Never said a contract for a few seasons to drew. I would offer him a 2 year deal for 20 mill. If he wants an option to walk after 1 year than make it 8 mill year 1 and 12 mill year 2. 

Starz31
Starz31

@metstones @Dan Bahr  The message it would send is, hey, "The Same Old Mets are back: instead of letting young players develop in a so-so year, we're going to overpay a veteran to help this team win one more game then we would've and now we're stuck with this bad contract for a few more seasons. Lets go mets!"

metstones
metstones

@Dan Bahr @metstones  Every player in the league more than 4 years is overpaid. Imo Drew is worth 10 mill a year on the New York Mets not only because of what he can do on the field but the message it sends to the fans and in return the fans coming to the ballpark and thus more cash in Freddie's pockets.

Dan Bahr
Dan Bahr

@metstones @Dan Bahr Not at all.  Spending more money than an average player is worth is stupidity.  Deciding whether or not Drew's cost is worth his talents is simply good management.  I wanted the Mets to shell out big bucks for other players such as Peralta, Abreu and Tanaka.  Drew, however, is just not worth the cost.

metstones
metstones

@Dan Bahr  If only the ticket prices were a direct reflection of the team's payroll.

jlga
jlga

If it were just Tejada. But we have a .205 hitter at catcher, a .220 hitter at first, a .205 hitter in left, a .242 hitter in center and a .229 hitter in right. Add the pitchers spot and that's 7 of the 9 members of the lineup hitting under .245.

They could improve at short. But they didn't. Whatever the cost doesn't matter unless they plan on taking the money they're not giving to Drew and lowering their prices. But since they're still charging top dollar then they need to put a top product on the field. Tejada is not that product.

Starz31
Starz31

@metstones @metzfan22  That's not the argument. And it's hilarious that fans wanting the team to stay away from bad contracts  are automatically drinking he cool-aid.

The argument isn't who is a better player; it's who is a better value. Drew is not $10-20  million better than Tejada.

Starz31
Starz31

@metstones @Starz31 @Beamen321  It has to be evaluated tho. His best season was four years ago. That's important. Last year, he was an average SS. There's no indication that he will improve on this and revert back to what he did in 2010. Again, this isn't about hating on Drew. It's about whether or not he's $10-20 million more valuable than Tejada. I'd rather go without him and then re-evalaute the position next season. I don't think we sign Drew for just one year, I think it would require two years and I'd rather have next year open. He's a complimentary player on a winning team. We're not there yet. 

Starz31
Starz31

@metstones @Beamen321  Why would you just throw out two of his last three years, tho? His best season was 4 years ago. 

metstones
metstones

@Beamen321 @metstones  No his entire career not counting 2011 and 2012 which were injury shortened seasons. The answer is really none so you must be looking at those 2 seasons which he had injuries.

Beamen321
Beamen321

@metstones @Beamen321  So your question is, aside from two out of the last three years, when has Drew had a very bad season? Players don't usually get injured less as they age. Those injury plagued seasons count too.