Back to the National League goes Miguel Tejada. Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun tweeted the news first that Baltimore had dealt him after a disappointing half season back in Camden Yards. In exchange San Diego sends AA pitching prospect Wynn Pelzer to the Orioles. The Padres also get cash to help cover the balance of $2 million still owed Tejada on the contract he signed this offseason to rejoin Baltimore.
Tejada's shorter stint saw him play exclusively at third base after spending the entirety of his career at shortstop. It's unclear how the Padres plan to use Tejada but it's been reported he'll see time at shortstop and possibly at third. With Everth Cabrera struggling with injuries and ineffectiveness in his sophomore season, the Padres have a pronounced need at short. Chase Headley could also shift to the outfield to give Tejada occasional starts at third.
Tejada has not fared well in his return to Baltimore. His decline has been a difficult sight at times. Hitting .269/.308/.362 in 428 plate appearances put him very close to replacement level for third basemen. San Diego is hoping that a playoff push will spark a return to the .313/.340/.455 he posted in 2009 for the Astros.
The Orioles have elected to promote Josh Bell to take over at third. Bell came to the club from the Dodgers in a deadline deal for reliever George Sherrill last season.
Pelzer was highly regarded by prospect watchers appearing in the top ten lists among Padres' prospects. He's struggled with control in the Texas League issuing 56 walks in 94.1 innings pitched. At 24 he is not young for AA, nor is he old for his league. Connolly speculated that Baltimore may shift him back to relief duties, in particularly closing, which was his role in college. If the Orioles can help him harness his command he could be up with the big club in a year.
Joe Tetreault is Managing Editor of the Business of Sports Network, which includes The Biz of Baseball, The Biz of Football, The Biz of Basketball and The Biz of Hockey. He can be contacted here through The Biz of Baseball
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