Originally posted on Fox Sports Kansas City  |  Last updated 1/28/13
KANSAS CITY, Mo. When the Royals signed Miguel Tejada to a minor-league deal last New Year's Eve, they knew they wouldn't be getting the Most Valuable Player from the 2002 season, or the guy who drove in 150 runs for Baltimore in 2004, or the guy who routinely turned in 30-homer, 100-RBI seasons in his youth. But the Royals are hoping that Tejada can be more than a serviceable utility infielder and, just as important, a valuable presence in a clubhouse still filled with young players uncertain about how to win at the major-league level. "Hopefully, what are young guys will see in Miguel is his day-to-day preparation," Royals general manager Dayton Moore told FOXSportsKansasCity.com. "He's a guy who comes to the park every day and prepares to play and prepares to win. "He's also a guy with great enthusiasm and energy. You hope that rubs off on everyone." Tejada, 38, simply wants to play in the majors again. He last played in the big leagues with San Francisco in 2011, and spent part of last season in Baltimore's minor-league system before asking for his release. Tejada went home to the Dominican Republic last summer, dropped 15 pounds and recommitted himself in hopes of landing another chance at the big leagues. He opened eyes in winter ball with his play in the field and at the plate. "The biggest concern was whether or not he could catch up to the fastball at his age," Moore said. "And our scouts witnessed that he can. You know, those pitchers in winter ball down in the Dominican throw very hard. Really hard. Those are some big-league fastballs. And he had no issue with those." The Royals therefore offered him a 1.1 million deal if he makes the club, which most likely would be to back up shortstop Alcides Escobar and whomever wins the second-base job between Chris Getz and Johnny Giavotella. "He's still got good enough range," Moore said. "He's in good shape. "He will be competing for a spot. He's been playing very well in winter ball and that's what caught our scouts' attention. He still has a passion to play and wants to contribute in any way he can." Tejada's signing even brings up the notion that he could be in the mix for the second-base job, though Moore said that's not why they signed him. "Well, you don't ever want to put limitations on a player," Moore said. "Anything can happen. But we didn't sign him to be an everyday player. But then again, you never know. We'll just see what happens." Tejada will be competing with Irving Falu, Brandon Wood and possibly prospect Christian Colon for the utility spot. Wood, a former top prospect of the Angels, was signed in November. Falu, Wood and Colon may get the early jump on Tejada this spring because Tejada has committed to play in the World Baseball Classic for the Dominican. That means he may not get to the Royals' camp until mid-March. Moore doesn't see that as a problem. "That's fine because he'll be playing (in the WBC) and he'll be in good shape when he gets to us," Moore said. "We all know what he can do. And our scouts have seen him enough to know what he can bring to the table." Tejada simply welcomes another shot at the majors. "I'm going to try to help this team and their younger players," Tejada told The Associated Press. "I believe I can be valuable for Kansas City in different facets. They haven't told me what specific role they have in mind for me, but what is important is that I'm healthy and I know that I can help." The Royals are hoping Tejada will have a similar impact on their position players as newcomer James Shields, also known for his leadership qualities, will have on the pitching staff. Tejada's former teammate with the Astros, Lance Berkman, once said of Tejada: "You don't have time for me to tell you everything I like about him. He's a great teammate and a great guy." Tejada is known to fist-pump every teammate just before every game starts. Royals right-hander Jeremy Guthrie, a former teammate of Tejadas in Baltimore, apparently already is caught up once again with Tejadas infectious energy. Guthrie tweeted after the signing of Tejada: "Bienvenido Miggy! Uno de los con quien ms me gust jugar." That translates to: "Welcome Miggy! One of those with whom I most enjoyed playing!"
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Harbaugh on kick-six: ‘Never seen anything like it in my life’

Report: Josh McCown’s season likely over

Antonio Cromartie: Beckham Jr. still has room to grow

NFL pulls officiating crew from SNF after error-filled game

Jason Garrett: Tony Romo has a lot of football left in him

Jerry West: It’s painful watching Kobe Bryant


Brett Favre compared Browns QB Austin Davis to Tom Brady

NCAA figures out how to invite 5-7 teams to bowls

Okafor reportedly will have security guard when he goes out

Missouri to interview Utah State coach Matt Wells

Floyd Mayweather attends Knicks D-League game

Chip Kelly trade to Titans is a possibility

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

QUIZ: Name every NCAA football national champion since 1950

Browns lose to Ravens as only the Browns know how

NCAA figures out how to invite 5-7 teams to bowls

Ranking top Heisman Trophy candidates

Have the New Orleans Saints given up?

This weekend in NFL stupid, ft. Rex Ryan

Missouri won’t accept a bowl bid at 5-7

Durant blasts media on behalf of Kobe

Josh McCown laments how he got job back from Manziel

Paul George: Kobe Bryant was my Michael Jordan

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Follow Yardbarker