Multiple sources see the Cardinals as the frontrunner to land veteran shortstop Miguel Tejada. The Cards are exploring options to use the $6-7 million available after the Matt Holliday deal. Third base is a target area, and Tejada is an intriguing option for St. Louis. The six-time all star and 2002 AL MVP is coming off a solid year for the Houston Astros, hitting at a .313 clip, adding 14 homers, driving in 86 runs, and crossing home plate another 83 times. He boasts a .289 career batting average and has hovered around the .300 mark for much of his career. I think Tejada would be a good signing as the Cards look to push further into the postseason in 2010.
The 35-year-old’s experience and leadership would serve the club well throughout the grueling 162-game schedule. He has played in all 162 game six times and is coming off consecutive 158 game years. He is a modern day iron man and a pillar of durability. Tejada is not only durable, he also brings a youthful and excitable attitude with him to the ballpark everyday.
As a seasoned veteran and hitter, Tejada is one of the top free agents left on the market. If St. Louis can add Miggy, he can serve as a dangerous number 2 or 5 hitter. Either setting the table for the big bats of Pujols and Holliday, or adding protection for the sluggers. He brings a competitive fire to every at bat, and certainly fits in the baseball-crazed town of St. Louis.
Besides his talents at the dish, Tejada has been a very good shortstop in the MLB. Miguel has been the foundation of many defenses. With that experience, he would most likely make the transition to the hot corner with little trouble.
The lone drawback for the Cards would be the price. Tejada is thought to be too expensive for St. Louis and that may prevent the signing. If St. Louis could make it work in a two or three year deal, Tejada would be more than worth it. He brings a combination of leadership, offensive firepower, and a steady hand on defense that is hard to find. Tejada is a special ballplayer, and if the Cards hope to get over the hump, this move would be a big step.
So, what do you think, will “La Gua Gua” (The Bus) roll into St. Louis and drive in some runs for the Cards or is the price too steep? I say, reserve The Bus a parking spot in Busch in 2010.