Well, maybe the move that everybody was speculating would happen back when Alex Gordon's presumed ascendancy to the throne of AL Rookie of the Year at the hot corner in Kansas City thrust Teahen in a new direction will be made this year, with two seasons (and two more position changes) having passed. As Sam Mellinger reported late last night, Mark Teahen has been taking grounders at second down at Trey Hillman's ranch.
Now two years ago, it was widely speculated that Teahen may get a shot at second in spite of his positionally-aberrant height (6'3") because of his general athleticism. That was only going to be possible were the Royals able to trade Mark Grudzielanek's Gold Glove to a contender in the offseason. No such trade ever happened, Teahen moved to the outfield, and all whispers ceased.
Now they can begin again, as Mark Teahen works to get his bat into the lineup. Past an injury in the outfield, Mark Teahen looks to be on the outside looking in as far as regular playing time is concerned, and if there were a real hole in the lineup that he could conceivably exploit to his advantage it would be at second.
When there was still hope for Grudz being turned into prospects from a contender, a lot of Royals fans started fantasizing
about plugging Mark Teahen's bat into the slot at second base and the ensuing increase in value at the position that we would have versus a move to the outfield where his bat was not nearly as impressive. It is an argument that still holds a certain degree of viability today, although the hope of a return to those late summer days of 2006 seems much more a dream than a reality.
Regardless of whether he is able to develop quickly enough defensively at second to be able to realistically play there often (if ever), it does speak to the increased depth of the Royals team that Teahen is at best battling for the starting job at second base and is more likely a fourth outfielder (although I personally would rather see his glove , and possibly bat, in right than Guillen's). At the very least, maybe the Royals are not looking at Willie Bloomquist as much more than a supersub.
Good God, I hope so.
To respond to Jeff's comment in to my last post:
Of all of Moore's moves this offseason, the Crisp one makes the most sense to me--aside from the Doug Waechter signing, maybe (low-cost, solid in relief last year). I know Ramon Ramirez was solid last year, but I'd rather be getting Coco Crisp's glove than anything that Mike Jacobs brings to the table, and to me Ramirez and Nunez were fairly interchangeable. Of the other moves, signing Horacio Ramirez, Willie Bloomquist, and Kyle Farnsworth to contracts paying out much more than any of them were worth--and in the cases of Farnsworth and Bloomquist contracts past the end of this next season--irk me considerably more than getting a superb glove in center with a fly-ball prone rotation and a lead-off hitter who has shown (at least at times in his past) an ability to get on base.