The St. Louis Cardinals pulled the trigger on a one-year, $1.5 million deal for free agent shortstop Ruben Tejada’s services this morning as they continue to address the club’s shortstop void.
It’s done. The St. Louis Cardinals have a proven (sort of) guy at the shortstop position to handle duties until Jhonny Peralta returns this summer.
GM John Mozeliak had to feel pressure to take the bargain on Ruben Tejada, considering Aledmys Diaz and Jedd Gyorko have combined to go 4-32 (.125 average) at the plate since Diaz erupted with a 4-4 performance in a 5-3 victory over the Twins on March 8.
Gyorko has looked uncomfortable at the plate all spring, save a 2-3 effort against the Braves last Wednesday. Diaz is entirely unproven, and he appears to be cooling off at the plate after a strong start at Cards camp.
The Cardinals (for good reason) aren’t particularly comfortable with the internal options, and Tejada was out there at a price that the club couldn’t resist.
Tejada has some definite drawbacks, namely his suspect (or just bad) defensive effort in 2015, and the fact that he peaked in terms of OPS (.696) in his aged-21 season back in 2011.
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Still, though, in the face of uncertainty, Mozeliak is giving himself another option to look at for shortstop duties. If you don’t have one good option, might as well collect as many secondary options as possible, with the hope that one of them steps up to the challenge.
Gyorko and Diaz haven’t done a whole lot to give the organization confidence since Peralta went down. It’s “next man up” time at shortstop for the Cardinals, let’s see what Tejada brings to the table.
Mo is creating competition at the shortstop spot, with hopes that one of those three steps up and takes hold of that job.
The move doesn’t eliminate Diaz from contending for the job (or a roster spot) by any means. But, he’s really going to have to get it going again over the final two weeks of Spring Training.
As nice as it would be to get Diaz 50 starts in real-game action to see what he could do, this is a results driven game. Whoever produces is going to get the job at short, Tejada is just another option.
It’s not like we are going back to the Pete Kozma/Tyler Greene days, at least I hope not. If the Cards are going to have to settle for mediocre shortstop play, might as well be able to say that they exhausted all the options.
The ball is in your all’s court, Aledmys Diaz, Jedd Gyorko, and Ruben Tejada. Whoever produces is going to get that job, feel free to treat these next two weeks as your try out.
The club needs one of these guys to step up in Peralta’s absence, hopefully somebody is up for the challenge.