HOUSTON Miguel Tejada got his wish albeit a couple of years later than he wanted.
Tejada was traded from the Baltimore Orioles to the Houston Astros for five players on Wednesday, giving the 2002 AL MVP a fresh start on a team looking to boost its lineup.
The Orioles got outfielder Luke Scott, pitchers Matt Albers, Troy Patton and Dennis Sarfate, and third baseman Michael Costanzo for the four-time All-Star shortstop.
Two winters ago, Tejada caused a stir in Baltimore when he said he was unhappy with the Orioles' direction and wanted to be traded. He later backed off that stance.
"I feel very happy with this trade, because it's something that I've been really looking forward to," Tejada said.
Houston general manager Ed Wade said the Astros couldn't pass up the opportunity to add Tejada.
"The reality is when you are talking about a player of this magnitude, you have to go in with every expectation that the asking price is going to be very high and if you want to participate, it's going to be tough," he said.
Tejada hit .296 with 18 home runs and 81 RBIs this season. In 11 seasons, he has hit .287 with 258 home runs and 1,033 RBIs. His home run total ranks him fourth all-time among shortstops.
"This is a big day for us. We got a big bat to our lineup," Wade said.
Tejada is 31, and the Orioles were worried about his range at shortstop. He had resisted their efforts to move him over to third base.
Wade said while Tejada may not cover quite as much ground as he once did, the Astros are confident he'll be solid at shortstop. Adam Everett, Houston's shortstop this season, will become an unrestricted free agent by Thursday, Wade said.
In 2005, Tejada came under scrutiny after teammate Rafael Palmeiro tested positive for steroids. Palmeiro said Tejada gave him vitamin B-12 that might have been tainted with performance-enhancing drugs.
Tejada denied any steroid use and his name has not been linked to any wrongdoing. Wade refused to make any comment on that subject.
"I'm not addressing the steroid issue," he said.
When asked if it was a coincidence that the deal for Tejada was announced a day before former Senate Majority Leader George Mitchell's report on drug use in baseball was to be released, Wade said, "the deal was announced today because we finished it this morning."