The Padres, who sent Double-A right-hander Wynn Pelzer to the Orioles, hope Tejada will help strengthen both their offense and their middle infield. He is expected to play shortstop upon joining the club as long as David Eckstein (calf) is on the disabled list and Jerry Hairston Jr. is playing second base.
Tejada, 36, is owed a little more than $2 million for the remainder of 2010. The Orioles will send an undisclosed amount of cash to the Padres to help cover that.
The 2002 American League Most Valuable Player was hitting .269 with seven home runs and 39 RBI in 97 games for the Orioles this season. Though he was playing third base for the Orioles, the Padres view him as more of a utilityman who will play some short, some third and even some outfield. Basically, a player who will give manager Bud Black more options.
Eckstein went onto the disabled list with a right calf strain July 21, and Black indicated Wednesday that he may not be quite ready to return when he is eligible on Aug. 5.
"The degree of the strain shouldn't keep him out for a prolonged period of time," Black said. "We're going to make sure David goes through all of the right steps to come back."
Eckstein is hitting .279 with a .326 on-base percentage and is statistically the most difficult regular to strike out in the National League.
Jerry Hairston Jr., who had been getting starts at shortstop, has been playing second base in Eckstein's absence. But that means Cabrera, who is hitting just .201 with a .270 on-base percentage, is getting more regular time at short and is not faring well under the daily grind.
Because of that, the Padres shifted their priorities from acquiring a starting pitcher and/or an outfielder to middle infield.
"Jed's trying like heck," one source said of general manager Hoyer's efforts during his first July trade deadline as the man in charge.
The Padres, who continue to own the best record in the NL, rank only 14th in the league with a .252 batting average and 14th with a .377 slugging percentage. However, they are hitting .276 with runners in scoring position.