Tejada Not Interested in Move To Third Base

As rumors of the Phillies interest in Miguel Tejada continue to swirl, there are reports that Tejada himself may have put a huge roadblock in the middle of the Phillies highway toward acquiring the former MVP.

The Phillies reportedly did some checking and found that Miguel Tejada would have no interest in moving to third base. In fact, sources told the Phillies that if Tejada were traded to Philadelphia and moved to third base, that he would opt out of his contract after the 2006 season.

Initially, the plan was for the Phillies to send Bobby Abreu to Baltimore in exchange for Tejada. The Phillies would then put Tejada at third base and look for a new home for David Bell. Tejada has played only shortstop in his major league career (with the exception of serving as a DH in three games) and it was initially unknown whether Tejada would accept a position change. The Phillies hoped it would work out much like Alex Rodriguez moving to third base for the Yankees, but instead, it appears closer to Alfonso Soriano not wanting to move to the outfield for the Washington Nationals.

Another interesting development is some debate over whether Tejada actually has a no-trade clause in his deal. Initial reports this winter reported a full no-trade clause that Tejada would have to waive if he were to be traded. But now, some sources have reported that Tejada does not have a no-trade clause, meaning that the Orioles could deal him wherever they wanted to. However, whether there's a no-trade clause or not, since Tejada is in the middle of a multi-year contract, if he were to be traded, he could demand a trade after one season with his new team. That's the loophole that Javier Vazquez used to opt out of Arizona after the 2005 season.

Tejada's reported apprehension to playing third may not negate a deal. The Phillies, who are looking for pitching, might be able to send Tejada elsewhere after they would acquire him from Baltimore. The Chicago Cubs have reportedly offered Mark Prior for Tejada and the Phillies are thought to be interested in acquiring Prior. The Phillies have also pursued Orioles pitcher Eric Bedard, closer Jorge Julio and setup man LaTroy Hawkins and the Orioles have shown a continuing interest in Abreu, so it's likely that the two clubs would continue to talk about various scenarios. One possible scenario would be to involve a third team - possibly the Cubs or Angels - who would provide additional players to the mix and ultimately wind up with Tejada.


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