New York Yankees Rumors: A minor league contract was reportedly extended to former New York Mets shortstop Ruben Tejada, but sources say he turned down the deal with other major league offers on the table.
New York Yankees rumors continue to swirl even though we are well into Spring Training. Despite having a roster that looks to be relatively set outside a couple of bullpen arms, the Yankees are still looking at different ways to not only improve the major league roster, but add depth in the minor leagues as well.
One of the routes they were looking at taking to achieve that goal was to sign former New York Mets’ shortstop Ruben Tejada. The Mets placed Tejada on waivers earlier in the week to avoid having to pay him a larger portion of his salary; releasing him when they did means they only owe him $500,000 of his $3 million. Tejada ended up clearing waivers, making him a free agent free to sign with whichever team he chooses.
The Yankees were one of the teams interested in the 26-year old’s services, but were only interested in signing him to a minor league offer. According to Mark Feinsand of the New York Daily News, that was not a deal that interested Tejada, and he rejected it. Feinsand also adds that Tejada has major league offers on the table, which is probably why he turned down what the Yankees were offering; he will probably make his decision soon so that he can get into camp with his new team acclimate himself to his new teammates and organization.
Tejada became expandable for the Mets with the additions they made this offseason. They greatly upgraded their middle infield, seeing Daniel Murphy leave as a free agent to the Washington Nationals and replacing him with Neil Walker in a trade with the Pittsburgh Pirates and Asdrubal Cabrera as a free agent from the Tampa Bay Rays. That pushed Wilmer Flores into a utility role off the bench, so the Mets not only upgraded their starting lineup but bench as well.
The salary that Tejada was set to make is also tough to swallow as a bench player, as he was set to earn $3 million without a clear role. That is a lot of money for a player that is slight above-average at best in the field and a weak hitter at the plate; he has a career slash line of .255/.330/.323.
The Mets will not receive anything from moving on from Tejada other than salary relief now, but it was a necessary move. Despite becoming a sentimental figure with the team when he had his leg broken by Chase Utley in the National League Divisonal Series against the Los Angeles Dodgers, Tejada was an expendable piece that no longer had a spot with the Mets in the short or long term.