SANTO DOMINGO, Dominican Republic - Baltimore Orioles shortstop Miguel Tejada said Thursday he's unhappy with the team's direction and wants to be traded.
"I've been with the Orioles for two years and things haven't gone in the direction that we were expecting, so I think the best thing will be a change of scenery," Tejada told The Associated Press in a phone interview in his native Dominican Republic.
Tejada signed a six-year $72 million contract with the Orioles before the 2004 season.
He hit .304 with 26 home runs and 98 RBIs this year, but the team still finished 21 games out of first place in the American League Eastern Division.
"I've done many things with this team and I haven't seen results, and the other teams are getting stronger while the Orioles have not made any signings to strengthen the club," Tejada added.
Tejada's comments came as the Orioles and free agent catcher Ramon Hernandez and the Orioles agreed to a $27.5 million, four-year contract.
Hernandez's deal is contingent on a physical, a baseball official familiar with the negotiations said Thursday, speaking on condition of anonymity. The agreement, which includes a club option for 2010, probably will not be finalized until next week, the official said.
The 29-year-old Venezuelan batted .290 last season with the San Diego Padres. He had 12 home runs and 58 RBIs, but his main value is behind the plate, where he has a reputation for calling a smart game and capably handling a pitching staff.
The addition of Hernandez will mean less time behind the plate for Orioles catcher Javy Lopez, who complained of sore knees toward the end of last season. Lopez is eager to spend more time as a designated hitter and at first base.
Baltimore also might trade the Puerto Rican for a starting pitcher, one of the team's biggest needs.
A source close to Tejada, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said Tejada would like to be traded to a team on the East Coast, and specifically mentioned the Boston Red Sox as his choice destination.
Edited by jacklamabe65, 30 December 2005 - 09:11 AM.