Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Miguel Tejada Traded To Astros, But Will He Play?

Miguel Tejada was traded from the Baltimore Orioles to the Houston Astros for five players on Wednesday, giving the former AL MVP a fresh start on a team looking to boost its lineup.

The Orioles got outfielder Luke Scott, pitchers Matt Albers, Troy Patton and Dennis Sarfate, and third-base prospect Michael Costanzo for the four-time All-Star shortstop.

Two winters ago, Tejada caused a stir in Baltimore when he said was unhappy with the Orioles' direction and wanted to be traded. He later backed off that stance.

"I feel very happy with this trade, because it's something that I've been really looking forward to," Tejada told The Associated Press by telephone from Miami.

Tejada, at the ripe age of 31, is still an excellent player who will fit in well with the lineup that needs an improvement in the power rankings. Tejada hit .296 with 18 home runs and 81 RBIs this season. In 11 seasons, he has hit .287 with 258 home runs and 1,033 RBIs. His home run total ranks him fourth all-time among shortstops.

Houston was considering moving Tejada to third base. Tejada at third base? Can you imagine that? Anyway, that won't happen. Tejada resisted their efforts to move him over to third base. Wade said while Tejada may not cover quite as much ground as he once did, the Astros are confident he'll be solid in that spot. Adam Everett, Houston's shortstop this season, will become an unrestricted free agent by Thursday, Wade said.

There is a MAJOR drawback to this trade....after acquiring Tejada, he may not even play. In 2005, Tejada came under scrutiny after teammate Rafael Palmeiro tested positive for steroids. Palmeiro said Tejada gave him vitamin B-12 that might have been tainted with performance-enhancing drug. Tejada denied any steroid use and his name has not been linked to any wrongdoing....yet. Tomorrow, former Senate Majority Leader George Mitchell's report on drug use in baseball is to be released. I can't wait to see how many star players went against the law. This list is much bigger than I thought. George Mitchell called a news conference for Thursday to announce the results of his 20-month investigation into drug use in baseball. Mitchell said Wednesday he will release his report then, and it will be posted online at shortly after that. Selig will hold his own news conference 2½ hours after the one by Mitchell.

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