Miguel Tejada, infielder

Is he done?

Almost certainly. After he went unsigned in the 2011-2012 offseason, the Orioles signed him in May on the chance that he had something left and could help them. He spent six weeks with the Tides, in which he showed he could play a competent third base. But he had no offensive speed — which was expected — and no power — which was not. If he doesn’t have power, he can’t contribute anything. He asked for and was granted his release in late June, and didn’t play anywhere else. I don’t know if he’s formally announced his retirement, but I don’t sense that he’s desperate to play or that anyone else is desperate to have him.

UPDATE — Tejada signed a non-guaranteed contract with Kansas City for 2013.

What’s his legacy? Is he a Hall of Famer?

I don’t think he’ll get into the Hall of Fame, although he’s got better credentials than some who are in. Statistically, the most-similar player was Ryne Sandberg, and it’s not a bad match. But Sandberg was somewhat more versatile offensively than Tejada; he was better defensively; and he was regarded as the best second baseman of his era. None of that applies to Tejada.

Probably, his legacy will be part of the Moneyball controversy. Billy Beane worshippers will claim that the Oakland A’s early-2000’s success was a function of Beane’s jumping on the sabermetric bandwagon early and following sabermetric principles. His detractors point out that four key members of that team — Tim Hudson, Barry Zito, Mark Mulder, and Tejada — pre-date Beane and were not underrated by traditional measures. Fairly or not, I think that’s how Tejada will be remembered.


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