Bernardo Fallas has an interesting blog post about the Astros' negotiations with Tejada during the 2009 season:
The fact is that at some point last year, the Astros held talks with Tejada about having him stick around for another season - at third base. Tejada, however, wanted the type of job security only a multiyear deal provides. So he and the team said their goodbyes and went their separate ways.
Fallas notes that he's not sure if talks got far enough to the point of exchanging dollars, but:
I am willing to bet the Astros' offer would have been, at the very least, comparable to the Orioles', bonus potential included.
Giving Tejada upwards of $7m is obviously $2.5m-ish over what the Astros got Pedro Feliz for. Would $2.5m have made a difference to the Astros' payroll? Perhaps. Perhaps not. But the fact is that Tejada and Valverde may have seriously misread the market, and only screwed themselves.