Must-Click Link: Mark Teixeira on the declining & overpaid Mark Teixeira

Brian Cashman interview with Index Universe
Yankees agree to sign Travis Hafner

It’s not often a ballplayer will talk openly and honestly about his performance, especially when he’s on the downside of his career. That’s why this great Dan Barbarisi piece on Mark Teixeira is a must read. Teixeira, who turns 33 in April, talks about being overpaid — “You’re not very valuable when you’re making $20 million. When you’re Mike Trout, making the minimum, you are crazy valuable.” — and how things aren’t as easy now as they were a few years ago. We all know Tex is on the decline, it’s been going on for several years now, but it’s refreshing to see him talk about it so candidly. Make sure you check it out.

Brian Cashman interview with Index Universe
Yankees agree to sign Travis Hafner
  • Andrew

    Well, time to void the contract. Get Levine on the case, not like he’s got any other work to do.

    • Brian F

      hilarious haha

  • trr

    Very unusual to hear a ballplayer speak so candidily.
    Hope 2014 is a good year for Tex… we need it!


    I really like Tex. Great player and a real class act. Good Yankee.

    But didn’t the Dodgers offer to take his contract and the Yanks said No? Im not saying we should have just given him away, He’s still very very valuable to our team.

    I’m just wondering if that is true

    • Andrew Brotherton

      Apparently the Dodgers before they accepted the Red Sox offer, came to the Yankees and asked for Tex and CC, and most likely the Yankees would have added Arod. The Yankees balked because they really needed CC and the Dodgers took the Sox offer.

      • JMK


        • Mr. Pappageorgio

          Tex has a full no trade clause. He’s been quoted as saying he’ll be buried in pinstripes, so I doubt he would have waived it for L.A.

        • Bo Knows


          Personally if they, didn’t have the players on their roster or in their system to even get me to think about parting with CC and Tex….unless Kershaw was in that deal (and he obviously wouldn’t be)

          • Preston

            Obviously they weren’t going to do this. We would have been punting in the midst of a season in which we won 95 games and went to the ALCS. However in a vacuum it might not have been the worst thing ever. If they would have taken ARod, CC and Tex we could have been in a better position this season. We would have gotten a much better package than the Red Sox, maybe Zach Lee as the centerpiece plus Allen Webster, Joc Pederson and Tim Federowicz, our minor league system would be fairly stocked right now and we’d have 70 million in AAV off the books. We could have either had a fire sale, trade Cano and Granderson stock pile an elite group of young guys or reloaded, re-sign Swisher to play 1B, target a pitcher (maybe Greinke) and had a pretty similarly talented team for way cheaper and a stronger farm system.

  • Dalek Jeter (formerly: Raul Ibanez AKA Tom Marvolo Riddle AKA True Yankee(TM))

    Odd to hear an active player speak so openly about not just his decline but the perceived notion these days, that a player should be “worth” the contract he gets. It’s weird; in sports, baseball in particular, compared to other businesses you’re almost always paying for a player’s past performances. We’ve seen it with Tex, A-Rod, Pujols, Hamilton, just about every big name that we’ve seen signed that players don’t really start making that “real money” till just as or just after they’re hitting the high point of their career. I think Tex’s example of Trout is a perfect one, he’s probably not going to hit free agency until he’s 27/28. In which case the team that signs him long term will signing him for 8-10 years of prime money while only getting 4 or so years of prime talent, where as he will have already given 7 years of incredible value to the Angels. The other road is that the Angels sign him to some insane number of years and keep his price at or below market value throughout.

    • KeithK

      The union is run by older players and negotiates rules that benefit the veterans. Understandable but “unfair”.

      It would be in the owners interest to have a system where pay aligned better with performance. But as long as 32 year olds are getting monster contracts with dead years at the end there’s no way the union would ever budge in this direction.

  • Mark Teixeira – Ghostbuster (Formally Drew)

    Am I the only one that is annoyed by this article? That he’s just okay being mediocre? I know we should adjust our expectations of a declining player, but to just say oh well I’m getting worse and I’m okay with it doesn’t sit right with me. As a fan I find it to be a slap in the face and a disservice.

    • kevin w.

      As the human body ages it slows down and gets weaker. It’s impossible for Teix to put up the numbers he put up in Texas every year of his career, especially as he gets older. He isn’t accepting mediocrity, he is accepting the science and facts that go behind getting older.

      • dalelama

        Bullshit, being able to go with the pitch and hit it to where “they ain’t” has nothing to with age, it has to do with either lack of talent or tons of stubbornness.

        • jjyank

          It has to do with both a player’s skill set and age. As you get older, you lost bat speed and it may be harder to control where you can hit pitches. Tex is a pull hitter. So this is just about accepting his age and accepting his skill set. If you believe that Tex is a lesser hitter today because he’s stubborn, than you’re a bigger idiot than I realized. And that’s saying something.

          • dalelama

            Your lack of baseball knowledge is again exposed. A slower swing should make it easier for Tex to go the other way. No wonder the chick you keep crying about dumped you.

            • Travis L.

              What the hell is wrong with you? Someone calling you an idiot hurts your feeling that badly that you feel the need to reach for something THAT personal?? You’re a punk. I would bet that you got picked on in school by a Yankees fan or got dumped by a big titted blonde wearing an A-Rod jersey. That’s why you come to RAB and talk shit about the Yankees and Rodriguez. Grow the hell up.

            • Reuben Sierra’s Chains

              OH SNAP!!!!!!

        • Bo Knows

          hitting the ball the other way requires being able to wait a little longer before contact, Tex might not have the reflexes to do so anymore with regularity. Though I do wish he would follow through with the bunting, that he mentioned last season.

    • Dalek Jeter (formerly: Raul Ibanez AKA Tom Marvolo Riddle AKA True Yankee(TM))

      I think you’re reading it the wrong way. It’s not like he’s giving up trying to be the best baseball player he can be, it’s that he realizes “the best baseball player he can be” is no longer the guy who hit .306/.400/.563 in 2007. It’s great to have a reach for the stars mentality but to be true to yourself and understand what you’re physically capable of is a much better mindset in any aspect of life IMO.

      • Mike HC

        Definitely. He is better off focusing on the things he still does well like hit for power and defense. Trying to hit to all fields just messed up his swing completely.

        • Ted Nelson

          I don’t really buy that. He hit a bit worse LH last season (and I don’t have a break-down by month to see when it was), but he hit a lot worse RH last season.

          May was one of his best months of the season, though I don’t have a LH/RH break-down of that. Overall he hit better in the first half than the second half.

          Obviously there are a lot of other factors at play, but I don’t think it’s so clear that he couldn’t benefit from making the right adjustments to his LH swing.

          • Mike HC

            Fair enough. I’m of the thinking, and was last year as well, that he shouldn’t try to over adjust to the shift and should continue to hit how he felt most comfortable.

            Jeter attempted to make adjustments at one point too, didn’t feel comfortable with them and scrapped them. He then went on the hit pretty well for the last year and half going back to what he was comfortable with. I think Tex can follow that path as well.

            • Ted Nelson

              My issue isn’t really as much with hitting into the shift as his general mechanics (though I know I mentioned hitting into the defense in one comment). What he’s “comfortable with” seems to have changed substantially from what he was comfortable with when he was at his best. His hips fly open these days, to an extent that I don’t think they ever did when he was younger (and better). Perhaps he would argue that this is to compensate for a decline in quickness, but he stays through the ball a lot better from the right side still. It’s certainly possible and Tex/Yankees would know a lot better than I do, but I’m skeptical that there’s an aging reason he can do it RH and not LH. I think it’s more likely mechanical.

              This is a really weak analysis, as I lack the video library and am too lazy to look up the spray charts. His swing seems to have changed, though:

              A bit after 1:30…


              Coincidentally, both the Rangers highlights I found were him staying through the ball and getting extra bases the other way from the left side. Again I don’t know how his overall performance hitting the other way has changed over time, but it’s really, really hard to hit the ball the other way at all, let alone hard, when you’re basically facing the mound as soon as your swing starts.

              Would like to find some 2009 highlights, but nothing coming up immediately on youtube. Only the RH swing against the Twins.

              • jjyank

                Yeah, I mean he has admitted before that the short porch in right has gotten to him a bit. Maybe he can change at this point, maybe not. If he stays healthy though, I feel good about him remaining productive for a few more years.

              • Mike HC

                He has declined hitting right handed as well though, just not as much. Career .930 OPS vs lefties. Last year at .865. Although in 2010 and 2011 he was hitting lefties just fine.

                • Ted Nelson

                  Yeah, the decline only happened last season when he had a couple of known injuries. Overall he didn’t actually decline much LH last season, though he’s using the decline in performance as the reason not to change his LH swing (granted, I don’t know how the LH #s break down over time, and I don’t know that the changes he made were necessarily all the right ones).

          • Mike HC

            Also, purely unfair speculation (see latest Bill Simmons article), but he may also be acknowledging he can’t get away with things he did in the past. MLB is starting in season HGH testing next year. Like you say, it is odd to hear a player say something like this. Just gets you thinking a little.

          • Bo Knows

            Tex hit .269 against Lefties vs .239 against Righties

    • Ted Nelson

      I tend to agree. I am ok with him realizing he’s likely going to decline over time in his 30s. I am just not ok with him deciding there’s nothing to do about it besides keep hitting right into the defense.

      It’s sort of amazing to me that they didn’t even talk about his LH/RH splits in the article at all. For his first 7 years in MLB he basically went back and forth in terms of his more successful side of the plate. 3 seasons it was LH, 4 it was RH. That included LH being stronger in 2008 and 2009. His overall RH output in 2010-11 stayed pretty consistent with previous seasons in terms of wRC+, but his LH output fell of substantially. This is an issue with his LH swing. Maybe it’s just the defensive shift. Maybe it has something to do with RH being more natural to him (though I don’t know why that would impact him more than before). Maybe it’s an injury that he can’t do anything about that impacts his LH swing and not his RH. But maybe there’s a physical imbalance he can correct or a mechanical change he can make. The eye test would suggest his wide-open, pull swing from the left side is not optimal for hitting baseballs.

      I’m sure that they’ve looked into these things, but it’s just frustrating to hear an explanation of “I’m getting old” without any mention of why that is impacting his LH success and not his RH success.

      • Cacique

        100% agree. I think it is more a matter of approach than a true physical decline, or maybe a combo of both. His numbers deteriorate by the year as he seems to get pull happier from the left side, he’s still a beast hitting righty.

      • Manny’s BanWagon (formerly Andy Pettitte’s Fibula)


        There must be some reason he went off a cliff from the left side and not the right side.

        He’s only 32, not 38-39. His physical tools shouldn’t have declined that drastically that a mechanical adjustment or a change in approach couldn’t improve his hitting from the left side.

    • hogsmog

      I mean, what did you do when you realized you couldn’t play basketball for two hours on Sunday and not feel it in your knees the next day? Or when those two hours turned into one, or zero? Or when instead of helping your kid lift stuff, you needed him to come over and help you?

      “Oh well, I’m getting older, and I’m okay with it.”

      There’s really not much else to do about it. The other option is to live like you’re 20, wreck yourself, and feel like shit when it doesn’t work out.

      • Ted Nelson

        He’s 33, not 63…

        I don’t think anyone is arguing that he shouldn’t adjust his training and his on-field approach for his physical reality. Or that he shouldn’t expect to gradually decline physically as he ages.

        The issue to me is more with ascribing his LH-only decline in 2010-11 to physical decline when his swing appears to be a mess, and then concluding that no change in mechanics or approach was necessary based on a couple of months where he had some sort of bronchial issue in a season where his RH production actually fell a lot more than his LH production.

        Basically, it would be nice if they could pinpoint the problem rather than just cite “age.” He’s confident that he’s physically able to defend 1B at a high level, but also confident that he’s not able to hit LH at a high level anymore. He’s confident that he can still hit for power. He mashed from the right side in 2010 and 11. What is the physical issue that’s hurting only his LH production?

        Overall, the story just doesn’t seem very consistent. Not consistent enough to conclude that he shouldn’t be figuring out what is wrong with his swing and approach, rather than just writing it off because he can’t do any better.

        Of course this is just one article that doesn’t necessarily hit every issue. It’s just frustrating in its inconsistency and incompleteness to me.

        • hogsmog

          Yeah that’s true, it is of little substance. I think my takeaway was that this wasn’t really a ‘baseball’ article, this was just about the mindset of a fading star in an era of Favre/Clemens/The Rolling Stones, etc, where we as a society glorify heroes who seem to never slow down (or, try really hard not to). For me, it’s not “Tex has accepted that he sucks, that’s it”, but more “He’s got a healthy mental game,” which can be just as important. Sure, he may or may not be working on his swing, but that’s for another piece.

  • Robinson Tilapia

    What a great, great piece.

  • Ted Nelson

    I wish he could be more open and honest with himself about needing to reconfigure his LH swing. My speculation is that he’s not so much on the decline as he just declined, very possibly for mechanical reasons, and has been too bull-headed to make the necessary adjustments. He tried to adjust his LH swing for like a week, and then went right back to the one that wasn’t working. And you know what? It still didn’t work. Certainly adjustments could just make him worse still, but I’d like to see him take the chance for an extended period.

    His decline from 2010-11 was pretty negligible (I would bet within the expected random year-to-year fluctuation range), and then he was dinged up in 2012. The big decline really came from 2009-10, and I would argue he’s been fairly steady since. Perhaps the 2012 injuries were a sign of things to come, but they could just as easily have been a blip on the radar for a guy who had played 156+ games annually for four seasons prior, after missing a similar amount of time in 2007.

    His ability to hit RH also gives me some faith it’s more mechanical than physical.

    • nsalem

      Excellent points as always Ted!!! I feel that it’s a combination of the shift, the short porch and the refusal to adjust that turns a lefty .300 hitter into a .250 hitter. Like Giambi, Tex’s first year in pinstripes was his best and then the numbers start to decline. Even Ted Williams took a large hit in his batting average when they started shifting on him in 1946 and he refused to change his swing.

  • http://Riveraveblues Austinmac

    I would have preferred an admission he has declined and then a statement he intends to change that.

    • Mike HC

      His point though was that trying to get back to his mid 20’s glory days was only hurting him even more.

  • MannyGeee

    “”I have no problem with anybody in New York, any fan, saying you’re overpaid. Because I am,” Teixeira said. “We all are.”

    Scott Boras may be planning something bad for Tex eight now. I would duct tape all the trunks to your cars ASAP, we wouldn’t want dead hookers showing up in there.

    All joking aside, truer words have never been said. That’s pretty awesome.

  • yanks61

    TomH. – great post in last thread. One thing that Weiss’s Yankees had going for them was the Kansas City A’s. I’m not sure how the present day Yanks will replace that!


    Ted,in reading your point,and those made by others about Tex not going to LF, I recalled something I read a little while back. Lou Boudreau invented the same sort of shift against Ted Williams and Boudreau claimed that his charts showed it to be 37% percent more successful than not using it.

    So naturally it continued to be used and, as Williams said later, people accused him “of not trying to hit to left, of being stubborn and that all I cared about was ramming the ball in the teeth of the shift. The fact was,” he later admitted, “I was having a hard time learning to hit to left.”

    “Teddy Ballgame” having a hard time to hit to left!!?? So what is a poor mortal like Tex to do?

    Well, Williams eventually learned to hit to left by listening to advise given to him by Paul Waner, which was to step back from the plate. I see very few games from over here in France, so I really don’t have a good appreciation for what Tex is doing batting LH. Maybe someone could pass this advise along to Tex. Then again, what works for a god might not necessarily work for him :)

    • Ted Nelson

      I don’t have the numbers to say, but I don’t think Tex has to learn it. I think he has to re-learn it. He didn’t fly open nearly as much as a younger player. He stayed through the ball a lot better. He still does that from the right side.

      My issue isn’t even so much with him being a pull-hitter. It’s with him flying completely open, bailing out right when he starts his swing. I’ve linked to a few youtube videos that are a very, very rough contrasting of his Rangers’ LH swing vs. his 2011 LH swing.

      I know he’s a very hard worker. And I’m quite sure that even if he hasn’t realized it, Kevin Long has brought it to his attention. His rationale might even be right in terms of just selling out for power to RF being more effective for him at this stage of his career. It’s just frustrating for me not to feel like he’s really trying to identify the problem and adjust.

  • Harris (1728 Days till Arod’s Contract Expires)

    A little too honest for my liking there Teixeira. You started ‘declining’ the 2nd year of your new contract at age 30. I’d rather you do all you can do to get back to where you were than accept what you’ve been doing. 33 really isn’t that old.

    • jjyank

      What’s wrong with honesty, if that’s how he feels? I’m sure his statements don’t mean to imply that he won’t try as hard as he can do be as productive as possible.

  • Magilla Gorilla Mama Called me Roy tho

    What a total bunch of crap! the guy has the ugliest swing in baseball. He has consistently ignored the advice of hitting coaches to integrate his lower body into his swing. He is totally an upper body player who always has his hips out of position. Textbook bad. Arm strength and rapid instincts worked better for him when he was young? Maybe. He certainly has great rapid fire instincts in the field – then why not at bat. This guy has the talent to be an .875 OPS hitter. If he had lower body control, he could hit home runs to all fields.

    Someone should tell Teixeira that no one questions CC Sabathia’s contract. Jeter has made a ton of money up to last year. No one questions his worth.

    This guy needs to shut up big time and accept some coaching.

    Here is a great recent article in Pinstripe Pundits:

    • Ted Nelson

      Tend to agree. Would also add that he was still hitting about the same as before from the right side in 2010-11. Seems like there’s a good chance that this is just a LH-swing mechanical issue. That swing is ugly.

  • Get Phelps Up

    I don’t think he means that he can’t get better or isn’t trying to get better. I think all he’s saying is that now “getting better” means the .270/.362/.526 he hit between his cough and calf problem last year instead of the .308/.410/.552 he hit in 2008.

    • jjyank

      Agreed. He’s just accepting that the 33 year old version of himself isn’t the same as the 28 year old version of himself. Most players don’t come out and say that, but we all know it’s pretty much true of most players anyway.

  • RetroRob

    Refreshing article.

  • Frank

    I think this is a lot of bullshit. The years “when it was easy” for Tex – when he was young and “Crazy Valuable” he didn’t have to work as hard.

    But you know what, he’s making $20M now… so work harder! Work as hard as you can possibly work because that’s how you justify getting paid that much. Everyone knows the human body slows down with age, but what separates professional athletes from the normal human being is their ability to outperform and overcome.

    I don’t want to hear he settling for .250. As a fan, I want to know he’s doing everything humanly possibly (within reason, and within the law and rules) to be the best he can be – to meet the price and expectations of that contract – signed by both parties with the best intentions, and with good faith.

  • Robinson Tilapia

    How many of us are 100% honest with ourselves as to our faults? None of us are (although I’m sure Tom Cruise thinks he is.) We can nitpick as to where the gaps are here. You still very rarely hear this kind of talk from a guy making an inhuman amount of money while they’re still playing.

    It was also a story for the Wall Street Journal, not for Baseball Nerd Weekly.

    • RetroRob

      Interestingly, Baseball Nerd Weekly (need to renew my subscription) would actually understand and agree with what Tex is saying.

      I expect some rebound form Teixeira in 2013, simply because he probably won’t have the range of health issues he did in 2012, starting with that cough, and he won’t waste part of the season trying to develop a new way of hitting. He is 33, and history is clear on what happens to hitters like him as they age. Exactly what’s happening to him. .255/.350/.500, 35 HRs and a 120 OPS+ are still within his reach. Add in his league-best defense (and as Bill James noted yesterday, Teixeira is the best defensive 1B’man in the game by a wide margin, and one of the best ever), and I’ll take it.

  • Vern Sneaker

    I agree with Ted that 33 YO doesn’t mean an automatic 30-40 pt. BA decline. The mindset should be to decide make swing adjustments — lots of tape, lots of K-Long, lots of work. 20 mil. demands that. He can do better and hopefully he will.

  • Havok9120

    I love the guys who are ripping Tex for admitting age-related decline is unavoidable past a certain point who will then go into a thread about what to expect from Youk this season and start screaming about how age related decline is unavoidable past a certain point and anyone who doesn’t accept that is a apologist lemming.

    • Vern Sneaker

      Texeira’s not that old. He’s just not hitting as well left- handed. Swings and misses up, fly ball rate up, ground ball outs up. My take is he’s either injured in some way that’s not fully healed or he needs to make mechanical/approach changes from the left side. I’m not saying that’s easy but I can’t accept his age as an excuse for his .240-.250 performance.

      • Havok9120

        My point being that Youk isn’t either. We’ve got people saying players peak in late 20s and then drop off who are then ripping Tex for saying the same thing.

  • Barry

    “I have no problem with anybody in New York, any fan, saying you’re overpaid. Because I am,” Teixeira said. “We all are.


  • forensic

    I tend to be in the camp of those annoyed by this article. Most of the points have already been made, but the possible unwillingness to adjust or try something new is not age related decline, but hubris or stubbornness (or just plain denial despite supposedly ‘talking the talk’). And the point of just looking at age related decline is that it’s supposed to be declining from your prime years and the best years of your career, not declining further from the three straight years you’ve already declined during what was supposed to be your prime years.

    I’m almost tempted to take it a step further and say this sounds like he’s finally glad he has something many people will accept as a reason for his decline since he’s at an acceptable age and seemed out someone to put it in print for him. Not sure I’d go that far, but it’s pretty close. I don’t see any of this explaining the last three years anyway.

    Also, where do they think these 90 plus walk and mid-800’s OPS years are coming from? I don’t see him rebounding to either of these levels now that he’s admitted to himself that he won’t be able to improve anymore and won’t be able to stay close to consistently healthy. How low can he go though? Upper-700’s OPS? Mid-700’s OPS? If he continues to be so terrible vs. righties (who are around 70-ish% of the pitchers in baseball) it could get really ugly.

    • Robinson Tilapia

      I disagree, but really only because I think we’re abscribing things onto a WSJ piece about mega contracts that would have never made it to the article. I don’t really see this as a baseball piece. Therefore, there’s still lots to the imagination here.

  • Texisacertifiedcandyass

    if Tex is dirt old at 32, then I don’t want anything to do with Cano after this season.

  • Mike Patrick

    Tex has been one to take the money and run wherever he could get the most. Sometimes these ego people will say what they think the public wants and not what they really think. Of course gullible people will believe anything they say. I hope people are beginning to understand that the only talk that they understand is money. Loyalty has gone out the window along with integrity. And yea, the union caused that!

    • Mike Axisa

      The union created loyalty.

  • TopChuckie

    Old guys can bunt, or learn to bunt. All he has to do is establish the threat to bunt if you shift on him and his batting average will increase. That might not solve all the problems, but it will undeniably increase his chances for success batting LH. Every little bit helps.

    Also, I think his LH batting has dropped off so far to the point it might be worth considering batting righty against all pitchers. At some point the disadvantage of your flawed mechanics outweighs the disadvantage of facing a same side pitcher. There are plenty of successful full-time RH batters.

    These are both things a player at any age could consider and only stubbornness, pride, or ignorance would keep someone from at least giving it a shot before admitting defeat like Tex just did in that article.

  • Yogiism

    I am one of the fans that appreciates Teixeira’s candor. I though this was a great article. I actually wrote a comment on here several months ago about Tex and his game-man-ship and it was one of the comments others agreed with. Regardless of the Arod debacle, I had proposed several months ago that the Yanks should approach Tex after the 2013 season and discuss a new contract. At that time he will have 3 years and $67.5mm remaining. It seems Tex is very realistic about his abilities, how he is compensated and how it relates to the rest of the sport. I wouldn’t be opposed to looking into signing a new contract for 5 years and $75mm. It’s a touch higher in total dollars, but gives him a little more time in pinstripes. Tex has said this much, that he would like to play another 5-6 years and wants to retire with the Yanks. This wouldn’t be a clear cut case of manipulating the luxury tax guidelines, since it does favor the player as well. There is probably less than a 10% chance something like this could happen and it could be a moot point now that I understand this whole situation better (that the Yanks just need to be below in 2014 for the tax guidelines to reset) that they might just rather have him under contract for only 3 years. I guess some of this has to do with Arod. If Arod is out (which likely won’t happen), then this could be an option (you don’t want to two late 30’s DH’s making a lot of money, but one, such as Tex, who should remain an asset in the field for at least 5 years and a switch hitter would make for a nice compliment down the road. $15mm per year versus $22.5mm is a nice savings for the Yanks.

    I don’t know, just talking out of my arse…But Tex is one of those few players you could have this discussion with. From a business standpoint, not sure this is something the Yanks would want to do. Again, really need to see the Arod situation play out. If he is around, which he likely will be then I just let Tex play the rest of the contract and be done with it. At this point, I’d rather have Tex for 5 more years over Arod, who likely won’t even field a position 16-24 months from how. Ho hum…

  • Evan3457

    Tex plays great defense and always hustles despite his lack of speed. But if he’s “accepting” the fact that he’s going to be a lesser player in his mid-30’s, with a lower OPS+, WAR, and marginal value, and “accepting” the fact that he can’t adjust to how pitchers are pitching and go the other way at times to combat it, maybe he’ll void the rest of that 8-year, $170+ million deal he “accepted” and “accept” a lower salary for the rest of his time with the Yankees, so the Yanks can use the difference to get a better hitter at another position to make up that gap in offensive production from what he used to be, to what he is now.

    I could “accept” that.


    Ok, to be serious for a moment, maybe he really tried and just couldn’t adjust. Maybe he’s scared of “falling off a cliff” production-wise as he learns adjustments to his stance and swing, but refusing to adapt as you get older is the quick way to being unable to hit at a level necessary to hold a regular job, or even to hold any job.

    So his falloff doesn’t stop at being merely a good hitter, instead of an outstanding one; the falloff will continue and accelerate as he gets older. Is he willing to “accept” $22.5 million a year to be a bench player, or retired?

    If I were the Yanks’ manager or GM, I don’t think I’d “accept” that.