Thursday, May 8, 2008

Teixeira Derby

Jon Heyman handicaps the looming bidding war for the services of Mark Teixeira:
Lately, the overwhelming trend for young stars has been to sign early in their careers, to take the money and stay, so to speak.

That's what makes Braves first baseman Mark Teixeira such a rare breed. Incidentally, rare breeds don't come cheap these days. Neither do cleanup hitters, switch hitters or smooth fielders, and Teixeira is all of those things. He is also on the precipice of free agency, which is exactly where he wanted to be all along.

The mega contract awaits.

Not surprisingly, Heyman gives the Yankees and Mets the best shot at landing him, while giving the Orioles a shot as well due to Teixiera's Bawlmer roots. He also mentions Seattle, noting that "Mariners GM Bill Bavasi has an excellent working relationship with Boras," which is a backhanded compliment if I've ever heard one. Others mentioned: Braves, Red Sox, Giants.

Call me boring, but I have to favor the Yankees here. They simply need him more than the other teams and, last year's bad blood with Boras aside, they'll probably pay whatever he's asking.

Which doesn't mean it will be a bad deal. Teixeira is young for an elite free agent, and should have more productive years left in the tank than your average high-profile signing. The key, as always, will be contract length, which will prove to be the ultimate deal breaker for teams like the Braves who can't abide throwing money down a hole for bad, late-contract years like the Yankees can (Mike Hampton may have sworn them off such deals for good).

5 comments:

Alex said...

CB at Rowland's Office made a good point about Teixeira here: http://rowlandsoffice.typepad.com/weblog/2008/05/10-years-200-mi.html
I can almost justify the notion of a huge contract being the biggest moment in a player's career: it's a symbol that he has become one of the game's top players. Still, seems like any other player will tell you his top goal is "to win a ring." Even Barry Bonds! I would be really disappointed if Tex wanted the big payday more than to be a champion.

Pete Toms said...

C, Liberty Media has the resources to compete with anybody in MLB, including the Yankees. The Braves obviously aren't a priority for Liberty. The Braves were a throw in in a huge deal between Liberty & Time Warner. Liberty will sell the Braves in the next handful of years. I guess the question for the corporate beancounters is whether the franchise is worth more or less with Teixeira signed to a long term deal. Do you miss crazy Ted?

Craig Calcaterra said...

There are certianly times I miss old Ted. Then I realize that he was a big part of the reason the Braves were so screwed up in the first place. On the whole though, yeah, I'd take him back as long as he behaved like he did 1987-on rather than the crazy old days of the late 70s and early 80s.

Anonymous said...

Tex will not sign with either NY club, regardless of money. He does not want to play there. More likely scenarios are resigning with the Braves or a midseason trade that sends him to a team where he will resign and the Braves get a first baseman of the future. As crazy as it sounds I have heard to big names- Adrian Gonzalez and Ryan Howard. The first name I buy, the second I don't. Howard is older than you think and will command just as much as Tex. Not the fit the Braves are looking for. The other word is the Braves will let Tex walk and resign Furcal, move Yunel to second and move Kelly to OF again. Then resign Laroche who is desperate to come back.

Grant said...

I know people in Baltimore would love to see Tex come back, and the O's do need a first baseman (although Billy Rowell may end up there).

But I'm skeptical of the Orioles' ability to sign mega free agents still.

And I'm also skeptical that it's a good idea for them to do so.