Miguel Tejada joins 300-homer club

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Miguel Tejada took Ted Lilly deep Wednesday night to become the 129th player in major league history to reach 300 homers.
It was Tejada’s eighth homer in 194 at-bats since the Padres picked him up prior to the trade deadline. He hit just seven in 401 at-bats for the Orioles over the first four months of the season.
Tejada ranks third all-time for homers as a shortstop with 289. Only Cal Ripken (345) and Alex Rodriguez (344) have hit more. Ernie Banks is fourth at 277.
Tejada is also third on the all-time list for homers by a player who spent the bulk of his career as a shortstop. A-Rod, of course, tops that one, with 608 homers to date, but he’ll probably finish his career with more games at third than at short. If that’s the case, only Ripken, with 431 homers, would have more than Tejada. Robin Yount is fourth at 251, followed by Jose Valentin (249), Vern Stephens (247), Derek Jeter (234) and Nomar Garciaparra (229).
Those will be interesting facts in building a Cooperstown case for Tejada someday. He’s never really seemed like a Hall of Famer, but by the time he’s eligible, he’ll rank second or third all-time for homers by a shortstop and somewhere between fifth and seventh in RBI (depending on how one wants to rank A-Rod and whether Jeter passes him). He also won an MVP award, and he amassed a very impressive consecutive games streak (he played in 162 games in six straight seasons). I don’t think he belongs, but there’s an argument to be made.

Report: Braves sign Kurt Suzuki

KANSAS CITY, MO - AUGUST 20: Kurt Suzuki #8 of the Minnesota Twins hits against the Kansas City Royals at Kauffman Stadium on August 20, 2016 in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by Ed Zurga/Getty Images)
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The Braves reportedly have a deal in place with free agent catcher Kurt Suzuki, per Chris Cotillo of SB Nation. FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal adds that the contract is for one year, $1.5 million with up to $2.5 million in additional incentives.

Suzuki, 33, completed a three-year track with the Twins in 2016, slashing .258/.301/.403 with eight home runs in 373 PA. The veteran backstop likely won’t provide an offensive or defensive upgrade over current starter Tyler Flowers, but should give the Braves some depth at a position they’ve been looking to strengthen since the start of the offseason.

The team has yet to confirm the deal.

Jason Kipnis could join Team Israel for 2017 World Baseball Classic

CLEVELAND, OH - NOVEMBER 02:  Jason Kipnis #22 of the Cleveland Indians throws during batting practice prior to Game Seven of the 2016 World Series against the Chicago Cubs at Progressive Field on November 2, 2016 in Cleveland, Ohio.  (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
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With the 2017 World Baseball Classic around the corner, Team Israel has reportedly reached out to Indians second baseman Jason Kipnis, per MLB Network’s Jon Morosi. Tournament rules stipulate that a player’s roster eligibility can be achieved in one of several ways: they were born in the country in question or hold citizenship/permanent legal residence there (or are simply capable of qualifying for citizenship), or one of their parents was born in the country or holds citizenship/permanent legal residence there.

For Kipnis, it’s the latter. Kipnis’ father, Mark Kipnis, is Jewish. That gives Kipnis the status he needs to suit up for Team Israel, despite the fact that he is a practicing Roman Catholic. He has yet to confirm or deny his participation in the competition.

Fifteen players have confirmed for Team Israel so far, including Mets’ infielder/outfielder Ty Kelly and free agents Sam Fuld, Nate Freiman, Jason Marquis and Jeremy Bleich. Per MLB.com’s Chad Thornburg, eight minor leaguers will also appear for the team. Like Kipnis, at least three other major leaguers are eligible for Team Israel’s roster but have yet to accept or decline involvement in the WBC: Dodgers center fielder Joc Pederson, Mariners infielder/outfielder Danny Valencia and free agent left-hander Craig Breslow.