Not too long ago, it was first baseman Ike Davis who likely had his tenure with the New York Mets end because of an injury, and now it appears to have happened to shortstop Ruben Tejada as well. Tejada broke his leg on Wednesday night, albeit on a spectacular catch. Considering the uncertainty surrounding his future, it will likely be his last act as a member of the Mets.
Tejada spent most of the 2013 season in the minors while Omar Quintanilla held down the shortstop position for the Mets. Tejada was brought back to the majors in September with a lot to prove to secure his place as the Mets’ shortstop for next season, but this injury has taken away his opportunity to prove himself.
Tejada finishes the season with a major batting average of .202, and had just three hits in seven games since rejoining the Mets last week. Between those poor offensive numbers and Tejada’s struggles on defense early in the season, there’s little reason for the Mets to consider Tejada to be a viable option to be their everyday shortstop in 2014.
The Mets should tender Tejada a contract, and if nothing else, he has the potential to be a dependable and cheap backup middle infielder. However, it’s far more likely that the Mets will look to trade Tejada this offseason. Despite this injury and his struggles this season, Tejada should have decent value on the trade market as he is still just 23-years old and had solid major league seasons in 2011 and 2012.
However, that doesn’t mean the Mets need to keep him around.
The injury to Tejada gives Quintanilla an additional opportunity to see if he could be the Mets’ shortstop in 2014 as a one-year stopgap. It also opens the door for Wilfredo Tovar, one of the Mets’ top-10 shortstop prospects, to play in the big leagues, allowing the Mets to gauge his readiness for MLB.
Whoever ends up playing shortstop for the Mets next season, it won’t be Tejada; although this injury is an unfortunate way for his season to end, there’s little doubt that his time with the Mets is done.