Curry: What if Teixeira had landed in Boston?

RAB on Speaking of Sports
Game 59: She's having a baby!

In a couple of hours, the Red Sox and Yankees will again square off in Fenway Park. While the Yanks are 0-6 against Boston this season, the two teams are tied for first atop the AL East, and the pennant race promises to be a good one this summer.

Despite the Red Sox’s on-field triumphs over the Yanks this season, New York walked away from the off-season the big winner when they seemingly stole Mark Teixeira out from under Boston’s Christmas tree. Six months later, Teixeira is one of the main reasons why the Yanks are fighting for first place. He’s hitting .284/.391/.615 with 18 HR and 51 RBI. “We definitely wouldn’t be where we are right now without him,” Johnny Damon said to The Times’ Jack Curry today.

In a good “What If?” piece, Curry explores what Teixeira means to the Yanks and would could have been had the Red Sox signed their top target. He writes:

The Red Sox positioned their off-season around signing Teixeira, a player who would have fit snugly into their desire for shrewd, patient hitters who play stellar defense. If the Red Sox were assigned the task of building the perfect player, they would have constructed someone who hit, fielded, walked and talked like Teixeira.

The Red Sox were the favorites to sign Teixeira, but they bolted from a meeting with him and Scott Boras, his agent, in December because Boras said their offer was not competitive enough. Johnny Damon of the Yankees never spoke to Teixeira during the negotiations because he assumed it “was a done deal” with Boston. But it was not. The Red Sox soon learned Boras was not bluffing.

Eleven days after the aborted meeting, the Yankees, who had focused on signing pitchers C. C. Sabathia and A. J. Burnett, swooped in and signed Teixeira to an eight-year, $180 million deal. The Red Sox lost a superb first baseman over a gap of about $10 million. Even worse, they lost him to the hated Yankees.

A-Rod, in talking to Curry summed it up. “Wow is as much as I can say,” the Yanks’ third baseman said. “I was thinking about that this week. He’s a switch-hitter, he’s young and he’s got world-class makeup. You can write a whole chapter on the difference.”

While neither Red Sox GM Theo Epstein nor Boston owner John Henry would comment for the story, the AL East would look a lot different had the Red Sox landed their prey. It’s a good thing for us they did not.

RAB on Speaking of Sports
Game 59: She's having a baby!
  • John

    I don’t even want to think about it..it makes me shiver

    • Zach

      Swisher full time 1B, Melky in RF until Nady comes back. Wow..

      • John

        and Gardy full-time in CF…

        :faints thinking about it:

  • Mike HC

    I am in complete agreement with A-Rod; I’m pretty sure that is the first time I have ever said that.

    • Mister Delaware

      If he stated outloud “I would like to have intercourse with you” to Kate Hudson, its atleast two.

      • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

        Meh. Kate Hudson is like Erin Andrews.

        Sure, they’re cute, but, they’re not top 100. Not even top 500, probably. On the 80-20 scale, I’d give Hudson a 55 cuteness tool. Solidly above average, but not a superstar.

        She’s a reach anywhere above the 6th round.

        • Zach

          I applaud you in incorporating the draft and the 20-80 scale

          • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

            Lauren London, now, THERE’S a toolsy youngster with some ridiculous upside. Beautiful form, good polish, and not likely to need to move off position as she keeps filling out.

            Big bonus demands, but the sky’s the limit with her.

  • Mike R. – Retire 21

    He forgot to imply that they would be a worse team because they would have had to trade Lowell!

    /Suttcliffed

    • Zach

      ARod would have been tipping pitches to Tex too

    • Mike Pop

      The best move Boston made this offseason was the one they didn’t make. Letting a superstar out of their grasp, that way they have Mike Lowell at 3rd instead of Youk there with Teix manning first.

      /Philips’d

      • Zach

        They’re so good, even their mistakes are positives.

  • CB

    Going into the off season it looked like Teixeira would essentially replace Lowell in Boston – Tex projected to roughly +4 wins over Lowell.

    In the off season Tex looked to be around 4-5 wins better than Nick Swisher at 1b.

    That’s an 8 WAR swing with Tex going to the Yanks rather than Boston.

    But the way this season has turned out both of those individual estimates significantly underestimated Tex’s impact on the Yankees and Sox.

    Boston couldn’t trade Lowell until spring training given his hip. He had to show he could play. But by then they’d likely have seen Ortiz swing and gotten very concerned. Even if they had signed Tex I doubt they would have traded Lowell given how bad Papi looked. If they had both Lowell and Tex Boston would have benched Papi by now and played Lowell as the DH.

    So essentially Tex would have been replacing Pappi’s bat right now rather than Lowell’s.

    And right now Tex is on base to be 7-8 wins better than Pappi. That’s just with the bat. Tex at first and Youkilis at third would have made Boston 1-2 wins better defensively.

    At the same time Nady got hurt. So Tex hasn’t replaced Swisher’s bat – he’s essentially replaced Juan Miranda’s or Shelley Duncan’s or whatever other player the team would have penciled in at first base.

    Given the way that the season has played out Tex signing with the yanks rather than the sox may have been anywhere from a 12-15 WAR swing between the two teams. Perhaps a little more.

    It has been an enormous signing. The yankees would have had almost no shot at winning the division without him.

  • Mike Pop

    Yep, would of sucked big time.

    Sox might of been able to run away with the division, that’s why cashman wisely stepped in at the end.

  • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

    This whole story is BS. Theo Epstein and the Red Sox braintrust never make mistakes.

    If they didn’t sign him and we did, it’s because he’s a bum and they knew he was gonna suck, and he is gonna suck. He’s gonna start sucking any day now, just watch. Theo’s always right, Cashman’s always wrong. Cashman’s just a woman with a small brain, with a brain a third the size of Theo’s. It’s science.

    • daniel aka bryce harper

      as creative as my comment is not, IETC

    • King of Fruitless Hypotheticals

      I’m Larry Sommers, and I approve this message.