The Giants chose not to exercise a $9.5M extension on former shortstop Juan Uribe, but ESPN reports that they just signed Miguel Tejada to a 1-year, $6.5M deal.
Throughout his career, Tejada has consistently been a more valuable hitter than Fatso Uuuuuribe. Good enough to be more valuable overall despite sub-par defense at shortstop. Coming at $3M cheaper, it seems like Tejada is a better deal for the Giants.
Tejada: Orange; Uribe: Green
The graph from Fangraphs shows that Tejada consistently outperformed Uribe offensively (wOBA) through 2007, and matched Uribe’s output the last three years. The real question mark is Tejada’s age. He’s 5 years older than Uribe, and those last three seasons may not be a fluke so much as an indication of body wear and tear. Like Uribe, Tejada is right-handed, and his power won’t take a hit in AT&T as a lefty’s power would.
In any case, the Giants are getting him cheaper than Uribe–and for only one year. Having Tejada fill in somewhere on the left side of the infield will give Emmanuel Burris and the other infield kids another year to grow. He’s also much cheaper than the other major SS option on the market would be, and probably about as good.
My spidey senses tell me this is a good move for the Giants. If they hadn’t gotten Tejada, they didn’t have a lot of good options for filling the SS/3B positions.