Per his agents at Primetime Sports Group, the Mets have signed IF Ruben Tejada to a minors deal. The contract comes with a $750K major league salary, and there aren’t any opt-out chances, Jon Heyman of MLB Network tweets.
Tejada, 29, spent his first nine professional seasons with the Mets organization, debuting at the tender age of 20 midway through the 2010 season. The Panamanian quickly established himself as a solid shortstop option for New York, posting 1.5 fWAR or better three times from 2011-15 despite never accruing more than 501 plate appearances in a single season.
Tejada’s Mets tenure came to an abrupt halt, though, when a vicious Chase Utley takeout slide in Game 2 of the 2015 NLDS fractured his right fibula, ending his season on impact. He’s never quite been the same since: in 77 appearances over two seasons with the Cardinals, Giants, and Orioles, the slick fielder’s slashed just .207/.275/.268 in 202 plate appearances. Tejada appeared last season for AAA-Norfolk in the Baltimore organization, slashing a meager .230/.291/.298 in 392 plate appearances.
The Mets, who may always have a soft spot for the fan favorite, also have one in back of regular shortstop Amed Rosario, who’s one of just two 40-man players (along with Luis Guillorme) capable of handling the position on a regular basis. Tejada will offer surefire depth, and may indeed seize the utility role if the Mets can again figure out his wayward swing.