After today’s press conference to re-introduce Miguel Tejada to the fans of Baltimore, the team’s newest player said the Orioles were not the only team that sought his services.
“Before the Orioles, there was another team that I considered and they wanted me to play shortstop. I waited, because I felt this was the time to make the move to third base. When my agent told me about the Orioles, I said to talk to them, I want to go there.”
Tejada, a six-time All-Star, was with the O’s from 2004 to 2007. He never sold his Baltimore area home, partly because he never ruled out a return to the O’s.
“Yes, because when I left here it wasn’t because the team didn’t want me. And I knew one day I would be a free agent.”
Tejada was asked about what will be the toughest part of moving to third base.
“The bunting situation. That’s something I’ll have to work hard at. To see the ball coming hard at me is not a problem for me. I think this is the time (to play third). It could help my career go longer. Last time I wasn’t ready to play third. Now is the time.”
In his O’s career, Tejada hit .311 with 102 homers and 429 RBI in 619 games.
O’s president Andy MacPhail says Tejada’s signing will not keep the Orioles from carrying a utility infielder and he doesn’t expect to see Miggy at shortstop at all.
“If he makes the move to third, he makes the move to third. We don’t want to move him back and forth like a yo-yo.”
MacPhail also indicated that this signing could mean that third base prospect Josh Bell will spend most or all of the year in Triple-A.
“You never know, like I said, this is a game where things change all the time. But he hasn’t had any Triple-A at bats yet, so I think that’s a reasonable progression.”
MacPhail also admitted again there is no certainty that Tejada will make a smooth transition to third base.
“You really don’t know for certain. Our scouts suspect he’s going to be fine, but like he said, it’s going to take a while. But he does have the hands and arm strength to play there.”