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Mas Tejada

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[Baltimore Sun]

The ire of Miguel Tejada is hotter than ever. The Baltimore Orioles' star shortstop reiterated his request to play elsewhere in 2006, backing away from recent comments that seemed to indicate a change of heart.

"Next year I want to be somewhere where they want to win," he said in an interview Thursday night before playing in a Winter League game.

Somebody should inform Tejada that the team from up north finished 4th last year, and even though St. Louis and Houston's off-seasons have left a lot to be desired, the baby bears have about the same chance of winning the division as do the Brewers.

Dave Van Dyck writes that the Sox are still interested.

If the Orioles trade Tejada, they would need a shortstop, and the White Sox would be willing to part with Juan Uribe as part of a deal. They also might be willing to trade Jose Contreras, who might have been baseball's best pitcher the last two months last season. Would GM Ken Williams really break up his world championship lineup? In a heartbeat. After adding Jim Thome this winter, Williams would turn around a lineup that was very average last season.

The problem for the White Sox is money. Their payroll already is projected at $95 million, which is $20 million more than last season.

Still, to add someone of Tejada's quality to a team already capable of winning again would intrigue Williams, who adores big-name players.

The names don't come any bigger than Miguel Tejada.

I don't think the payroll would be an issue at all. Contreras and Uribe are due to make combined figure of about $12M -- Though the Yankees are still on the hook for around $2M of Contreras' salary -- while Tejada makes exactly $12M in '06. That's about as close to a wash in terms of salary as you can get.