UPDATE (11:30 PM PST): According to Mike Puma of the NY Post, Ruben Tejada is no longer a member of the New York Mets.
Mets have officially released Ruben Tejada.— Mike Puma (@NYPost_Mets) March 16, 2016
He's now a free agent, and eligible to sign with any team. The most logical landing spot for Tejada is the St. Louis Cardinals, as Jhonny Peralta will be out for "2-3 months with [a] thumb injury." While they could turn to Jedd Gyorko, or Aledmys Díaz, adding Tejada as depth would make a lot of sense.
This story will be updated once Tejada's future is clearer.
ORIGINAL: Personally, I've never understood what the Mets had against Ruben Tejada. Maybe it's because I don't watch them every day, but he always seemed like a perfectly capable shortstop to me. Decent defense, good on-base skills, no power, a little injury prone. Not an All Star, but definitely the kind of low-cost competence a cash-poor team like the Mets could use over the years. But they kept throwing up road blocks in his path. And, now, he and the Mets will be on different roads.
ESPN's Adam Rubin broke the news this morning that Tejada was being put on waivers by the Mets for the purposes of being given his release. If he remains unclaimed, the Mets will owe him just a sixth of his $3 million salary, or $500,000. The Mets will move on with Neil Walker and Asdrubal Cabrera up the middle. Cabrera is currently hurt with a strained patella tendon, and will probably start the year on the disabled list, so it seems a weird time to cut Tejada over $2.5 million, but Wilmer Flores can presumably handle shortstop until he's back, with Dilson Herrera on deck in Las Vegas
In a few days, Tejada will be a free agent, able to sign with any club that has a hole at shortstop. That probably means that the Cardinals will be in play, as they search for solutions while Jhonny Peralta recovers from thumb surgery. Tejada would represent a big defensive upgrade over Jed Gyorko, and an offensive one over Aledmys Diaz. The Rays (where Brad Miller's throwing problems are a growing concern), the White Sox (where Jimmy Rollins is something of a question mark), the Dodgers (where Corey Seager is hurt), and the Rockies (where Jose Reyes is persona non grata) are also solid landing spots for a guy who still has the upside to be a league-average shortstop.
Tejada leaves the Mets having hit .255/.310/.323 across parts of six seasons. The only year he posted an OBP below .333 since earning a major role in 2011 was his disastrous and injury plagued 2013. Sadly, his enduring legacy with the Mets will be as the guy who failed to replace Jose Reyes and the enduring memory of him will be of him writhing on the ground after Chase Utley's unconscionably late takeout slide at second base that left Tejada with a broken leg. Hopefully, wherever he lands next is less painful on both a physical and emotional level.