Astros acquire Tejada from Orioles
Baltimore gets five players in return for star shortstop
HOUSTON -- Like everyone else in baseball, the Houston Astros need starting pitching. But they couldn't pass up an opportunity to grab one of the game's best hitting shortstops.The Astros acquired Miguel Tejada from the Baltimore Orioles on Wednesday in a five-for-one trade that included three pitchers going to the Orioles. "Obviously, the price of the deal is high, a little painful," said Ed Wade, the Astros new general manager. "We gave up some significant pitching in this deal. If you're going to bring in a player of this caliber, you've got to pay the price for it." Houston traded outfielder Luke Scott, third baseman Michael Costanzo, left-hander Troy Patton and right-handers Matt Albers and Dennis Sarfate for Tejada. How the Astros rotation will line up behind No. 1 starter Roy Oswalt has been the major question since the season ended, and Patton and Albers were candidates to be starters. "We had a lot of internal conversations with our staff," Wade said. "Our staff felt overwhelmingly that if we had the ability to add a four-time All-Star, run-producing shortstop to our lineup, it would make us very, very potent offensively." He will be returning to Minute Maid Park, where he won the home run contest before the 2004 All-Star Game, beating out Houston's Lance Berkman in the final. "I'm just happy to hear I got traded," Tejada said on a conference call from Miami. "I have a lot of memories [from that All-Star Game]. I remember the fans cheering for Berkman. I hope they're happy when I come to Houston." Tejada, 31, who hit .311 in his four years with the Orioles after playing seven seasons for Oakland, has two years remaining on his contract. Scott, Houston's starting right fielder this past season and who hit .255 with 18 homers, became expendable when the Astros acquired center fielder Michael Bourn in the Brad Lidge trade with Philadelphia. That allowed Houston's Hunter Pence to move from center field, where he started this season, to right. Costanzo was acquired as part of the Lidge/Bourn trade. He hit .270 with 27 homers and 86 RBIs in Double-A this year. Adam Everett, Houston's starting shortstop for most of the past five years, was not included in the trade. Wade said the Astros did not plan to tender an offer to Everett by midnight Wednesday, making him an unrestricted free agent. Everett, 30, was often brilliant defensively, but his average slipped to .239 in 2006 and .232 this past season, playing in only 66 games in '07 because of a fractured right leg. He has only 35 homers in his career.
|"We all know sometimes prospects work out and exceed your expectations and sometimes the opposite happens. Our focus is on 2008."|
|-- Astros GM Ed Wade, on giving up young talent|
Gene Duffey is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.