O's Hernandez Says Tejada Does Not Want to Be Traded

By Jorge Arangure Jr.
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, December 14, 2005

BALTIMORE, Dec. 13 -- Add catcher Ramon Hernandez to the list of people to whom star shortstop Miguel Tejada has expressed a desire to stay with the Baltimore Orioles.

Hernandez -- introduced Tuesday as the Orioles' newest acquisition after signing a four-year, $27 million contract -- said he had a telephone conversation with Tejada a couple of days ago.

"He told me he doesn't want to be traded," Hernandez said.

Tejada has expressed the same sentiment to teammate Melvin Mora and to a Comcast SportsNet television reporter. But he has yet to convey his feelings to the Orioles.

It took only two questions before Hernandez's news conference turned into a session dealing mostly with Tejada, the disgruntled superstar who on Thursday told a reporter in the Dominican Republic he wanted to be traded. His representatives repeated those wishes to the Orioles' front office a day later.

Hernandez quickly dismissed rumors that he and Tejada, who had been close friends with the Oakland Athletics, were feuding.

"We've never had any problems," Hernandez said. "I don't know who came up with that."

One former Oakland clubhouse source said there was discord between the players by the end of the 2003 season.

Nothing has changed with Tejada's situation and it appears the Orioles continue to listen to offers with the hope that he can somehow be convinced to stay.

Orioles Vice President Jim Duquette, while not admitting that Tejada is on the trading block, said no player on the team was untouchable, including the former MVP.

"I can't imagine our ballclub without Miguel Tejada," Duquette said. "But we're trying to improve the club any way we can. . . . If there's something that makes sense to improve our club you'd have to consider any type of move."

Hernandez has hit at least 15 home runs in three of his seven years in the majors and is adept at handling a young pitching staff. But in the Orioles' turbulent offseason, their most important acquisition has already caused controversy.

Javy Lopez, Baltimore's starting catcher the past two seasons, might ask to be traded if he is not signed to an extension. The team would consider dealing Lopez.

Elsewhere, reliever Jason Grimsley, who went 1-2 with a 5.73 ERA in 22 appearances for the Orioles last season, agreed to a one-year contract with the Arizona Diamondbacks, according to the Associated Press.

Staff writer Barry Svrluga contributed to this report from Washington.

© 2005 The Washington Post Company