Miguel Tejada is willing to move to third base

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Miguel Tejada has never played an inning anywhere other than shortstop during his 13-year career, but Jose De Jesus Ortiz of the Houston Chronicle reports that “he’s willing to move from shortstop to third base.”
Based on both Ultimate Zone Rating and my eyes his range his slipped to the point that a move to third base certainly makes sense and few teams have been linked to Tejada as a shortstop despite the position’s weak crop of free agents, so it seems like many front offices agree and no longer view him as an everyday option there.
On the other hand several contending teams could be in the market for a third baseman, including the Phillies, Mariners, Giants, Twins, and Angels. Tejada’s bat has declined along with his glove and his offense would be even less impressive relative to third basemen than compared to shortstops, but if he can make a smooth transition to the new position defensively repeating his .313/.340/.455 production from this season would make him plenty valuable at the hot corner.
“I’m just waiting to see what happens,” Tejada said. “I’m just here in the Dominican Republic waiting to hear something.” Houston general manager Ed Wade explained yesterday that he’ll “continue talks with” Tejada after smartly declining to offer him arbitration, but regardless of his position the 35-year-old former MVP seems unlikely to re-sign with the Astros.

MLB executive: Bruce Maxwell’s kneeling may keep him from finding work, not his arrest

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In September 2017, former Athletics catcher Bruce Maxwell became the first major league player to kneel during the national anthem, joining the handfuls of NFL players who had been doing the same to protest police brutality and racial inequality. Maxwell’s effort was laudable, but he got into trouble a month later when he was arrested for aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and disorderly conduct. Maxwell allegedly pointed a gun at a food delivery person.

Maxwell, 27, played sparingly for the Athletics in 2018 and then was designated for assignment at the beginning of September. He officially became a free agent on November 2 and has had trouble finding work in the month-plus since.

Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle reports that Maxwell fired his agent, Matt Sosnick on Thursday because he’s still jobless. According to an unnamed MLB executive Slusser spoke to, “It’s the kneeling thing that might keep him from getting another job, not the arrest. Owners aren’t going to want to deal with that whole anthem issue.”

That makes a lot of since since abusive players haven’t had too much trouble finding new work otherwise. Addison Russell, Jeurys Familia, and José Reyes, among others have either stayed with their teams or quickly found new work. Given the relatively weak catching market, had Maxwell only had the assault charge, there is no doubt he would have been signed to be a backup catcher somewhere.

In the NFL, Colin Kaepernick — who popularized kneeling during the anthem — has remained unsigned even though teams have opted to sign and start clearly inferior quarterbacks like Mark Sanchez, Josh McCown, Ryan Fitzpatrick, Jay Cutler, Matt Barkley, and Sam Bradford, among many others. Team owners tend to run conservative in terms of politics, so they may not like the protest to begin with, then there is the public blowback to signing such a player as those who dislike such protesting make up a slight majority in the U.S., according to various polls including one done by the Washington Post.

It’s worth noting that Maxwell has a career .240/.314/.347 triple-slash line in 412 plate appearances. We’re not talking about J.T. Realmuto or Buster Posey here. That being said, there have been 15 other catchers to have put up a lower aggregate OPS since 2016 (min. 400 PA). One of those players, Derek Norris (.600 OPS since 2016), signed a minor league contract with the Tigers just three months after being suspended by Major League Baseball for violating its domestic violence policy. Makes you think.