Teahen not letting rumors get him down
Slugger says he'll contribute at whichever position necessary
KANSAS CITY -- Mark Teahen looks very much at home in Kansas City, whether it's presiding over a winter fundraiser or swinging the bat at Kauffman Stadium.
That's why it's difficult for him to even think about leaving. Yet it's been a hard topic to duck; he's often been mentioned in Royals trade rumors.
"I try to ignore it and assume it will all work out," Teahen said. "I try to view it more as any rumor is showing that other teams have some interest rather than the other side of it. I definitely don't think the Royals are trying to get rid of me.
"Career-wise it's a little unsettling because I've become part of the Kansas City community, and it's a home of some sort, and thinking of switching puts you on edge a little bit."
Teahen was a natural rumor target, if a moving one. He'd moved off third base to make room for Alex Gordon. He'd moved out of right field to make room for Jose Guillen. Now he's apparently moved out of left field to make room for David DeJesus, who's making room for Coco Crisp in center and ... whew, what's next for Teahen?
At least the trade rumors have eased off, especially since the Cubs signed Milton Bradley and Joey Gathright for their outfield.
Could Teahen become sort of a regular player who is spotted at a different position almost every day?
"It wouldn't be ideal, but I definitely think I could handle it," Teahen said. "The last month or so that was kind of my role anyway. With Alex getting hurt, I played a lot of third and bounced out to the outfield depending on what the situation was when he got healthy. It's not ideal but that might end up being my role and I've got to make that work. Like anyone else, I'd like to settle into a role. I've been bouncing around making sure everyone else can play in their comfortable positions so I've got to find a way to get comfortable myself."
If Teahen had his druthers, he'd play third base.
"I don't think it's off-the-wall to say I came up playing third base so, yeah, that would be my ideal position, but I'm not oblivious. Gordon is a good young player and he's going to play a good long time," he said. "Thankfully, I can play a good outfield or a good first base or maybe even mix in somewhere in the middle of the diamond possibly."
How's that? Middle of the diamond? Second base perhaps? Well, he played both second and shortstop in college.
"It's been a while since I've done it and it'd take a lot of hard work to make sure I'm comfortable there," Teahen said. "But it's something that I'd be willing to try, definitely if it assures me of being in the lineup every day."
Of course, the prevailing thought is to have newly-signed Willie Bloomquist and Alberto Callaspo battle over second base with rookie whiz Mike Aviles staying at short.
Last Friday night, Teahen took a break from such concerns at his second Challenge Your Fashion event to raise funds to build a sports facility for special-needs kids in the YMCA Challenger program. The event brought about 400 folks to the Kansas City Convention Center.
"Initially I was just trying to help out a charity, but now it's become a lot more personal because I've gotten to know a lot more of the kids and families involved," he said. "I want to make sure I see this through and get this field built for these kids."
The facility will be in Kansas City, where quite obviously, Teahen feels at home. Now, if he just had a position at which to feel at home.
"Looking at the roster right now, it's not clear-cut how the lineup will be set, but when we get to Spring Training we'll figure it out," he said. "But I expect to be in the lineup every day, producing and helping the team win."
He hasn't talked to manager Trey Hillman or general manager Dayton Moore about what position they might have in mind. So Teahen doesn't know where he might end up.
"I could put my name in the depth chart at any position outside of pitching and catching so I'll let it work itself out," he said. "I really don't know."
Dick Kaegel is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.