Baltimore Orioles: Should O's Invite Miguel Tejada to Spring Training in 2012?

Chip SpanglerContributor IIISeptember 10, 2011

Tejada with the Giants in 2011.
Tejada with the Giants in 2011.Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

ESPN Deportes reported that former Orioles shortstop Miguel Tejada wants to continue playing baseball in 2012. He was released by the Giants on Thursday after a subpar season.

While the Orioles have a very good shortstop in J.J. Hardy, Baltimore should consider whether or not Tejada could temporarily fill a need at third base.

Admittedly, he was given a shot at third for the Orioles in 2010 and his performance there was not great. While Mark Reynolds was downright awful fielding third base for the Orioles, Tejada was not substantially better, committing 15 errors in 280 chances over 93 games with the O's for a fielding percentage of .946.

However, in 2011 with the Giants, he split time evenly between 3B and SS. His performance at third dramatically improved, and in 44 games at the hot corner he committed just two errors in 130 chances for a fielding percentage of .985.

While his hitting this season with the Giants was not nearly as good as it had been during his stint with the Orioles from 2004 to 2007, he was playing in San Francisco. That's probably not the only reason his hitting has declined, but it should be noted that AT&T Park is a less hitter-friendly ballpark than Camden Yards.

Chris Davis was recently picked up from Texas, and although he has played more games in the majors at first, he has also spent a bit of time covering third. If he plays to his full potential, he could be a long-term solution at third. But he hasn't proved that yet. 

Josh Bell, likewise, hasn't yet proved that he's capable of handling the hot corner in the majors.  Reynolds is much better at first base than third, and unless they can persuade Prince Fielder to come to Baltimore, he may be their best option at first base.

Baltimore should consider giving Tejada a minor league contract and inviting him to spring training in 2012. A little competition from a veteran all-star would be a good thing for the O's in spring training. 

Given the chance, Tejada may also perform much better at Oriole Park, which is not only a more hitter-friendly ballpark than AT&T, but also the place where he had some of the best years of his career.