Royals Scraping the Bottom of the Geezer Barrel
Sometimes small market teams like the Royals have to take chances to try to squeeze just a little bit more out of players who don’t look like they have anything left to give. The Royals just signed Miguel Tejada to a minor league contract which would pay him $1.1 million if he makes the major league club this coming spring. According to Tejada, the Royals have assured him that he will be added to the 40-man roster as soon as there is an opening and that he is virtually assured he will make the major league club as a 2Bman and utility infielder.
We’ll see if that actually happens. If so, it doesn’t say much for the Royals’ talent level in the middle infield.
Tejada will be 39 next May and didn’t play in the majors in 2012. Instead, he played 36 games for Baltimore’s AAA team, the Norfolk Tides, and didn’t hit much better there (.621 OPS) than he did for the San Francisco Giants in 2011 (.596 OPS).
The Royals have also signed Endy Chavez, Xavier Nady and Willy Taveras to minor league deals this month. Chavez turns 35 in February and hit .203 with a .515 OPS in 2012 in 64 games for the Baltimore Orioles. Nady turned 34 in November and hit .184 with a .569 OPS in 59 games last season, although he hit better (.240 batting average and .733 OPS) in 19 games after being called up by the Giants in September.
Willy Taveras only just turned 31, but he hasn’t played in the majors since 2010, when he accumulated only 37 plate appearances for the Washington Nationals. Taveras played fairly well in the AAA Pacific Coast League in 2011, but apparently didn’t play baseball professionally anywhere during the summer of 2o12, due to the collapse of the sports agency that represented him, although he is currently playing in the Mexican Winter League.
In sum, it’s pretty hard to imagine any of these four players, except maybe Nady, helping the 2013 Royals in any appreciable way. At least, the Royals signed all four to minor league contracts.