Saturday, January 23, 2010

Orioles Sign Miguel Tejada...Show They Are Trying To Win

Over the past few weeks, Oriole fans have begun to question GM Andy McPhail's plan for success. He has taken a lot of heat because he hasn't gone out and made any moves that made people feel that he is trying to win now. McPhail changed all of that today when he signed former Oriole Miguel Tejada for one year deal to probably play third base.

This deal is perfect for the Orioles, who were in need of a corner infielder and a big bat. While Tejada isn't a big homerun threat anymore, but his 86 RBIs would have been second on the O's last year. Him being in the lineup will help protect the young onslaught of players the Orioles will be molding. Guys like Adam Jones, Nick Markakis, Matt Wieters, and Nolan Riemold are all great young talents, but because they are young, they are prone to slumps. This was very evident in the later part of the season, as a once productive offense struggled near the finish-line. Adding a veteran presence like Tejada to the lineup should calm down the younger guys and limit slumps; not to mention put up some runs when the guys do struggle a little bit.

The fact that it is just a one year deal is perfect as well, because the Orioles have guys in the minors that are almost ready to be called up. Josh Bell (the key piece of the George Sherrill trade) was dazzling in AA Bowie before the end of the season and could be called up as early as midseason. In just 33 games, he batted .289, with 9 dingers and 24 RBIs. With guys like him, first-baseman Brandon Snyder, and others, the Orioles don't need a long term guy. They just need someone who can help them win now and not keep Bell and the others from being called up and being stars for the organization.

Personally, I'm surprised Tejada was fine with a one year deal. Maybe that is all teams were willing to give him, but I thought Miggy would want a long contract because of his age, even if the money wasn't necessarily right.

I'm not dumb. I know the Orioles are looking at around 75 wins this year, but this signing is a sign that McPhail knows the fans are unhappy and he is attempting to make the product on the field watchable until he thinks our young team is ready to compete. That is probably going to be two years off, but I think the O's are on a good track and more importantly, it won't be painful to watch them until then.

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