Archive for Mark Teixeira
Mark Teixeira and Robinson Cano have won the AL Gold Glove Awards at first and second base, respectively. Cano beat out the Dustins (Ackley and Pedroia) while Teixeira beat out Eric Hosmer and the since-traded Adrian Gonzalez. It’s Robbie’s second Gold Glove (2010) and Tex’s fifth (2005, 2006, 2009, 2010). Congrats to both.
Russell Martin, Mark Teixeira, and Robinson Cano have been announced as finalists for the Gold Glove Award at their respective positions. Martin is up against Alex Avila, Matt Wieters, and A.J. Pierzynski while Cano will compete with the Dustins — Pedroia and Ackley. Teixeira is up against Eric Hosmer and Adrian Gonzalez, who I assume won’t win since he was traded to the Dodgers in August.
I’m surprised Derek Jeter isn’t a finalist at shortstop considering how well he hit this year. Gold Gloves are more of a popularity contest than an actual measure of defensive excellence. Anyway, the awards will be announced tomorrow night.
For the first time in his career, Mark Teixeira has won the Fielding Bible Award at first base for his defensive skills. Albert Pujols had won the award five times in the last six years, but he finished third in the voting behind Tex and Adrian Gonzalez in 2012. Teixeira received 95 of 100 possible points in the scoring system and was probably long overdue for this award, which I feel is a far better representation of defensive ability than Gold Gloves. Tex has a few of those already.
Got five questions for you this week, and none of them are directly tied to the ALDS. Consider this a break from the playoffs for a few hours. Remember to use the Submit A Tip box in the sidebar to send us questions.
Bill asks: If the Yanks were to buy out A-Rod‘s contract (not saying they should just if they did) would his salary still count towards the team salary for getting under the $189 million limit?
Yeah, it would. According to the Collective Bargaining Agreement, player salary that counts towards the luxury tax is “the value of the total compensation (cash or otherwise) paid to a Player pursuant to the terms of a Uniform Player’s Contract, including any guarantee by the Club of payments by third parties, for a particular championship season. Salary shall include, without limitation, the value of non-cash compensation such as the provision of personal translators, personal massage therapists, and airfare and tickets exceeding normal Club allotments.”
In English, that means anything a team plays a player will count towards the tax. The structure of the buyout would determine when and how much applies to the luxury tax calculations. There are five years and $114M left on A-Rod’s contract after this season and the Yankees are goimng to pay every penny. They’re not trading him, he’s not going to retire, and they’re not going to negotiate a buyout so they can cut him loose. It’s not happening. He’ll be around until 2017 whether you like it or not. Ownership made their bed and now they’ll have to sleep in it.
Nick asks: Do you think that Jayson Nix could wind up on the Yankees again next season?
I definitely think it’s possible. Nix, 30, will be arbitration-eligible for the first time this winter and will probably still be in line for a six-figure salary next season. I have a hard time seeing a career up-and-down bench player with a .214/.285/.371 batting line pulling in more than a million bucks his first time through arbitration.
Nix is a useful role player capable of playing a ton of positions and providing some offense against left-handers, so it makes sense for the Yankees to hold onto him. He shouldn’t deter them from acquiring a better utility infielder if one comes along this offseason, the only problem is that he is out of minor league options and can’t be sent to the minors next season without clearing waivers. I wouldn’t call Nix a lock for the 2013 roster by any means, but there’s certainly a chance of it happening.
Well, the Sanchez stuff last season was so bad that the team had to send him to Extended Spring Training for disciplinary reasons. He refused to pinch-hit in a game and catch a side session, which is a major no-no. The Williams stuff was reported as “a few headaches,” which frankly is the first I’ve heard of him having any kind of real makeup problem. Mason has been knocked for being too hard on himself and getting frustrated with bad at-bats or plays, but nothing that created a problem with other players or coaches. We’ll have to pay attention to this in the future, because this report did catch me a bit off guard.
JW asks: Here’s a mailbag question: assume Rafael Soriano opts out and the Yankees make a qualifying offer. Under the new FA compensation rules, does it project that the signing team would have to give up a draft pick? I know that the number of players whose signing warrants giving up a pick has been reduced by a lot.
Under the new system, a team would have to forfeit a draft pick to sign a top free agent (who has received a qualifying offer), but that pick does not go to the player’s former team. It just disappears. The former team receives one supplemental first round pick instead, which is pulled out of thin air like the old system. I assume the Yankees will make Soriano a qualifying offer if he opts out because he’d be walking away from more money ($14M) by opting out than he would get through the offer ($13.3-13.4M). I have no idea who would give up a draft pick to sign him but it doesn’t really matter — the Yankees will end up with the same compensation pick no matter where he ends up.
GB asks: If Curtis Granderson, CC Sabathia, Phil Hughes, Mark Teixeira, David Robertson, Alex Rodriguez and Derek Jeter were all FA’s after this season, what kind of contracts would you see them getting?
Well this is a fun one. I have an amazing knack for underestimating free agent contracts, but I’ll give this my best shot anyway…
- Granderson — 40+ homer power is rare, so that alone will get Curtis paid at age 31. Clubs will probably be gun-shy because of Jason Bay, but his four-year, $66M deal with the Mets seems like an appropriate benchmark.
- Sabathia — Despite the elbow injury and sub-par second half, Sabathia would still wind up with $20M+ a year easy. Frankly I bet he could match the five-year, $122.5M deal he signed with the Yankees last winter if he went back out onto the open market this year. Pitchers of Sabathia’s caliber very rarely hit free agency.
- Hughes — How does four years and $40M sound? Phil is only 27, so you’d theoretically be buying all of his peak years and expect some improvement going forward. Maybe $44-48M would be closer to reality as a free agent.
- Teixeira — At this point, age 32, Teixeira is just a touch above the first base league average offensively (115 vs. 106 wRC+) while remaining a stud with the glove. First baseman make more money than anyone, so I think another Bay-like four-year, $66M deal would be in the cards.
- Robertson — A stud reliever at age 27 is a prime candidate to get overpaid, especially if someone plans on making him a closer. Joaquin Benoit’s three-year, $16.5M deal with the Tigers seems like the floor here. Three or fours years at $6-7M annually wouldn’t surprise me at all.
- A-Rod: Not much right now, probably like two years and $20M with most of that coming on reputation.
- Jeter: The Cap’n is in a weird spot because I don’t think any other team would pursue him as a free agent. Not because he’s a bad player or anything, but because of the “Yankees or retirement” vibe. Could Jeter match the three-year, $51M contract he signed two years ago this offseason? Yeah, I think he might be able too.
Barring something unexpected, Mark Teixeira will return to the lineup in tonight’s series opener against the Red Sox. He’s come through all of his rehab workouts without a problem, so the Grade I left calf strain that has sidelined him for (essentially) the last 31 team games seems to be a thing of the past. It’s unfortunate he wasn’t around for basically all of September, but better late than never I suppose.
As Joe outlined last week, Teixeira’s replacements haven’t exactly torn the cover off the ball during his absence. He might just be a .250/.340/.480-ish type hitter at this point of his career, but that’s still solidly above-average, especially in the power department. No, it’s not the Teixeira of 2009 or the offensive monster from 2004-2008, but it’s a productive hitter that can help the lineup, especially against left-handed pitchers.
The problem is that we have no idea what the expect from him at this point. Teixeira got his five plate appearances against the Orioles in his one game back earlier this month, but that’s it. He had a handful of Instructional League at-bats against minor league pitchers, but otherwise he’ll be stepping back into the box to face big league caliber pitching for the first time in more than a month. That comes with the injury territory though, any player who misses a significant amount of time has to deal with the same thing. The timing just stinks.
As much as the added bat will help, getting the defense back to normal is important as well. Nick Swisher has gotten the vast majority of the first base reps during Teixeira’s absence, which means lots of Raul Ibanez and Andruw Jones in the outfield. Now Swisher can play right, Ichiro Suzuki can move back to left, Ibanez can DH, and Jones can stay glued to the bench. First base defense isn’t the most important thing in the world, but Teixeira sure is good at it. His return and the trickle down effect helps the club’s overall run prevention.
The Yankees are set to play the three most important games of the season this week, games that will decide if they can jump right to the ALDS or have to a play a wildcard play-in game. The former is much, much preferable. They’re finally at full strength, at least in the sense that all the big names who can come back this year have come back. Getting Teixeira back strengthens the team defense if nothing else, though it won’t take much for him to improve the offensive attack as well. With their regular first baseman back in tow, the Yankees are as healthy as they’re going to get for the rest of the year.
Via Mark Feinsand, the Yankees expect to have Mark Teixeira back in the lineup and playing first base against the Red Sox tomorrow. He and his strained left calf have come through recent workouts fine and he’ll go through another round down in Instructional League today. The Yankees need their first baseman back badly, so this is certainly welcome news.
In other news, Brian Cashman said the team is not planning to recall either Corban Joseph or David Adams in the wake of Jayson Nix‘s strained hip flexor. Eduardo Nunez is the only backup middle infielder on the roster at the moment, and Joe Girardi clearly doesn’t trust him defensively in close games. Derek Jeter and Robinson Cano should play every inning of every game the rest of the way, but I’m surprised they’re not bringing up another infielder just in case.
5:01pm: Teixeira came through today’s Instructs game fine and is on pace to rejoin the Yankees on Monday. That would be huge, they need him.
9:11am: Mark Teixeira and his strained left calf took six at-bats in Instructional League yesterday, and he also ran and took ground balls. “He’s passed every test he was supposed to up to this point,” said Joe Girardi. “He’s on schedule for what was scheduled, so that’s a good thing.”
Teixeira is scheduled to play another five innings in Instructs today, and Girardi said he’ll likely rejoin the team during the Red Sox series early next week. That’s the final series of the season, so he won’t have much time to tune-up against Major League caliber pitching in advance of a potential postseason series. It’s better than nothing though, and it’s not like his replacements have been tearing the cover off the ball either.
Mark Teixeira and his strained left calf got seven at-bats and played first base for one inning in Instructional League yesterday, his first game action since re-aggravating the injury nearly three weeks ago. He also ran at about 75-80% and reportedly felt fine afterwards. “I’m not sure if he’ll do it again tomorrow, or take a day off,” said Joe Girardi. “To me the biggest test is running the bases. That’s the biggest test for me, because I think he can protect it a little bit in the field if he has to. But sometimes you get into a situation, like he was in Baltimore, and your mind tells you, ‘I gotta go.’”
Instructional League is pretty informal, so Teixeira probably led off every inning or something like that. It’s unclear when he’ll be able to rejoin the team — Monday’s series opener against the Red Sox would be nice — and I guess there’s a chance he won’t be ready in time for a potential postseason series. That would really suck, but hopefully it doesn’t come to that.
The Yankees needed the 2009 version of Mark Teixeira in 2012, but instead got something more closely resembling his rookie campaign. After two years of disappointing performances, Teixeira has turned in his weakest one yet. It doesn’t matter which stat you choose; they all look lousy compared to the expectations he set from 2004 through 2009. His 2012 campaign looks even worse now that he’s spent almost all of the last month on the shelf.
At the same time, the Yankees are desperately missing Teixeira’s bat in the middle of the lineup. That is, they’re missing what the healthy Mark Teixeira produced in 2012. While his overall numbers don’t reflect it, he was, for a stretch, a productive member of the lineup. Given the failings of other middle of the order hitters this month — Robinson Cano was hitting just .250/.353/.398 and A-Rod .256/.305/.384 going into yesterday’s game — they could use some more power behind Derek Jeter and Ichiro.
Early in the season Mark Teixeira came down with some kind of cold, and without regular rest it lingered. It might seem like a small thing, a mere cough, but think about it from a hitter’s perspective. You’re at the plate with a guy hurling a ball at you, and you have this burning in the back of your throat. It takes an insane amount of concentration to hit a baseball as it is. Now imagine having that concentration distracted because you have a cough coming up. It’s no simple task, and Teixeira certainly suffered for it.
Instead of the slow starts to which we’ve become accustomed, Teixeira slogged through the first month and a half of the season. He hit just .228/.283/.386, and his numbers were greatly propped up by his one great performance, 3 for 6 with 2 HR in Boston. In mid-May Girardi gave him a weekend off, and it seemed to do the trick. Since then he has hit .270/.361/.526 — not quite 2009 Teixeira, but certainly quality numbers given his depressed numbers in 2010 and 2011.
Things actually looked a bit better for a while, but then another injury struck.
On July 30th Teixeira left the game against the Orioles after hurting his wrist. The timing couldn’t have been worse, and not just because the Yankees had just lost Alex Rodriguez a few days prior. Teixeira had been on an absolute tear since that weekend on the bench. In 256 PA he was hitting .277/.371/.568. Considering the overall league offensive decline, these numbers lined up pretty well with his 2009 production.
Wrist injuries are notorious for sapping power, and that’s exactly what happened to Teixeira. After returning on August 3rd he hit .250/.330/.408 in 88 PA. Worse, he re-injured the wrist in a game on August 16. He returned just four days later, but went 5 for 22 with a lone double before the calf injury.
Since the calf injury Yankees first basemen have hit .225/.343/.393, a downgrade from even Teixeira’s full-season line of .255/.336/.478, never mind a healthy Teixeira. Yet even those numbers are a bit high; they don’t consider the game that Teixeira himself played first base, in which he went 1 for 4 with a walk and a double. Absent that game Yankees first basemen are hitting .223/.340/.388.
There’s a trickle-down effect, too. Nick Swisher has taken many of those at-bats at first base. While he hasn’t had a banner September, hitting .212/.316/.388 prior to yesterday, his absence is noted in right field. Since the Teixeira injury right fielders are hitting just .204/.282/.312, and while some of that is certainly Swisher’s doing, clearly there are others bringing down the numbers in right.
The hope is that the Yankees can get Teixeira back in time for the postseason. We had heard that he might be ready for this weekend’s series in Toronto, but given his progress it doesn’t seem likely. He has been progressing in the last week or so, though he did take a planned day off from running yesterday. He still hasn’t gone full speed, and says he is still experiencing tightness and soreness in his calf. As Joe Girardi said this week, “The concern is that you rush him and then he has that one play and then you know he’s probably gone for the season. You have to make sure.” It sounds like a longwinded way of saying that Teixeira is back against Boston at the earliest.
Getting Teixeira back for the postseason could be huge, especially if his time on the shelf has given his wrist ample time to heal. Yankees fans might not be excited about the prospect of Teixeira in the postseason; he’s hit just .170/.276/.302 in 123 postseason PA for the Yanks. Yet we’ve seen other Yankees postseason heroes falter in the postseason. Tino Martinez hit .183/.294/.290 in his first 109 PA as a Yankee in the postseason before hitting .280/.351/.430 from the World Series, 1998, through the World Series, 2001.
Tino hit well enough for the Mariners in the 1995 playoffs, .273/.360/.364 against New York and Cleveland. Teixeira actually hit better in his lone pre-Yankees postseason series, going 7 for 15 with four walks against Boston in the 2008 ALDS. This isn’t to say that Teixeira will turn around his postseason performance in the same way Tino did. But it is to say that Teixeira’s failures as a Yankee in the postseason don’t necessarily doom him to the same fate in the future.
If you only look at Teixeira’s 2012 season, you’ll only get part of the story. You’ll see his overall poor numbers and how they’ve hurt the team relative to expectations. You’ll see a third straight year of declining numbers, certainly a cause for concern for the final four years of his contract. But you won’t see how the season unfolded. The stat sheet doesn’t document his struggles early in the year, his resurgence when healthy, and his post-injury production. It’s not an excuse for his performances; rather, it’s a clarification of them. The Yanks could sure use that healthy mid-May to late-July Teixeira in the lineup in the postseason. It could make a huge difference in the offensive production.
Mark Teixeira has yet to participate in any Instructional League games down in Tampa, but the first baseman has resumed running as he works his way back from his left calf strain. Teixeira has been taking batting practice and fielding drills for about a week now, but he’s only been able to ease back into the running. Joe Girardi said the team hopes to get him into a simulated game soon. There’s only a week left in the regular season, so we’re starting to approach crunch time as far as getting him back in advance of a potential postseason series.