- With that said, Tejada to the Cardinals isn't quite a perfect fit. For one thing, Khalil Greene is making his way back from anxiety problems and should be ready to rejoin the team soon. Plus, Tejada's defense at shortstop has declined to the point that he's somewhere between "solidly below average for the position" and "terrible."
If he'd be willing to slide over to third base the Cardinals could replace the unproductive Joe Thurston-Brian Barden-Tyler Greene platoon without further weakening their up-the-middle defense, but Tejada has never played even one inning at a position other than shortstop during 13 seasons in the big leagues and may not want to make the move with free agency looming.
And last but not least, while the financially strapped Astros would no doubt like to shed the $8 million or so that Tejada is owed for the remainder of the season, the team's management is still clinging to the notion that they can contend and even if that stance changes they may not be willing to help out a division rival.
I think the latter two problems are more serious than the first. Maybe Tejada doesn't want to play third base ... but has anyone asked him to? Seems to me that a 37-year-old shortstop with a shaky defensive rep might want to play some third base, if only to prove to prospective suitors that he can do it. Particularly if he's doing it for a contending club and coming up with a few big hits down the stretch. (Plus, I suspect that stories of Greene's return have been greatly exaggerated.)
The other stuff, though? The Astros don't like to give up on a season, and I suspect that's particularly true this season, on the heels of a 2008 that saw them go 36-18 down the stretch and finish only three-and-a-half games behind the wild card-winning Brewers. Throw in the division-rival thing, and I think this deal would take a lot more guts than ownership's ever showed before.