HOUSTON -- Adam Everett has been hearing Miguel Tejada's name floating around Houston for the better part of 18 months, and understandably, he was hoping the Astros' interest in the Orioles star would never blossom into a done deal.

On Wednesday, Everett had to deal with a double-whammy: not only did the Astros trade for Tejada, they also planned to non-tender Everett, leaving him without a team as of 11 p.m. CT.

Everett becomes a free agent, which could be seen as the silver lining to all of this. But hours after learning that he was out as the Astros' shortstop, Everett wasn't in overly jovial spirits.

"I'm fine," he said via cell phone from his home in Georgia. "I think the Astros made an upgrade at shortstop, and that's what they wanted to do. I wish them the best."

Everett, who turns 31 in February, is a defensive specialist who struggled at the plate. His average slipped to .239 in 2006 and .232 this past season, playing in only 66 games in '07 because of a fractured right leg.

Considered by some the best defensive shortstop in baseball, Everett took some comfort in knowing he was replaced by an All-Star-caliber player.

"I guess it makes it easier," Everett said. "It's the game. I'm not going to take any of this personally. It's a business, and I understand. I wish nothing but the best for the Astros. It's the team I grew up with, the team I played my first Major League game, got my first hit. It's tough, but if it takes a guy like Tejada, I guess that's how it goes."

General manager Ed Wade contacted Everett soon after the trade was finalized.

"I spoke with Adam Everett in contacting the players who were involved in this trade," Wade said. "I thanked him for everything he'd done for this organization. It was a difficult call to make. I told him unless something unforeseen happened in the next 11 hours he would not be tendered an offer.

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"I'm sure he's disappointed. If this deal wasn't there, Adam Everett is our shortstop. We were not out there on the shortstop front. Tejada became available, and we had a chance to add that type of offense to our club."