The Blue Jays reported interest came after the 26-year-old was released by the New York Mets earlier in the month
Ruben Tejada‘s recent release from the New York Mets was rumoured to have triggered two very interested parties. The St. Louis Cardinals, with whom Tejada signed, were clearly one. According to Adam Rubin who covers the Mets for ESPN, the other team was the Toronto Blue Jays.
Tejada signed with the Mets as an international free agent out of Panama in 2006 and climbed the ladder very quickly. After experiencing the expected struggles in 2010 while debuting as a 20-year-old in New York, his age 21 and 22 seasons that followed gave the organization hope that he would be a relatively valuable piece for the future.
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In 201 games over those two seasons, Tejada posted a triple-slash line of .287 / .345 / .690. Some struggles followed, but with 119 and 116 games played in the past two seasons, not to mention a .688 OPS last year, Tejada is a nice piece to find on the free agent market for a Minor League contract at this time of year. Especially at 26.
Beyond Troy Tulowitzki, Ryan Goins, and Darwin Barney (who is on a Major League deal), the Blue Jays middle infield depth is relatively thin. Looking at the current roster landscape it likely tops out with utility man Andy Burns, Jio Mier, and recent veteran free agent signing Alexi Casilla. Maicer Izturis was a candidate to lead that group before recently deciding to retire.
If you’re willing to read a little too much into the rumour, you could also ask what this reported interest means in regards to second baseman Devon Travis. Still working his way back from an offseason shoulder procedure, Travis’ expected return date of mid-May or early June is in need of an end-of-spring update over the coming weeks.
While this situation hasn’t resulted in anything right now, perhaps it is worth monitoring the waiver wire and minor league free agent market just a bit closer ahead of the opening day roster churn.