San Francisco officially parted ways with Miguel Tejada yesterday, releasing the veteran infielder with a month remaining on his one-year, $6.5 million contract.
Tejada more than earned the release by playing horrible defense and hitting .239 with a .596 OPS, and then for good measure he publicly complained about being asked to lay down a sacrifice bunt.
However, today Tejada told Enrique Rojas of ESPN Deportes that he plans to play in 2012, saying: “I will not retire.”
Here’s more from the 37-year-old former MVP:
I didn’t have a good time in San Francisco, but there are always highs and lows in life. I will play winter ball with the Aguilas Cibaenas as part of the process of staying active. In the winter I will work to return. It’s not the first time that a player has a bad year and then comes back.
True, but not many players have a .596 OPS at age 37 and go on to be anything but terrible. In fact, not many 37-year-old infielders post a sub-.600 OPS, period. The last one do so with at least 300 plate appearances was Frank White way back in 1988. He went on to play two more seasons as a part-timer for the Royals, hitting .241 with a .608 OPS.
Brian Sabean gave him $6.5 million six months ago, so I suppose anything is possible, but it’ll be surprising if Tejada manages more than a one-year, $1 million deal as a free agent this time around and he may have to settle for a minor-league contract.
The Orioles singlehandedly kept the rumor mill churning this weekend. MLB Network’s Jon Morosi reports that the club is interested in making a play for free agent right-hander Lance Lynn, adding him to a list of potential candidates that also includes free agent righty Alex Cobb. The two are expected to command similar contracts in free agency, but Morosi notes that the Orioles may prefer Cobb based on his familiarity with the AL East.
Lynn, 30, is two years removed from Tommy John surgery on his right elbow. Despite missing the 2016 season, he bounced back with a respectable 11-8 record in 33 starts and complemented his efforts with a 3.43 ERA, 3.8 BB/9 and 7.4 SO/9 over 186 1/3 innings for the 2017 Cardinals. He lost several days with a blister on his pitching hand in early September, but managed to avoid any major injuries and can reasonably be expected to shoulder another heavy workload in 2018.
Lynn may not be the Orioles’ first choice to beef up their starting rotation, but there’s no doubt that he’ll be in high demand as one of very few viable starters on the market this winter. The veteran righty rejected his one-year, $17.4 million qualifying offer from the Cardinals on Thursday and will likely be seeking a multi-year contract, one that Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch estimates around five years and $100+ million. If the Orioles are willing to bite that bullet, they’ll still need to compensate the Cardinals with their third pick in next year’s draft.