Sunday, January 24, 2010

Miguel Tejada / Atkins

Miguel Tejada is reportedly on the verge of returning to Baltimore, pending a physical.  This transaction was announced after the cutoff point for our newest edition of the forecasts so I wanted to share a few thoughts here about the move.

Tejada, who played with the Orioles from 2004-2007, had another pretty good year last year and actually led the National League in doubles with 46.  Also, even as he now turns thirty-six this season, he's maintained good run scoring and RBI rates from the shortstop position and has always been a threat to hit for average.

If/when this move becomes official, I'll be bumping up Tejada's projected average from .290 to around .300 and in Baltimore, he should be able to hit closer to 12 or 13 home runs than the 11 we had projected when we didn't know where he would end up.  It's unlikely that he'll come close to repeating last year's doubles total, which was the second-highest total of his career.  One key change for him will be that if he does join the Orioles, he'll likely make the move to third base with Cesar Izturis continuing as the Orioles' shortstop.

It's unclear now how Garrett Atkins fits into this equation and his forecast is the one most impacted by this signing.  We had previously expected that Atkins was taking over at third and it now appears that he's back to being challenged for playing time, arguably even more than he was in Colorado last year.  An Orioles team that has Tejada at third would be more likely to find Atkins around 260-270 at bats than the 460+ we were previously forecasting.