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Did Roy Oswalt clear way for Padres to get Miguel Tejada?

The San Diego Padres acquired infielder Miguel Tejada on Thursday afternoon, a few hours after the Philadelphia Phillies acquired pitcher Roy Oswalt. The connection? According to Padres General Manager Jed Hoyer, the Phillies had also pursued Tejada, and not until the Phillies had spent trade chips on Oswalt did the Baltimore Orioles turn to the Padres and say, "He's yours."

The Padres traded minor league pitcher Wynn Pelzer to the Orioles, who agreed to pay half of the $2 million remaining on Tejada's contract.

The Padres plan to use Tejada at third base, shortstop and perhaps second base, Hoyer said. Tejada has not played shortstop this year and never has played second base.

"I think he'll play a lot, in a lot of different spots," Hoyer said.

The Padres could use some infield help. Second baseman David Eckstein is on the disabled list, shortstop Everth Cabrera is batting .201 and third baseman Chase Headley is batting .195 against left-handers. 

Tejada, 36, is batting .269 overall and .239 against left-handers. His .670 OPS is his worst since 1997, when he made his major league debut.

"He's probably not in the upside of his career," Hoyer said. "He's still a tough out. Getting him into a winning environment is something we hope energizes him, for sure."

Mark Loretta, the former Dodgers infielder who now works in the Padres front office, told Hoyer that Tejada was the best teammate he ever had.

Hoyer said he will continue to pursue pitchers and outfielders, but he said he suspected a pitcher would be more likely to be available in August, when a player must clear waivers before he can be traded.

"This may be the only move we make," Hoyer said. "This may be one of two or three."

-- Bill Shaikin

 
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