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 during a telephone interview in his native Dominican Republic.
Tejada made his comments before a number of published reports stated that Baltimore has reached a preliminary agreement on a four-year, $27.5 million contract with free agent catcher Ramon Hernandez, who would have to complete a physical before making it official.
Tejada signed a $72 million, six-year contract with the Orioles before the 2004 season.
He hit .304 with 26 home runs and 98 RBIs this year, but Baltimore finished 21 games behind the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox in the AL East.
"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 said.
The Orioles say they are still looking for help at both first base and in the outfield, and that they'd also like to add depth to the starting rotation and bullpen. Thus far, the team's decision-makers have withstood the temptation to trade some of their young pitching, which was very much in demand at the Winter Meetings.
"Anytime you're trying to trade a player, you really have to take into consideration a lot of factors. And one of them is the marketplace," said Jim Duquette, Baltimore's vice president of baseball operations. "If it wasn't clear earlier, it became clear in the last two weeks that the cost of replacing a quality pitcher is so high that it would be very difficult for us to trade a pitcher of ours. It would have to be a unique situation."
There is some speculation that, with the addition of Hernandez, the Orioles will try to deal catcher Javy Lopez for pitching help.
Tejada came to Baltimore after playing seven years with the Oakland Athletics.