Yankees Sign Infielder Ruben Tejada to Minor League Contract

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The New York Yankees have agreed to a minor league deal with former New York Mets shortstop Ruben Tejada.

Jerry Crasnick of ESPN reports that the New York Yankees have added utility infielder Ruben Tejada on a minor league contract, confirming the news with Tejada’s agent, Peter Greenberg. Crasnick also reveals that Tejada has received an invitation to big league spring training camp next March.

The 27-year-old infielder is probably best remembered for being the on-again, off-again starting shortstop for the Mets from 2010-2015, compiling a decent (for his position) .255/.330/.323 (84 OPS+) slash line in 2185 plate appearances with the Amazins’.

Tejada was released by the other New York club last spring and signed a few weeks later to be the St. Louis Cardinals starting shortstop, with Jhonny Peralta missing the first half of 2016 due to a thumb injury suffered in spring training.

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Unfortunately, Tejada suffered an injury of his own, and struggled upon his return, which led to him being cut loose by the Cards in June. He was picked up by his third organization of the season a month later, the San Francisco Giants, but spent the majority of his stay with the club with the Triple-A Sacramento River Cats, hitting .301/.338/.413 in 155 Pacific Coast League plate appearances.

While Tejada seems most likely to end up as the starting shortstop for the Triple-A Scranton Wilkes-Barre Railriders, there is an outside chance he earns a spot on the Yankees bench with a strong performance next spring.

Ronald Torreyes and Rob Refsnyder currently look like the front runners to serve as New York’s primary utility infielder. Both guys saw time in that role last year, although Refsnyder’s defensive limitations and lack of offensive production in 2016 make him an imperfect fit.

Tejada is a capable fielder at short, second, and third, and has shown he can clear the admittedly low offensive bar for being a big league utility infielder.

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A lot would have to go wrong for Tejada to receive regular playing time for the Yankees next year, but he’s a nice depth piece to have, and probably an upgrade over similar players the team brought in last winter like Pete Kozma and Donovan Solano.