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Orioles to Astros: Thanks for taking Tejada

When the Orioles shipped shortstop Miguel Tejada to the Houston Astros for five young players in December — one day before the release of the Mitchell Report (PDF) on performance-enhancing drugs — the home team saved itself more than just money in the deal.

It would seem that the Orioles’ front office saved itself what must be a monstrous off-season headache for the Astros, who have pretty much clammed up since the FBI announced a preliminary investigation into whether Tejada lied in 2005 to a congressional committee investigating steroid use. (Tejada, a U.S. resident with a green card, has maintained his innocence and reportedly says the only supplement he’s used is Vitamin B-12.)

Now the Houston Chronicle is reporting the four-time All Star, currently spending the winter in his native Dominican Republic, may not be able to return to the U.S. if he admits he lied and obstructed justice or is found guilty of doing so.

“If Tejada is convicted,” it went on, “his chances of staying in the U.S. are stronger if he has had legal residency for more than five years” but that result is not always a given. The newspaper was unable to reach a source who could say how long Tejada has had a green card.

Even Foxsports.com baseball writer Ken Rosenthal berated the Houston management last week for its “impatience” in not waiting until the Mitchell Report came out before trading for “alleged steroid user” Tejada.

Now Houston is facing the possibility that its $13 million-a-year shortstop could be deported while the O’s are rolling the dice with some top prospects. Any chance that Houston could retaliate legally, either against Tejada or the Orioles?

LIZ FARMER, Legal Affairs Writer

4 comments

  1. I’m sorry. I think I read this wrong. The Orioles made a move that actually might turn out well? Wow!! I guess even a broken clock has to be right twice a day!! Though I’m sure it was completely on accident.

  2. As the writer well knows, I know little of baseball but I do know something about deals & business. If it can be show that the Orioles knew or should have known about Tejada’s activities and traded him in false faith then I think the Astros would have some kind of case to get compensated in some way. Its like you selling your car to someone knowing that it has bad brakes and not telling the buyer.

  3. Jeff,
    You’re right; you do know little of baseball. The other team is supposed to do its own due diligence. (Isn’t that a term used in deals and business?) Everyone in baseball knew the Mitchell report would let the, um, spit fly. If the ‘Stros didn’t like the way the deal turned out, they can always refuse to return any further calls from the Warehouse.