The Padres and Miguel Tejada

Padres’ beat writer Corey Brock tweeted yesterday afternoon that the team has interest in Miguel Tejada. Truthfully it’s hard to understand why. Tejada could potentially take third base or maybe shortstop. Right now, the Pads are using Chase Headley and Evereth Cabrera at those positions with a sprinkle of Jerry Hairston Jr. at shortstop. In name value alone, Tejada reigns supreme. Name value isn’t helping to solidify the Padres’ playoff chances though.

Tejada turned 36 in late May and his wOBA is bordering the .300 mark. He does not walk much (nor does he fan constantly) but his power seems to be on the heavy decline, making him a pretty limited offensive contributor. Headley has a park unadjusted wOBA of .321. ZiPS projects their bats to play about equal from here forward, but you have to assume the upside is higher with the player a decade younger. Even if the two are equal at the dish – and there is reason to believe they are not – Headley is a superior baserunner and a better fielder too.

Cabrera is having a rough season. He’s hitting .207/.268/.297 with a decent – if below modest expectations – batting average on balls in play. His walk rate is down and his strikeout rate is up. Even still, it is hard to imagine the Padres replacing him with Tejada. The Orioles are as void of shortstop talent as Keanu Reeves’ jean pockets and even they can’t be bothered to play him there and call up Joshua Bell on a permanent basis. Maybe Baltimore is simply clueless when it comes to evaluating defense, or maybe Tejada’s time as a big league shortstop has passed.

Acquiring a righty with pop and a more reliable shortstop makes sense for San Diego. Realistically Tejada can no longer be counted on to fill either of those holes. Consider it a minor upset if the Padres trade for Tejada at anything but closeout prices. Even then, the Friars’ time could be more wisely spent asking Baltimore about Luke Scott and Ty Wigginton.

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I’d prefer the Padres to pay more for Ryan Theriot to solve their SS situation.