The Mets that backup shortstop Ruben Tejada has been released after he was placed on waivers Tuesday, a move that seemed inevitable with the Mets offseason acquisitions coupled with fan favorite Wilmer Flores' torrid spring. This was not a complete shock, the Mets were going to have to do something with their surplus of middle infielders. Neil Walker and Asdrubal Cabrera were brought over in the offseason, and the Mets still retain Dilson Herrera and Eric Campbell from last season, in addition to Flores.
Flores has also been tearing the cover off the ball this spring, going 10-22 and with Cabrera possibly missing the beginning of the season because of a strained patellar tendon, Flores' role with this team will be very important for the Mets to succeed. Initially, it was believed that Tejada would stick around until Cabrera was healthy enough to return and then the Mets would figure out what to do with him.
However, they seem more than willing to part ways with him now to make room for prospect Matt Reynolds and see if he is able to stay with the club and chip in as outfielder Michael Conforto did last season, albeit Reynolds would serve as a backup. Furthermore, Tejada was set to earn $3 million this season, meaning that because no other team claimed him, the Mets only owe him $500,000, so the move is also able to slash some payroll.
Never known as an offensive threat, Tejada has not clubbed more than five homers in a season since called up to the majors in 2012. Nonetheless, he does play excellent defense – something Flores is lacking – but a move had to be made. He will be missed after having spent the last six years with the Mets and being with the organization since 2006, but the right move was made. Unfortunately with this group, Tejada was the odd man out, but hopefully he will be able to thrive elsewhere.