We tendered contracts to all our arbitration-eligible players, including Raul Chavez. Everyone else (Ensberg, Lidge, Everett, Wheeler) was a no-brainer. Chavez could have been released, but instead we gave him $400,000. Hey, it's not my money. Humberto Quintero underwent wrist surgery a few days ago, which will keep him out about six weeks. I guess we want Q to spend another year in AAA.
Jack and I said right after the World Series that this team must upgrade offensively at shortop or catcher. With Ausmus sticking around the next two years, we're left with the shortstop question. I wonder if the Orioles would consider trading Tejada for Lane, Lidge and Nieve. They'd get an everyday outfielder with 30-homer potential, a proven closer and a top prospect. We'd get Tejada for $48 million over the next four years, a bargain.
Tejada is definitely one of the most valuable players in the game. He plays terrific defense and is a tremendous middle-of-the-lineup hitter. It would suck to give up Lane and Lidge, but I think it would be worth it. Besides, trading Lane would open up more playing time for Burke and Scott in left field. Lidge is a damn good closer, but with his health risks, we'd be smart to trade him while his value is high. Qualls and Wheeler would have first dibs at the closing vacancy, or we could pursue a free agent, say, Ugueth Urbina to help us out.