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Ruben Tejada Released by Mets: Latest Comments, Reaction

New York Mets' Ruben Tejada watches his two-run home run during the fifth inning of an exhibition spring training baseball game against the St. Louis Cardinals Thursday, March 10, 2016, in Port St. Lucie, Fla. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)
Jeff Roberson/Associated Press
Tim DanielsFeatured ColumnistDecember 16, 2016

The New York Mets placed infielder Ruben Tejada on waivers Tuesday and released him Wednesday after he went unclaimed, per Anthony DiComo of MLB.com.

Adam Rubin of ESPN.com noted other teams are now free to sign Tejada, with the Mets on the hook for less than $500,000.

The 26-year-old Panamanian split time between shortstop, second base and third base for the Mets last season. He posted a solid .338 on-base percentage, but finished with just three home runs and two stolen bases in 116 games.

It looked like he was in line to compete for the Opening Day shortstop gig with Cabrera recovering from a left knee injury. This move suggests the Mets will move forward with Wilmer Flores for the time being, while letting Tejada go would also create some financial flexibility.

The natural shortstop didn't want to discuss the situation when asked about it over the weekend, per Rubin.

"I can't make the decision here," Tejada said. "My mentality here is only to stay focused and do my job. They know what they have to do."

Tejada and Flores would be in line to fill the same role when everybody is healthy, so taking one of them out of the equation to save money makes sense. With that said, there's some risk involved should more infield injuries begin to mount before Cabrera is cleared to return.

The roster move also comes just as Tejada's bat was starting to heat up in spring training. The Mets highlighted a double against the Miami Marlins on Sunday:

Tejada isn't worth a long-term starting spot, but he's a valuable bench asset thanks to his defensive versatility.

 

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