The 26-year-old spent the past nine years in the Mets organization, and David Wright was the only longer-tenured active Met. In six MLB seasons, the light-hitting middle infielder batted .255/.330/.323, exhibiting a keener batting eye over the past two years.
Although Asdrubal Cabrera may open the season on the disabled list, the Mets placed Tejada on waivers on Tuesday. He was set to earn $3 million in 2016 before entering free agency as a result of receiving an extra day of service time in an arbitration settlement.
Never their first choice, Tejada nevertheless always found himself receiving reps at short. He never turned into the plus defender scouts envisioned, but his improved plate discipline made him decent enough as a placeholder. Even if Cabrera misses time, Wilmer Flores can start with Matt Reynolds replacing Tejada as a defensive option with minimal pop.
Tejada's Mets career will unfortunately be remembered for Chase Utley's vicious slide into second base during last year's National League Division Series. The "slide" broke Tejada's right fibula and caused the league to alter its rulebook. Interestingly, the Los Angeles Dodgers might need shortstop help with star rookie Corey Seager questionable for Opening Day.