After being released by the Mets on Wednesday, shortstop Ruben Tejada has found a new home in St. Louis. According to Jen Langosch of MLB.com, the Cardinals finalized their signing of Tejada today, as the 26-year-old signed a one-year, $1.5 million deal and has already arrived at the team's spring training complex.
Tejada, who reportedly turned down a minor league offer with the Yankees, received a major league deal from St. Louis. The Cardinals were presumed to be the most logical fit for Tejada, who was released after going unclaimed on waivers. St. Louis's everyday shortstop, Jhonny Peralta, underwent surgery for a thumb injury on March 10, and will be sidelined until at least June. The team's in-house options—Jedd Gyorko, Greg Garcia, and Aledmys Diaz—all lack big league experience at shortstop. Tejada may have received major league offers elsewhere, but he'll likely have the biggest chance of making an impact in St. Louis.
Tejada's release served as both a cost-cutting procedure and roster flexibility move, Mets GM Sandy Alderson explained in a statement Wednesday.
"One of the things we’ve done over the last four or five years is give plenty of players an opportunity to perform and see what they can do," Alderson said. "As you get better and better and you have more established players, those opportunities get fewer and fewer. So, where you can create them, sometimes it’s important to do that."
The Mets, who paid Tejada just one-sixth of his $3 million 2016 salary, will now look to in-house options such as Matt Reynolds, Eric Campbell, or T.J. Rivera to fill an infield reserve role on the Opening Day roster.