Dec
17

A mid-afternoon Teixeira question

By

As baseball sits in a holding pattern waiting for the Mark Teixeira chip to fall, I have a question that we can ponder. How exactly does Mark Teixeira fill a need for either the Orioles or Nationals? While he is an elite offensive player, he’s not a Big Name like Barry Bonds. He won’t fill seats in the pathetically empty Nationals ballpark or Camden Yards. Considering the deep-rooted organizational and systematic problems those two teams face, the last thing they need to do is tie up their payrolls with an eight- or ten-year investment in a first baseman.

At this stage, the ideal landing spots for Teixeira are Anaheim, Boston and the Bronx. The Yanks seem to be playing this one close while the Angels and Red Sox are publicly all in. He may very well wind up on the Nationals and Orioles, but then Mark Teixeira would just toil in relative obscurity for a team heading nowhere fast.

Categories : Asides

98 Comments»

  1. steve (different one) says:

    agree on the Nats, disagree on the Orioles.

    i think Teixeira makes the Orioles, while not contenders, into a legitimate nuisance as early as 2009.

    signing Teixeira gives the O’s a young, athletic, and incredibly talented core of Wieters, Jones, Markakis and Teixeira.

    they’d still have Roberts and Huff.

    that’s a pretty nice 2/3′s of a lineup.

    now, there rotation will still stink in 2009.

    but, you could at least sell the Teixeira that there is a path to competitiveness.

    this team could be very decent by 2011.

    also, what else are the O’s spending their money on? do they even have a single player signed past 2009?

    honestly, they should have been more aggressive with Burnett and they should go all in on Teixeira.

    i think they are the dark horse in this race.

    • Ben K. says:

      The problem is: Teixeira can’t pitch.

    • zs190 says:

      My feeling too, except Orioles are in AL East. They have a nice foundation on offense like you said and a couple good arms coming up (Brian Matusz, Chris Tillman, Jake Arrieta), but it might not even be good enough for 3rd place for 3-4 years, can you sell the idea to Tex that they not be competitive enough to sniff the playoffs for first 4-5 years in a 8-year contract?

      • The best parallel I can draw is probably Reggie White and the Green Bay Packers.

        Yes, we suck now, but we’ve got a good young core (i.e. Brett Favre), you come play for us and you legitimize us and we promise to keep adding pieces around you until we’re championship caliber.

        And White wasn’t even a hometown Packer. I can see Tex coming home to resurrect the Orioles…

    • Yeah, I could see good reasons why both clubs consider themselves valid contenders for his services and why it makes sense for them.

      He’s not an uber-marquee name that non-baseball fans recognize, no, but he’s an elite player that makes any team he’s on better.

      And like SDO said, for the Orioles, a team that is in the super-competitive AL East and has a long history there with a loyal (if not rabid) fanbase, failing to get in on negotiations for the big-ticket FA’s like Teixeira is probably not a good business model…

      …when your intradivision rivals are the Sox and Yankees (both fanatical in pursuit of excellence), the Rays (suddenly relevant and now poised to be good for a long time) and the Jays (a little see-sawish, admittedly, but still a team that’s won two titles in the recent past and constantly flirts with relevance). If they don’t make some splashes and bet the farm here and there to be good, they risk the ire of their fans of not being in the conversation with the big boys of the division. Remember that during the dynasty years, it wasn’t Yankees vs. Red Sox, it was Yankees v. Orioles.

      Peter Angelos does not want to (nor can he afford to) allow the Orioles to remain a permanent afterthought. They’ve done a good job recently of compiling a good stockpile of young talent; Texy has local roots and interest; they should pounce.

      As for Washington… it makes a bit less sense, since they’re probably further away, but lord knows the team needs an identity to try and convince Washingtonians to root for them and not the Orioles (or nothing at all)… It’s kind of like the ARod signing for the Rangers. He’s the face of your franchise and it puts you on the map, but in order for it to work, you can’t stop there, that’s what the Rangers did wrong. You’ve got to continue to spend more and put more players around him… if the Nats are willing to continue, it makes sense. If they’re not, it’s pointless.

      • steve (different one) says:

        agreed.

        the problem for the Rangers wasn’t that they signed A-Rod, it was that they signed Chan Ho Park.

        A-Rod was making $27M, but for every minute he played in a Ranger uniform, he was worth every penny.

        Park, on the other hand, “only” made $14M. but he was worthless.

        that was more damaging.

        • jsbrendog says:

          Park, on the other hand, “only” made $14M

          this makes burnett look like the best free agent singing ever jhaha

        • Very true. Had Tom Hicks made better decisions with how he spent his non ARod money, the Rangers may not have been such a disaster.

          But, that’s the issue with a team like the Rangers signing ARod or the Nationals signing Texy… the margin for error is so small. They need to be lucky with a bunch of their kids, all at once, and have a bunch of lucky trades and be flawless with their ancillary free agents in order to be a successful team long enough to have a consistent revenue stream to be able to continue winning and making enough money to continue paying their big-ticket FA.

          It’s easier for us or the Sox to take on a marquee free agent, because we can keep shoveling more money at the other 24 roster spots until those players are good enough to win with ARod/Tex.

          The 2001 Rangers and 2009 Nationals likely can’t.

  2. Mike Pop says:

    Olney had an article up about this.. He compared it to A-Rod going to Texas and how they thought he would make attendance rise but he really did not improve attendance like they thought he would.

  3. mike says:

    Seems crazy for the Nats as they have so many holes and, when Nick Johnson is playing , 1st base seems to be covered – their $23mm money is better spent getting pitching and a lesser bat ( Ollie P + Wolf, Sheets + Abreu) which should help keep them in a few games and could be chips come the trading deadline. With any of the above tandem, a play could be made for a Millar/Mench-type as well to fortify the bench and back up Johnson, and still be near the $23mm with alot more flexability and production

    • Johnny says:

      The key being when nick johnson is playing….how often does that happen?

      • mike says:

        Good point – but i suppose you have to bet on something (and i think he’s is on his option year anyway)

        Thats why I mentioned those other guys – while neither of them are great, they could play the position, bring some leadership and PH when/if Johnson is healthy,

  4. WhizzoTheWize says:

    WhizzoTheWize answers your simple question: “How exactly does Mark Teixeira fill a need for either the Orioles or Nationals?”

    Answer: The Nationals and Orioles need to throw away more dollars than the Sox, Angles or Yankess, and Mark needs their money*.

    *Mark’s needs have been brought to light by his life-coach, Dr. Scott Boras.

  5. james says:

    How does Tex fill a need for the Sox? Don’t they have Youk and Lowell already?

    • Ryan S. says:

      They don’t *need* Tex like The Angels do, but he fits their mold of player. If Boston lands him, than Youk moves to 3rd, and if Lowell can prove he’s healthy than Lowell will be traded … and if Lowell isn’t healthy, he couldn’t play 3rd for them anyway.

      Its impossible, but Tex is supposed to be the presence in the lineup that replaces Manny. He ain’t gonna do the trick, but he’s the closest you can get to filling that void in this year’s FA.

    • Ben K. says:

      I see Lowell as I do in the same vein as Matsui. He’s an older player with a some injury risk who isn’t nearly as good as Teixeira. For the Red Sox, sticking Youk at third and Teixeira at first going forward makes the team better.

      • Yup. Just like we keep saying that we shouldn’t let the presence of Hideki Matsui on the roster preclude us from making a move to make this team better, the Sox shouldn’t let Lowell’s presence stop them from adding Tex.

        I hope that they do, though.

        • deadrody says:

          Except that if the Sox get Texeira they have NO PLACE to play Lowell. NONE.

          If the Yankees get Texeira they can play Matsui at DH. Otherwise, who is the DH ?

          The situations are NOT the same. In one case the Sox MUST trade Lowell and probably eat his remaining $24 Million. In the other case, the Yankees just don’t play Swisher, Melky, or Gardner everyday. Big Difference.

      • Reggie C. says:

        Except unloading Matsui’s contract should be easier. Lowell’s got 2 year / 24 million dollars remaining. If we’re not hung up on eating some salary & getting back much of a return, then we can trade Mats to a team like the As.

  6. UWS says:

    On the subject of the Nats and their pathetically empty stadium, Manny is really the guy they should be going after, no? Yeah, he’d be horrendous in the field, but at least people would turn out to watch him hit. And, since they’re not going anywhere anytime soon, Manny’s defensive liability isn’t that big of a deal. Plus, he comes with a smaller price tag and a shorter contract.

  7. Chris says:

    If the Orioles/Nats get a competent front office (looks like the Orioles might have one, but there’s apparently no hope for the Nats), then either team could be competitive in 3-5 years. Considering Tex would get an 8-10 year deal, there’s still plenty of time for him to contribute to a winning team. Also, he could have the name recognition among players to help convince more free agents to come on board (like Pedro with the Mets).

    Of course, the more likely scenario is a repeat of the A-Rod situation in Texas.

  8. Simon B. says:

    I sure hope the Nats sign him and sign him fast. I’m getting so sick of hearing Yankee fans moan about how “we can’t afford to not sign him”.

  9. Zachary says:

    You show yourself to be just another Yankee homer. Do a little research. You write:

    He won’t fill seats in the pathetically empty Nationals ballpark or Camden Yards. Considering the deep-rooted organizational and systematic problems those two teams face, the last thing they need to do is tie up their payrolls with an eight- or ten-year investment in a first baseman.

    Where do I begin?

    1. He will fill the seats in Camden Yards, as B’more takes pride in hometown product, and everyone there looks upon Tex as a favorite son. We’re not talking ginormous changes in attendance, but there will be a measurable bump.

    2. The Nats have no organizational plan. The Orioles, on the other hand, began with the hiring of MacPhail in 2007, and he has largely righted the ship. They have a core of young superstar players—Weiters, Jones, and Markakis, all under team control for years, who project to be All-Stars at their respective positions, plus Brian Roberts, who already is one. Their fleecing of Houston and Seattle in the Bedard and Tejada trades has left them with an emabarrasment of arms at the minor-league level: 3-4 guys who all project to being legit front-line starters, and a whole group behind them who can more than handle the 2-5 spots. With the signing of Tex, they need only replace an aging, mediocre 3B (Mora) and they are solid. In short, while they won’t compete until 2011, in 2011 they will be a force to be reckoned with.

    3. Comparatively, the Yankees have no real plan beyond shelling out the $$. Their minor league pitching is marginal, and their recent prospects (Kennedy, Hughes) have been weak. Joba and CC are both looking legit, but the fall off after those two (Wang and Burnett) is not insignificant. And cherry picking the best FA class every year has not bought them a single title in recent years. Just as often, these hired guns have been busts (Pavano, anyone?) They are old, and in 2011, they’ll be older. The 3rd-place finish this year is not an anomaly. Why would Tex want to come play in NYC when half the current roster will be gone in 2-3 years and the Yankees don’t have a good pipeline for replacing them? Do you really think in 2011 without Jeter and Rivera the Yankees will be competing? Who do you have in the pipeline to replace them?

    • Ben K. says:

      In short, while they won’t compete until 2011, in 2011 they will be a force to be reckoned with.

      I believe it when I see it.

    • Ben K. says:

      3. Comparatively, the Yankees have no real plan beyond shelling out the $$. Their minor league pitching is marginal, and their recent prospects (Kennedy, Hughes) have been weak. Joba and CC are both looking legit, but the fall off after those two (Wang and Burnett) is not insignificant. And cherry picking the best FA class every year has not bought them a single title in recent years. Just as often, these hired guns have been busts (Pavano, anyone?) They are old, and in 2011, they’ll be older. The 3rd-place finish this year is not an anomaly. Why would Tex want to come play in NYC when half the current roster will be gone in 2-3 years and the Yankees don’t have a good pipeline for replacing them? Do you really think in 2011 without Jeter and Rivera the Yankees will be competing? Who do you have in the pipeline to replace them?

      Spoken like a true Oriole homer. Do a little research.

      How exactly is the fall off from Joba and CC to Wang “not insigificant.” Before injuring himself, Wang put together back-to-back 19-win seasons with ERAs under 3.70, and he probably would have done it again in 2008. The last time an Orioles pitcher won 19 games in back to season was when exactly?

      And the Yankees have more young arms than just Phil Hughes and Kennedy. But I’m glad to see you too are willing to write off a 22-year-old after an injury-filled and bad April. The Yanks have some very strong arms in the system and a few potentially marquee position players (Jesus Montero, Austin Jackson). They can supplemental from both outside and inside the system when need be.

      Maybe I was being unduly pessimistic about the Orioles in my original post, but you’re being unrealistically down on the Yanks. Plus, this is a Yankee blog. Do you not expect to see Yankee homerism around here? We’re not exactly hiding our biases.

    • jsbrendog says:

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    • Matt M says:

      “Comparatively, the Yankees have no real plan beyond shelling out the $$.”

      your future yankees are Austin Jackson, Mark Melancon, and almost everyone on the Tampa Yankees Roster.

      High-A tampa is your yankee crop of the future and yea..”its only A ball” but wait till a couple of years when the future show comes rolling through Trenton and Scranton…then everyone will see our ‘plan’ hehehe

  10. Mike K. says:

    I just say, if the Yanks are going all in on pitching, why not go all in period. Cashman himself stated he wanted “an actual 1B to play 1B”, and while Nick Swisher has had good defensive numbers there, and feels most comfortable – let’s be hoenst – his value is as our super-utility. The guy grew up a Mattingly fan, adorning 23 for years in Texas, why not play the position for the team your idol did? As Rosenthal (whom I happen to despise) put it “Funny time for them to find religion, don’t you think?”

    Also, on the CF issue. If we’re resigned to the fact of deploying a platoon of Cabrera and Gardner out there, why don’t we just make an offer for Baldelli. Obviously, with his condition (or different condition now), he can’t play everyday – but we wouldn’t be asking for that. I don’t know, maybe its just my line of thinking, but if we can bear to platoon Cabrera and Gardner, why not platoon Baldelli/Gardner – Baldelli/Cabrera? You know you have a guy who can deliver both offensively and defensively, albeit part time, and then decide who is better/more versatile in there with him.

    What do you guys think?

    • Ben K. says:

      That’s what I was saying earlier today. If they’re going to go all in for 2009, they should just do it.

    • kimonizer says:

      “All in” could be:

      Sign Tex
      Sign Baldelli to split time with Gardner
      Trade Matsui (and eat salary)
      Sign Pettitte
      Keep Hughes/Aceves/Kennedy as innings insurance

      Is that a bad plan?

    • Reggie C. says:

      Going all in doesn’t solely entail getting Teixeira. I really believe the Yanks are a big-bat and a healthy dose of good luck away from winning another string of WS.

      • Ryan S. says:

        I think signing Manny would certainly qualify for going all in.

      • Mike K. says:

        And Teixeira doesn’t qualify as a big bat (don’t know what that was hyphenated) to you?

        And to kimonizer -
        If we’re not getting Manny, and getting Teix – There is no reason to trade Matsui. His DH and LF hitting stats are almost identical, and he could fill the DH spot almost full time, especially with two surgically repaired knees.

        Also, I’d personally let Andy walk. If he hasn’t decided by now, and he has this offer of 3 years (which he doesn’t) on the table, take it. I’d much rather take Sheets or have Hughes/Aceves/Coke fight it out.

        What happened to Kennedy and Ankiel? I’d love that one, but realistically I think I’d take a foam Yankee finger for Kennedy. When you’re that young and don’t have heat, and can’t find consistant control? No thanks.

        • kimonizer says:

          You’re right was conflating Manny all in plans with Tex all in plans. With Tex you could keep Matsui. Then I guess you would have to bench Swish a lot. The other way to go is to get rid of Mats as well, put Swish and Nady in the corners and let Damon DH regularly so he doesn’t get so beat up. He was really good as the DH last year.

  11. Ace says:

    Hey Ben – Washington was 15 out of 30 teams in attendance last year, based on % of tickets sold. I wouldn’t call that “pathetically empty.”

    • Matt says:

      This reminds me…a cousin of mine lives in DC now; I’ve gotta run down to visit her as an excuse to catch a game there.

    • Ben K. says:

      Well, 2008 was the first year of a new stadium, and the Nationals couldn’t draw more than 29,000 a game with 69.2 capacity. That’s, by far, the lowest attendance total for a new stadium in the recent stadium construction era. Even Pittsburgh managed 80.4 capacity in 2001 when they opened their new park.

  12. Greg C says:

    A lot of my friends and relatives in the Baltimore area are convinced the Orioles need some local talent. My uncle was hoping they would draft his nephew- who went to college and seems to have dropped off a lot at that level. Of course that is mostly fantasy for a marginal pro prospect but a lot of the hope is in the whole idea of having local boys make the Os.

    Of course Cal Ripken was the last and most significant Baltimore star that brought anyone out to Camden Yards, and he was a local product of a long time Os family.

    I remember when Teix was in high school and drafted and it was a pretty big local news. He is also a great player- this site sure likes him. So it’s not like a marginal pro playing for the local team like Juan Dixon or Darnerien McCants. It’s one of the best players in his sport.

    I think that’s part of the idea, but I think if the team itself sucks having the local guy probably doesn’t do all that much for attendance. People still came out to see Cal Ripken when the team sucked and he was an average player, but they had the advantages of a newer ballpark and sure fire HOF on The Streak.

  13. Mike K. says:

    And Teixeira doesn’t qualify as a big bat (don’t know what that was hyphenated) to you?

    And to kimonizer –
    If we’re not getting Manny, and getting Teix – There is no reason to trade Matsui. His DH and LF hitting stats are almost identical, and he could fill the DH spot almost full time, especially with two surgically repaired knees.

    Also, I’d personally let Andy walk. If he hasn’t decided by now, and he has this offer of 3 years (which he doesn’t) on the table, take it. I’d much rather take Sheets or have Hughes/Aceves/Coke fight it out.

    What happened to Kennedy and Ankiel? I’d love that one, but realistically I think I’d take a foam Yankee finger for Kennedy. When you’re that young and don’t have heat, and can’t find consistant control? No thanks.

    • Matt says:

      How many innings has Ian Kennedy pitched? Less than 60. No reason to give up on him.

      And if he’s going to be traded, it better be for something better than Rick Ankiel, who’s a nice story, but is overrated. He’s not that great a player. Sure, he’s got great pop, but he has no patience and is a bad CF by just about any defensive metric (Fielding Bible’s Plus/Minus, Probabilistic Model of Range, and UZR).

      There are much more advanced hitters out on the market–Dunn/Tex/Manny–who won’t cost a still good prospect in Kennedy.

      • Mike K. says:

        I mean, you have faith in Kennedy? I sure don’t. For as much as he’s been called “a younger Mussina” (whom I adore), he isn’t throwing in the mid-90′s how Moose was.

        Plus, Ankiel’s draw is that you get him for only one year of contract (HEELLLOO Mike Cameron), so that Ajax is our man in CF for 2010. Besides the fact, I know how all these extra stats help (?), but just watch the goddamn game man, Ankiel has nice speed, and a pitchers arm in CF, some of those assists were damn impressive.

        Plus I’m pretty sure Manny, Tex and Dunn don’t play CF, unless I’m wrong. I’m not looking for an “advanced hitter” for CF, but more consistency than Cabrera/Gardner. I’ve also suggested signing Baldelli, who could split time with Gardner.

        • Matt says:

          Yes, I have faith in Kennedy because giving up on a pitcher after less than sixty innings is just dumb. If he hams it up this year in whatever role he has, then my faith will be gone.

          A nice arm isn’t that important in CF–see Cabrera, Melky. I’d prefer Gardner because he projects very well in CF defensively. After that, I’d prefer Cameron because he’s better defensively than Ankiel and won’t cost Ian Kennedy.

          No, those guys don’t play CF but Ankiel’s best side is his offense, which ain’t that great to begin with. I’d rather sign one of those aforementioned guys and have a good dfender–Gardner–in CF.

          • kimonizer says:

            Its better to have range that allows you to catch more balls in CF than have a good arm for when you can’t run them down on the fly. It is more frequent and important that a speedy CF stops a shot into the gap from turning into a double than it is to nab a baserunner trying to grab an extra base. That is why the arm is not as important as the range of a CF. (although you can’t have a limp noodle like Damon either)

          • tomaconda says:

            Mike Ankiel is a great defensive player. Just not in center field. He doesn’t have blazing speed but he takes great routes off great jumps and isn’t afraid to get dirty. He also has the best outfield arm I have ever seen and I’m no spring chicken. I would put Ankiel in right over Nady any day. I also think he is due for a break out season with 30+hr.

            I will agree with the fact that to throw Kennedy out of the picture after 60 innings though would be very premature. Greg Maddux had a 5.6 era in hist first 180 innings and it would have been a shame if the Cubbies threw him away after that.

        • pat says:

          Kennedy was absolutely disgusting in college and the minors and you wanna give up on him after a few starts in the majors?? That us ridiculously shortsighted and stupid.

      • I think he’d be a good RF. But I’m not sure how many peak seasons he has left–he’s already 29.

    • VO says:

      Well Hughes had a terrible season as well, but noone has given up on him (most at least), and when they first came up they were both pretty much equally successful, and at first everyone was saying that he has a great amount of potential, just as hughes does, so now were going to take one and dump the other

  14. Brooklyn Ed says:

    The Braves got played by Furcal, and resigned with the Dodgers instead.

    http://msn.foxsports.com/mlb/s.....ver-Braves

    • I bet they file a grievance even if they get nothing out of it. But if the gentelman’s agreement was indeed there…Furcal’s not much of a gentleman.

    • Ryan S. says:

      How many more times will Atlanta get screwed over this offseason? Another problem on the horizon for them is that Smoltz could very well be playing in a different uniform for this first time in his professional career.

      • Ace says:

        I absolutely adore John Smoltz. I remember he did a post game interview after the Yanks beat the crap out of Atlanta in the 1999 world series and he said some of the classiest things I have ever heard a pro athlete say.

        If anyone can find footage or a transcript of that interview PLEASE post a link. I have been trying to find it for a long time.

  15. Yanks next GM says:

    The yanks should go after TEX. With Tex on the team, the yankees can save their money on Mike cameron and go with Melky/Gardener in CF. This signing will improve their infield defense by having Tex play firsbase and it will imporve their outfield defense by having either Gardener/ Melky play CF.

    • Matt says:

      If Tex gets signed, Johnny Damon will be “forced” to play CF because Tex will be at first and Swisher will have to move to RF, moving Nady back to his natural LF position.

      I’d have the lineup look like this:

      1. Damon CF
      2. Jeter SS
      3. Teixeira 1B
      4. Rodriguez 3B
      5. Posada C
      6. Swisher RF
      7. Matsui DH
      8. Nady LF
      9. Cano 2B

      And to quote my own research:

      “This configuration would score 5.689 runs per game, a total of 921. Again, that could out do any defensive problems with Damon in center and would compliment what could be a dominant pitching staff.”

      http://actyankee.blogspot.com/.....tions.html

      • pat says:

        If we sign teixiera in all likelihood xavier nady would be traded to avoid having to put damon in center.

        • Yeah, the options are either adding a corner OF (Manny or Dunn), or signing Tex forcing Swisher into the corner OF mix… both of which mean we probably either deal Nady for value or dump Matsui for less value.

          I don’t think either of those things will be all that hard to do. They both have their own respective markets of teams that would take them.

          There’s three spots between LF, RF, and DH. If you subtract either one of Matsui or Nady, you’ve got:

          1) Damon
          2) Matsui OR Nady
          3) Manny OR Dunn OR Swisher

          It adds up. (without putting Damon in CF.)

      • Bruno says:

        No. Try Damon at DH, Gardner CF, Matsui 4th OF/DH PINCH HITTER

  16. deadrody says:

    I love how the Sox are “all in”. I’d love to hear a Sox fan rationalize how they wouldn’t be throwing Mike Lowell under the bus with this move. They don’t have a single other position on the field, except perhaps SS, they don’t have a starter locked in. Meanwhile they will whine from morning to midnight about the Yankees spending money on CC and Burnett and say the Yankees can buy their way out of mistakes like Carl Pavano. But when the chips are down, they are willing to throw 8 or 9 years and 170+ Million at Texeira, and then absorb the remaining $24 Million of Mike Lowell’s deal to give him away to some other team.

    But they’re the underdogs. You have to BELIEVE for them to win the World Series.

    Such utter bullshit.

    • Ben K. says:

      But they’re the underdogs. You have to BELIEVE for them to win the World Series.

      That’s the Mets. But apparently believing doesn’t work too well.

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