The Kansas City Royals this week announced the signing of Miguel Tejada to a minor league deal. The Royals have signed quite a few veteran players to minor league deals in the past few months so to an extent this is the continuation of a trend. A few days before signing Tejada they also signed veteran outfielder Endy Chavez to a minor league deal. But whilst it is good to add some depth and get veteran tutors for young players, getting Tejada was not the right move for the Royals.
As a baseball player, Tejada is washed up. He did not play a single major league game in 2012 and only 91 in 2011 in which he hit a miserable .239 with 26 RBIs. If he gets any major league playing time it will be a signal that things have gone awry for the Royals and he is very unlikely to help get matters back on track. Assuming then that he spends most or all of the year at AAA it is hard to know who he will be tutoring; the Royals infielders for the foreseeable future all project to be at the major league level next season and the only question mark is whether Chris Getz or Johnny Giavotella gets most of the playing time at second base. The Royals are reported to have spent over a million dollars on Tejada and it is hard to fathom any return coming from that investment.
There is also the problem of Tejada’s connection with drug cheats. Tejada was named in the Mitchell Report and has pled guilty to lying to congress in their investigation of the steroid scandal. This does not, of course, constitute proof of guilt. But there is no doubt that he has strong connections to those who have cheated and that is far from ideal for a player whose primary function appears to be to mentor young players. There can be no room for cheats in sport and I would prefer the Royals had nothing to do with him.