Cardinals SS Jhonny Peralta is expected to miss two to three months with torn ligaments in his left hand, leading to speculation that St. Louis could be in the market to acquire a stop-gap middle infielder.
Peralta, 33, hit .275 with a .334 OBP and 17 home runs last season, while consistently batting in the middle of the order.
The Cardinals have a few shortstop prospects, but they're not guys a team will burn for what amounts to a month's worth of work. It's going to be impossible for them to replace Peralta's offensive production, which is why they simply need to find someone to temporarily hold his spot in the field. In other words, Ruben Tejada should pique their interest.
Tejada is a good fielder with experience who is making around $3 million. He can hit enough, yet knows the position, and he'll be a free agent at season's end. More important, it's very possible Tejada gets cut by the Mets before Opening Day, at which point the Mets get nothing for him. Wilmer Flores is in line to be their primary backup infielder, and the team has other internal options to be the backup's backup. It will not cost much to get Tejada, whom St. Louis could stick at shortstop for a month or so, and the Cardinals could then designate him for assignment or shift him to their bench. It'd be an unceremonious end to Tejada's time with the Mets, but I'd rather see the young man be useful to the Mets in trade than discarded in a roster crunch.