According to what a team official told Adam Rubin of ESPN New York, there is a possibility Ruben Tejada could be traded or released before Opening Day.
The team official indicated that Matt Reynolds or Dilson Herrera would “really have to distinguish themselves during spring training and force their way onto the roster before the Mets would consider cutting Tejada.
Tejada is due to earn $3 million in 2016 and then becomes a free agent next offseason. However, if the Mets release Tejada prior to 15 days before the season opener, they would only be responsible for one-sixth of his salary or $500,000, and one-quarter or $750,000 if he’s cut before Opening Day.
After falling out of contention with both the Mets brass and fans alike after poor seasons in both 2013 and 2014, Ruben Tejada asserted himself as a fan favorite after Chase Utley‘s infamous slide in the NLDS this past postseason that broke the shortstop’s leg.
Tejada is now forever part of history with MLB putting a new rule into place that subjects the “neighborhood play,” and plays similar to what happened between Utley and Tejada in October to be video reviewed.
Tejada reported to camp this past Friday for team workouts completely recovered from injury, but now faces adversity without a definite spot on the team.
According to a team source in regards to Tejada, “A lot depends on how spring training goes,” the source said. “We’ll have to see.”
“I don’t make the decisions here so that’s why I try to stay positive all the time. Last year, I didn’t start early in season, but later I played more and things went different for me,” Tejada said. “They know what I have to do here and I try to play hard every day and do my work every day.” (The Record)
The Mets can choose to cut Tejada 15 days prior to Opening Day and be only responsible for 30 days pay, or 45 days pay if it is less than 15 days prior to Opening Day due to the fact that Tejada has a non-guaranteed contract.
However, if Tejada is on the Opening Day roster, the Mets are responsible for the entirety of his contract
“That’s only 10 days of games to make a decision on a guy.” a team source said in regards to the first deadline. “Some guys, though, if you know them, it’s not really tough.”
Tejada is keeping a positive mindset, however. At camp Friday, the veteran shortstop was quoted as saying: ““I just want to help the team win. I am ready.”