My Case For Not Signing Mark Teixeira
Posted by Mike on November 21, 2008
With rumors that the Boston Red Sox lust after free-agent Mark Teixeira, there could be some concerns signing him to the mega-deal that he will likely get. The soon to be 29-year-old once turned down a eight-year $144 Million dollar contract, which was an annual average value of $18 Million, so you can expect that any contract that the gold glove first basemen is to sign will at least be worth $20 Million dollars a season. The contract maybe along the line of six-years $120 Million, or possibly seven years $161 Million, which would be an AAV of $23 Million dollars. The battle of Teixeira could be the biggest bidding war this winter. The Yankees are dead set on having the highest bid for pitcher CC Sabathia, and there won’t be many clubs involved for his services. The same can’t be said about Teixeira, teams with very deep pockets like the Angels, Red Sox and Yankees to be bidding on him, and teams such as his hometown Baltimore Orioles and Washington Nationals expected to make an offer as well. You can’t rule out the latter two, they both have money too spend, but rumor is Teixeira wants to play for a winner. Also, there has been talk he has been shopping around for a home in the Los Angeles area. Angels owner Artie Moreno has made it his top priority to sign the slugger. However, with all this hoopla surrounding Teixeira is he really worth it ? It’s been said that Teixeira will never be a star player, but is an excellent secondary player. He’s the Scottie Pippen to someone’s Michael Jordan. He’s been known as a whiner and somebody who complains when things aren’t going right. Teixeira was one the loudest voices complaing about then Rangers manger Buck Showalter. Dallas columnist, Jean-Jacques Taylor called him a “chronic complainer”, he has constantly been someone who says he wants to win, which is a good thing, but to voice those comments publicly are never a good thing for a team. The on-the-field Teixeira is a producer of runs, he’s got a great bat and plays gold glove defense. But, his power numbers have slipped since his big 2005 season, were he belted 43 HR’s 144 RBI’sand had a slugging percentage of .575. Since then, he continually bats over .300, which he will always do, but his home runs numbers are around the low 30’s, and hasn’t hit more than 110 RBI’s till this season, which just happens to be his free-agent year. Some say his numbers are a bit inflated by the ballpark he played at in Texas. Let’s take a look at his home and away number in his big year of 2005. Of the 43HR’s he hit only 13 of them were on the road. His home slugging percentage was .698, his road .459. His home batting average was .334, while his road was .270. Those numbers are a clear indication of how the hot Texas heat helped out the power numbers of Teixeira. His numbers have seemed to come back to earth since he was traded away from Texas. He is a very good hitter, someone who has averaged a season of 36 HR’s 121 RBI’s and bat .290, while those are are a bit inflated due to his early career success, does it make sense to pay upwards of $120 Million dollars for him ? For some teams yes, but the Red Sox, no. The Sox do need another bat in the lineup, but why add a “complainer” and a “constant whiner”, that isn’t the avenue the Sox should to go down. The Sox do have a lot of money to spend, but why not use that money to tie up some of your younger players such as: Dustin Pedroia, Jonathan Papelbon, Kevin Youkilis, and oh yeah, Josh Beckett is a free-agent in 2010. Also the Red Sox top prospect is a first basemen, Lars Anderson, who will be a cheap addition, and has 30 HR potential, come 2010 when Mike Lowell will presumably retire, you can then shift Youkils to third, and still keep the payroll reasonable, so they can still be active via trade and free-agency. Signing Teixeira to the type of deal that is reported has the potential to be an albatross around the Red Sox neck, just like how Manny Ramirez was. It could kill their payroll flexibility, something GM Theo Epstein covets. Teixeira will produce, and probably complain too. But, is it worth it ?