LMB: Former MLBer Ruben Tejada Signs With Leones de Yucatan

Rubén Tejada of Team Panama hits a two-run homerun to tie the game at the bottom of the 2nd inning during the World Baseball Classic Pool A game between Cuba and Panama at Taichung Intercontinental Baseball Stadium on March 10, 2023 in Taichung, Taiwan. (Photo by Gene Wang/Getty Images)

By Matthew Tallarini
World Baseball Network

Former Major League Baseball infielder Ruben Tejada will play for the Leones de Yucatan for the 2024 Liga Mexicana de Beisbol season, the organization announced on Thursday. 

Tejada, 34, was born in Santiago, Panama, and has played nine seasons in MLB during his professional career. 

Last season, Tejada played with the Long Island Ducks in the Atlantic League and batted .293 in 78 games with 328 plate appearances, smacking 78 hits, 14 doubles, six home runs, 35 RBI, 53 walks, 35 strikeouts, and a .840 OPS. 

During March, Tejada played for the Panamanian national team at the 2023 World Baseball Classic in Pool A at Taichung Intercontinental Baseball Stadium in Taichung, Taiwan. Tejada played shortstop defensively in all four games and batted .333 with 15 at-bats scoring two runs, recording five hits, two doubles, one home run, three RBI, one walk, and struck out four times. 

Last winter league season, Tejada played with Gigantes del Cibao in Liga de Béisbol Profesional de la República Dominicana. He played in five games and batted .200 in 20 plate plate appearances, recording four hits, two doubles, one RBI, and struck out three times during his short stint with the organization. 

Tejada played in two games for Panama during the 2022 WBC qualifier on home soil at Estadio Rod Carew in Panama City, Panama, batting .286 with seven at-bats, scoring one run, two hits, one double, two RBI, and walked twice, helping Panama beat Brazil 4-0 in their final qualifier game to earn a berth in the 2023 WBC. 

Tejada was a free agent during the 2022 regular season and did not sign with a MLB organization. 

In 2021, Tejada signed a minor league contract with the Philadelphia Phillies on May 5, 2021 and was assigned to Triple-A Lehigh Valley on May 18, 2021. Tejada played in 72 games with Triple-A Lehigh Valley, batting .231 with 264 plate appearances, recording 52 hits, five doubles, one triple, 15 RBI, 32 walks, 46 strikeouts, and a .603 OPS before he was released on Aug. 25, 2021. 

Ten days later, Tejada signed a minor league contract with the Chicago White Sox and was assigned to Triple-A Charlotte. He played in eight games with Triple-A Charlotte and batted .250 in 30 plate appearances, recording seven hits, one home run, five RBI, two walks, and 12 strikeouts. 

In nine seasons in MLB, Tejada has played for the New York Mets from 2010-15 and 2019, the St. Louis Cardinals and San Francisco Giants in 2016,  and the Baltimore Orioles in 2017. He has played in 663 games in MLB with a lifetime average at .250 in 2,396 plate appearances and recorded 530 hits, 110 doubles, one triple, 10 home runs, 158 RBI, 16 stolen bases, 202 walks, 359 strikeouts, and a .641 OPS. 

The 2024 Liga Mexicana de Beisbol regular season will open with the Diablos Rojos del México against the Pericos de Puebla at Estadio de Béisbol Hermanos Serdán in Puebla on April 11.

The Leones de Yucatan will open the 2024 regular season on April 12 on the road against Bravos de Leon in León, Guanajuato, Mexico, at Estadio Domingo Santana.

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