Tejada signing adds to overall depth
MIAMI — Why Miguel Tejada?
The Marlins certainly raised some eyebrows on Monday when they announced they’d signed Tejada to a Minor League contract. The 39-year-old passed his physical, and he currently is at the club’s complex at Roger Dean Stadium in Jupiter, Fla.
Initially, he is getting into game shape, and he eventually will play in some extended Spring Training games.
But why did the Marlins roll the dice on a veteran who is serving the final days of his 105-game MLB suspension for amphetamines?
The way the organization saw it, they asked themselves, why not?
Tejada impressed in his workout for the team with his power, his throwing arm and his fielding.
The former All-Star also fits much of what the Marlins have been seeking — experienced depth. It’s a low-risk, potentially high-reward signing.
Tejada is one failed drug test away from a lifetime ban, so he has something to prove. From the Marlins standpoint, the Minor League contract provides an opportunity, not a guarantee. Any slip ups, and both sides move on.
Tejada’s suspension dates back to 2013 and it runs through June 5. Technically, the veteran infielder could be back in the big leagues as early as June 6.
Don’t expect that to happen. About then, he should be playing for Triple-A New Orleans.
Since the Marlins reshaped their front office last fall, they’ve sought to build as much experienced depth as possible. Tejada has a substantial big league track record. He wasn’t brought in to replace Casey McGehee at third. But at New Orleans, he promises to play third, and second, and a little bit of shortstop.
Tejada may turn out being a backup plan at second in case there is a need. Rafael Furcal is on the disabled list with a strained left hamstring. He’s also dealing with a right groin injury.
Furcal isn’t close to being reinstated. In fact, the 36-year-old recently had a cortisone shot. He’s close to resuming baseball activities, but he isn’t there just yet.
Over the long season, you never how the roster will hold up. If there is a need somewhere in the infield, Tejada could be an answer.
– Joe Frisaro