The Mets avoided arbitration with Ruben Tejada, signing the shortstop to a one-year deal worth $1.1 million (Castillo, Jan. 16).
Tejada was projected to make $1 million this season (MLBTR).
Ike Davis, Lucas Duda, Dillon Gee, Daniel Murphy, Bobby Parnell and Eric Young Jr. are also eligible for salary arbitration and filed earlier this week.
Sandy Alderson recently said Tejada could start the season as the team’s shortstop (DiComo, Jan. 9), despite reports of interest in signing free-agent SS Stephen Drew.
“The same three alternatives exist: sign a free agent, make a trade, or go with what we have subject to probably bringing in a backup to Tejada,” Alderson said. “I’d say right now, it’s probably more likely that we will go with Option C, which is Ruben at shortstop with the addition of a backup.”
Special assistant JP Ricciardi recently said (WEEI, Dec. 28) the front office is happy to go with Tejada, who made trips this winter to a team-endorsed workout program in Michigan.
Matthew Cerrone, Lead Writer
In an ideal situation, I hear Alderson would prefer Tejada be a back-up, utility middle infielder, as opposed to the starting shortstop. However, the market is what it is, and, the fact is, Tejada had been a more productive shortstop than many of the available options. It could be worse, it’s not like Ruben doesn’t have a history of some success. It’s just, last year, he was a total waste.
Personally, I’ve gone back and forth on Tejada a million times since he joined the Mets. I went from thinking he was a smart, defensive-minded, middle-infield utility guy, to thinking he’s every-day shortstop, back to thinking he’s a utility player, to questioning whether he should even be on a roster, and back to thinking he can be a utility guy. I’m excited to see what he’s about this Spring. I’d love to see him win the job outright, not be a third option who gets it by default.