Tejada wants to finish career in Houston
Wade says Astros will talk to free agent-to-be after season
HOUSTON -- With his legal troubles mostly behind him and his red-hot bat vaulting him to the lead in the National League with a .362 batting average entering Wednesday, Astros shortstop Miguel Tejada has certainly found a comfort zone.
In fact, Tejada has enjoyed his nearly 1 1/2 seasons with the Astros so much he said Wednesday he'd like to finish his career in Houston. He's in the last season of a contract that will pay him roughly $13 million this year, but insists he isn't looking ahead to free agency.
"If it were up to me, I am going to stay here for the rest of my career," Tejada said. "I love it here. I want to lead this organization to a championship."
Tejada, who extended his hitting streak to an NL-high 17 games with a first-inning single against Colorado on Wednesday, was hitting .463 (31-for-67) in his previous 16 games. He also led the team with 32 RBIs after hitting a walk-off homer in the 11th inning Tuesday.
"I just see the ball good and I don't try to do too much," he said. "What I try to do is get on base. I don't try to hit home runs. The home runs will come. What I try to do is be selective and not try to do too much, and that's why I've had good success."
Tejada, 35, lauded the Astros organization for standing firmly behind him during his recent legal troubles. In March, Tejada received probation and community service for lying to Congress about performance-enhancing drugs.
"This team has been supportive of me," he said. "What this organization does for me, I don't have anything to complain about. All the support from the players and the front office, I don't want to leave here. I love this town, and Drayton McLane has been great for me. I've never been in an organization that's been more supportive. That's something I appreciate and I'm never going to forget."
General manager Ed Wade was appreciative of Tejada's fondness of the Astros and said the club won't have any contract negotiations with him until after the season.
"I'm gratified that he feels that way," Wade said. "He's been tremendous for us since the very first day he got here, both on and off the field. As far as his contract situation goes, those are issues we will hold off until after the season to address. There will be quite a few free agents and a lot of different variables involved in both sides of the discussion. I love the job he's done for us and at the appropriate time we'll make a decision about next season. "
It's unlikely Tejada would be able to command anything close to the $13 million he's making this year because of his age, but the only thing Tejada says he wants to do is win.
"I don't think about [a contract]," he said. "I want to see how far we can go and see if we can take the team to another level and win. I take it day by day. I want to be a better team and a winning team, and after that there will be time to decide where I'm going to be for my future.
"I'm an Astro, and I want to continue to be an Astros player. The Astros have to decide what they want to do with me, if they want to keep me or let me go. Right now, I'm an Astro."
Brian McTaggart is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.