Yankees could go after Tejada

N.Y. may pursue star to play third base

Orioles

November 08, 2007|By Jeff Zrebiec | Jeff Zrebiec,Sun Reporter

Lake Buena Vista, Fla. -- Though it's much too early to fit Miguel Tejada for pinstripes, it's not entirely out of the question. Seeking a potential replacement for free agent third baseman Alex Rodriguez, the New York Yankees have some interest in the Orioles' star infielder, according to an industry source.

How much interest they have, and how willing the Orioles will be to trade their most accomplished player to a division rival remains to be seen. One reason the Orioles balked at trading Tejada to the Boston Red Sox after the 2005 season was that some in the organization, including owner Peter Angelos, were hesitant to help a division rival.

"We have to be open-minded to anything," Orioles president Andy MacPhail said, talking in general about the potential of moving Tejada. "If we think a deal at the end of the day makes sense for us, we're going to do it."

It's well known around this week's general managers meetings that the Orioles are willing to listen to offers for Tejada, who is not interested in moving from shortstop to third base for his current team.

Tejada appears to be a fallback option for many teams that are looking at Rodriguez, free agent Mike Lowell and the Florida Marlins' Miguel Cabrera, who reportedly is available in a trade.

One industry source said the Yankees' No. 1 choice to replace Rodriguez is Cabrera, 24, who has a .313 career batting average, 138 home runs and 523 RBIs in 720 major league games. New Yankees manager Joe Girardi, who managed Cabrera for one season in Florida, is interested in a reunion with the player.

However, Hank Steinbrenner, the son of the Yankees' owner, told the Associated Press last night that the club isn't interested in trading top young pitchers Joba Chamberlain, Ian Kennedy or Phil Hughes. That could make landing Cabrera difficult.

The Orioles' asking price for Tejada, 31, who has hit .305 with 17 home runs and 94 RBIs in 123 career games against New York, would figure to be significantly less than what the Marlins would want for Cabrera.

The Orioles are primarily looking for talented position-player prospects who are close to major league ready. The Yankees are thin in that area but have a wealth of young pitching. MacPhail said the Orioles are in no position to discriminate.

"Let's get the young talent first, and then we'll sort it out," MacPhail said.

jeff.zrebiec@baltsun.com

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