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Ruben Tejada might be headed to the Cardinals - A Hunt and Peck

The Mets placed the shortstop on waivers Tuesday afternoon.

Stacy Revere/Getty Images

Much has been written about the shortstop situation the Cardinals now find themselves in. Just yesterday, in fact, three articles were written about it on this very site. While discussing different elements, each of these articles (among a few others published here) have reached a similar conclusion: the Cardinals are prepared to use an in-house shortstop option and it will probably not be that bad.

But then the Mets placed Ruben Tejada on waivers and a whole new slew of rumors have begun.

The Cardinals could still move on with in-house options, but Tejada presents an interesting dilemma. On waivers, each team in the National League, by order of worst to best record, would have a chance to claim him and pick up his $3 million contract, then, if still unclaimed, he moves to the American League in the same manner. If no team claims him and he clears waivers, the Mets can release Tejada before his $3 million contract become guaranteed, making him a free agent, and reducing his cost significantly.

Is Tejada truly any better than the options the Cardinals already have? A quick look at his Fangraphs player page suggests not, but if the cost is league minimum, Tejada seems like type of chance the Cardinals might take. At least, Dave Cameron from Fangraphs believes so:

But my guess is that the Cardinals did want to trade for Tejada, but preferred to pay him less than his contract called for, and so the Mets waived Tejada in order to make him a free agent and give St. Louis a chance to offer him a smaller contract but a chance at increased playing time. If they knew that the Cardinals would give him regular at-bats for the first few months of the season, then they could be doing Tejada something of a favor by cutting him loose and letting him join STL, especially if they knew that the Cardinals wouldn't have given him that shot at his $3 million price tag. So, if my speculation is correct, Tejada will clear waivers, then sign with St. Louis at a reduced price.

The Cardinals make a lot of sense for Tejada and, at league minimum, Tejada makes some sense for the Cardinals. Are the two destined to be together?

Ruben Tejada, Inevitable Cardinal | FanGraphs Baseball

Report: Mets place shortstop Tejada on waivers | Derrick Goold: Bird Land |

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