We'll always have Ruben Tejada walking onto the field on a broken leg with his Mets-themed cane to help inspire the Mets to the World Series. But we won't have infield depth with Asdrubal Cabrera on the DL and David Wright not having played in a game yet because the Mets apparently think that shedding Tejada's $3M salary is more important, now that the Mets have placed Tejada on waivers. If he is not claimed, the Mets are expected to release Tejada 15 days before the start of the season to get out of paying him all but 30 days worth of his salary (about half a million).
(Update: Tejada went unclaimed and was just released.)
While Wilmer Flores can fill in for Cabrera, the backup for Wright could be none other than Eric Campbell, who started 39 games for the Mets at third last year. For the year, Campbell hit .197 and helped the Mets to the worst hitting attack in the league in the first half of the season. He also made eight errors at third.
I had hoped that the days of the Eric Campbells and John Mayberry Jrs. were over. That the Mets would no longer have such a pathetic bench that last season's deadline trades for backups Juan Uribe and Kelly Johnson were hailed as game-changers because they were actually major league-caliber.
Maybe Matt Reynolds or someone else from the farm system is ready to step up. Maybe Wright is going to be fine and Cabrera will not be out long. But even if the Mets genuinely feel they do not need Tejada, they need to get some value out of him. The Cardinals apparently do not want to take on that contract. But did the Mets offer to pay some or all of Tejada's salary? I assume not.
Dumping players with some value for nothing is bad business. The Mets did not need Jon Niese and wanted to shed his salary, but they were able to turn Niese into Neil Walker.
But when Dillon Gee fell out of favor, he ended up getting released. Now Gee could make the Kansas City bullpen, which last year was only the best in baseball.
Tejada may not seem that valuable now, but Justin Turner seemed like no great loss when the Mets parted ways with him, and wouldn't it be nice to have him shoring up the infield right about now, or at least to have gotten something back for him.
Now the Cardinals can pick Tejada up on the cheap if they are so inclined to help fill the void left by Jhonny Peralta's injury. I just hope St. Louis does not end up edging the Mets out of the postseason by a couple of games as a result.