The Mets placed 26-year-old, Ruben Tejada, on waivers earlier this week, seemingly willing to part ways with the middle infielder best known for breaking his leg on a Chase Utley controversial “slide”. For the Mets, it’s an understandable decision. Tejada is owed just $3 million this season and is arbitration eligible through 2017. But with Neil Walker and Asdrubal Cabrera in New York along with Wilmer Flores, there really was not much room for Tejada.
So the question becomes who should try to claim a player with two years owed at a nominal amount of money? The obvious answer is the Cardinals, who could use a stop gap to fill in at shortstop for Jhonny Peralta during his injuries and then utilize Tejada for infield depth in 2017 and who they could eventually part ways with at the end next season, not particularly caring if they receive anything in compensation for a player who hit .261/.338 and played solid defense.
But it’s the Colorado Rockies who should make the claim, and by proxy get access to the middle infielder since they have the higher spot in the waiver process. Colorado has middle infield issues with Jose Reyes on leave stemming from his domestic violence issues and no sign of a return or length of suspension. At second base, the Rockies had a backup in Daniel Descalso who just went down with his own injury and is expected to miss the early part of the season.
Seeing as Aroldis Chapman is missing 30 games and did not have any legal aspect to his case, it’s perfectly safe to think Reyes will get something much harsher, potentially the entire 2016 season. With Tejada, the Rockies can get a young player who has tasted playoff success, can add veteran leadership, can be had for a cheap price with very little return and has an extra year of control in the event he performs well the first half of the season (or all of 2016) and can be traded by the Rockies at some point.
Colorado is rebuilding and not particularly competitive. It’s very likely the Rockies come in last place in the NL West. But Tejada can hit decently against righties and lefties and can play second and short where the Rockies are down a man at each position. Signing him would be financially savvy, flexible and a good move for Colorado to take advantage of the Mets’ surplus.