The Yankee community is buzzing about soon to be free-agent Mark Teixeira.
With a career batting average of .290, you may be thinking that this is a no brainer situation to gobble up the 28 year old from Anapolis, MD. And while the statistics rule in his favor, there are a few hesitations that must be addressed.
For the majority of his career, he has been exiled to Texas where surrounded by talented young studs, they were still unable to make post season dreams come to life. When he was finally sprung from his prison, he and the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim could not make it past the Yankee arch-rival Boston Red Sox. Big wins in big games against the big enemy are going to be crucial to the idea of putting Tex in pinstripes.
Tex is one of many former Rangers doomed to post-season disapointment. Alfonso Soriano was moved to the Rangers and then the Cubs. He has tasted the post season, but hasn’t gone much further than that. A-Rod, as we are painfully aware, has not seen the World Series yet, and is widely considered one of the greatest ball players of today. Even Hall of Famer Nolan Ryan never reached the World Series after wearing the Ranger uniform. Although there is no defined curse for the Rangers, one must remember that baseball is a superstitious sport.
In the past five years he has produce no less than 30 home runs
a season (38, 43, 33, 30, 33) and during his time in LA has proven
himself to be able to perform in larger city markets.
In the two years since breaking free from his Texan prison, he has had a combined average of .307, a number befitting an ideal Steinbrenner free agent prospect.
Teixiera is a lifetime .305 hitter at Yankee Stadium (32-for-105), with five homers and 21 RBIs. Impressive numbers at Yankee Stadium, especially for a visiting player. Although, no one will ever play at the original Yankee Stadium again.
With a current salary of $12.5M it is no surprise that the Yankee Empire is calling for Brian Cashman and Hank Steinbrenner to whip out that checkbook and start drafting up a contract.
But be wary. There is more than meets the eye to this deal.
This whole scenario looks oddly familiar to the resigning debacle of Alex Rodriguez. Former Texas Ranger with little to no luck in the post season. Great solo talent with All Star individual accomplishments. Statistics that legends are made. Scott Boras client.
Boras is going to smell the blood in the water. Two New York teams as well as the Angels will be vying for the contract. If Mike Lowell does not come through his hip surgery well the Red Sox could easily make a play for Tex and keep Kevin Youkalis at third, although Texiera has also performed duties at third as well.
This paltry $12.5M current contract will be bloated to no less then $20M a year for a long term deal. After all, he’s only 28! Expect a demand for individual achievement based incentives and a no-trade clause to be worked in.
Boras has had his mits all over this kid from the start. Do not expect this deal to be solved quickly. Let us not forget that bad taste in the mouth of Yankee brass from the last big Boras deal, either.
If the Yankees want to go ahead with the deal, they may end up the better for it. But this could also lead to a potential Jason Giambi situation. Giambi came in on fire as a fan favorite big hitting first baseman. But since his signing, the Yanks have failed to win the World Series.
Call it the curse of the purse!
When the Yankees spend big money on big players, they yield little results.
The Yankees have four infield utility players foaming at the mouth for a shot at an everyday position. Give Wilson Betemit, Juan Miranda, Cody Ransom, and Shelly Duncan a chance to battle it out and there might not be a need for a big money bomber.
New York is ready for another World Championship. Is Mark Teixeira really the guy to make it happen?