Mets Avoid Arbitration With Tejada, Agree To $1.1 Million Deal

An article by posted on January 15, 2014

ruben tejada

The Mets avoided arbitration with shortstop Ruben Tejada and signed him to a reported one-year deal for $1.1 million according to Jorge Castillo of the Star Ledger.

That leaves six more players, and odds are the Mets will reach an agreement with all of them. Ike DavisLucas DudaDillon GeeDaniel Murphy,Bobby Parnell and Eric Young Jr.. all filed for salary arbitration.

Tejada, 24, batted .202 last season with a .519 OPS in 57 games played. He missed time to a right quad injury and then was demoted to the Minor Leagues once he was activated from the DL.

I asked some of the writers on our staff what their thoughts were on Ruben Tejada as the starting shortstop a couple of weeks ago, and here is what they said:

Jim M. – I know there may not be a lot of Ruben fans, but unless the Mets are willing to pay big money for Stephen Drew I would be fine with him getting a second chance. He had a career low BABIP and also had his lowest K% in his career so I believe he will bounce back like he did after his poor 2010 season that had similar numbers.

Peter K. - I would rather give Ruben Tejada one more chance to shine at shortstop than sign Stephen Drew to a three year deal that he will NEVER live up to. I was happy to see the front office call him out for what seemed to be a player who was resting on his laurels from the previous year. Will it motivate him? Time will tell. But he is young enough, has not reached his prime, and could yet become a serviceable piece to the team.

Big Mets Fan – I’d be OK with having Ruben be the opening day shortstop. He was good two years ago before regressing last year. This is a make or break year for him, so he’ll be plenty motivated. If he’s not, he shouldn’t be here. And there’s nothing to say that if the Mets are in contention, they won’t upgrade mid season like pretty much every other contender out there.

Gerry – I believe that Reuben Tejada is young enough and has enough potential to take another chance on as a shortstop. I think some players simply need to mature in order to appreciate the opportunities they are given, and given his tools the Mets could do worse than to give him another flyer.

Andrew – Tejada has not done enough to warrant a starting role, but he might be our best option at SS nonetheless. Mets fans had to be excited when they heard the recent Stephen Drew whispers, but I’m still not buying it. Tejada has the skillset to be better than he played last year, so even if we don’t envision him as a long term answer I think it’s better to build up his value than it is to sell low. Best case scenario, Tejada hits .290 with decent defense and either cements himself as a starter or builds up his trade value. Worst case scenario, he’s still a decent backup middle-infielder.

Matthew B. – Yes, but he needs to be on a short leash. Here’s the thing about Rubin, last year, he didn’t hit much but the big issue was his fielding, which was awful. I can live with him not hitting a ton if he fields his position well, which I believe he’s capable of as long as he stops trying to “bulk up.”

Joe S. – I believe in second chances but you have to wonder why almost all of last season even after he was cleared to play after his injury, why the team chose to start a 30-something journeyman over Tejada? That speaks volumes about his work ethic I would assume and like Alderson has said recently not all decisions are financially based. But again, if Alderson wants to move Tejada and get the most for him, do you announce to the league that he’s lazy? I would prefer Asdrubal Cabrerabut he may be too rich for the Mets’ blood.

John G. – Well the Mets haven’t done anything to really address this position so it looks like it will be Tejada’s. I haven’t really been sold on him entirely so I still say there is time to make a move to upgrade. I would suggest an early arrival at Spring Training so he can prove to the team that he is ready to be the guy.

Barry – The Mets need at least someone to compete with/push Tejada for the shortstop job. I wouldn’t give up on him, but the Mets can’t go into spring training with no alternative if Tejada doesn’t show enough to merit the full-time job.

Tom W. – Well, absent the budget or the will or the creativity to bring in a major league shortstop, Tejada on a second chance is probably the best move.

Jessep – With Tejada to me, it’s all about the glove and who is playing next to him. I don’t mind the guy if his glove keeps him in the lineup and his 2B counterpart is providing enough of a balance to make the middle formidable. My issue with him is his bat is nowhere near as good as Daniel Murphy and he hasn’t shown enough with his glove. I think he deserves a chance in Spring Training – but to pen him in as a starter in 2014 to me is a mistake.

Zack – For me, the question is not whether Ruben Tejada has done enough to be the starting shortstop, but rather who else if not him? If the Mets don’t add a shortstop (I hope they do), there isn’t much standing in Tejada’s way. Wilfredo Tovar has an outside chance but probably needs to start the season in Triple-A.

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I'm a lifelong Mets fan who loves writing and talking about the Amazins' 24/7. From the Miracle in 1969 to the magic of 1986, and even the near misses in '73 and '00, I've experienced it all - the highs and the lows. I started Mets Merized Online in 2005 to feed my addiction and interact with other passionate Met fans like you. Follow me on Twitter @metsmerized.

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