Miguel Tejada and Aaron Rowand Cut by San Francisco Giants: Huh?

Matt TruebloodSenior Analyst IAugust 31, 2011

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - AUGUST 23:  Miguel Tejada #10 of the San Francisco Giants reacts after lining out to end the eighth inning of their game against the San Diego Padres at AT&T Park on August 23, 2011 in San Francisco, California.  (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

Miguel Tejada and Aaron Rowand are freely available. Take a number.

The San Francisco Giants designated Tejada and Rowand for assignment Wednesday in order to clear space to activate Pat Burrell from the disabled list, and to promote infielder Brett Pill from Triple-A Fresno, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.

This move is beyond me. No one is defending Tejada nor Rowand as useful players. They've been awful all year, and more than once, perfectly credible and intelligent people (see "The Baseball Show with Rany and Joe" for one example) have suggested they drop both players in favor of any minor-leaguer with upside in some facet of the game.

But why, on August 31, with September call-ups some 12 hours away, would the Giants make this move? It sure seems like Tejada and Rowand, considered good clubhouse guys and each with plenty of postseason experience, would be good to have around down the stretch, and it's really difficult (impossible is merely a degree of difficulty, right?) to imagine that GM Brian Sabean honestly thinks Pill and Burrell were knocking down the door to the show.

Money is the big issue here: The two men had a combined $14.8 million left to be paid, including $12 million for Rowand in 2012. It seems strange to cut bait on that kind of cash--though Sabean intends to try to trade both guys, he will not succeed--one day before keeping the players would have been feasible.

I suppose this would have raised no eyebrows 10 days ago, so it should not be treated as a federal case now, either. But the timing makes no sense whatsoever, unless another shoe is soon to drop as the deadline for waiver trades comes today. We'll have to see what possessed Sabean to pull this stunt, and whether it is actually as strange a move as it appears on first glance.