Yankees Drive One Into the Gap With Teixeira.

     The Yankees made a significant splash inking a deal with Mark Teixeira earlier today.  They don’t really have a Lars Anderson in the minors as the Red Sox do, so if they have the money, which they do, then signing Tex was a good move.  But why wouldn’t it be a good move?  Teixeira, although a first baseman, is a great defender.  Teixeira, as far as I know, doesn’t have any kind of personality issues, and should be a solid addition within the clubhouse.  And if we don’t know already, Tex has a very good bat.  Very good.  Super good the past few seasons, posting OPS+’s greater than 150 in each season (splitting time in both the AL and NL in each year). 

     The Yankees had, not necessarily a “hole,” as they could have gone with a below average center fielder (Melky, and most likely Gardner) and played Swisher at first.  But this is a much better option than that.  Now Swisher can be a great asset moving around the field wherever needed, or he could play right, or even center if they choose to go that way.  They have options, something that is a luxury.  And let us not forget about the 3-4 spots with Alex Rodriguez and Mark Teixeira slotted in, most likely the best 3-4 in the game.  Trust me, this should be the closest thing to Manny/Ortiz since, well, Manny/Ortiz.  And while they may not QUITE match them offensively, they add value on the defensive side of the ball.  I don’t know that they will be as good as Manny/Ortiz, but they should be pretty close, especially total package.  In 2003, Ortiz was 27 and Manny was 31.  Next year, AROD will start the year age 33.  Tex will be 29 in April.  So these next few seasons should be just about as great as any other years for AROD and Teixeira, excluding maybe Rodriguez’s 2007.  Since David Ortiz and Manny Ramirez were the greatest 3-4 that I have ever seen, then I am not going to anoint this new tandem to that status just yet, but they should be great anyway.

     As for the Red Sox?  The Rays?  Ask David Price and Clay Buchholz the answer.  Those two pitchers, and how they perform matter a lot as far as 2009 goes.  I believe in the Red Sox commitment to player development, and I don’t mind them not making this move (See blog on Lars Anderson).  The Rays obviously did not have the money, and will be good with what their farm has produced.  Both will be serious contenders for a playoff spot next season, along with the Yankees.  Unfortunately, they all play in the same division, and only two will be able to qualify for postseason play.

     I have to say that the Yankees making Tex their own was very surprising.  Right before the news went down, I saw an ESPN headline which said, “Developing Story: Nationals and Red Sox most likely destination for Teixeira.”  Then, not too many minutes went by and the Yankees swooped in and grabbed the hottest commodity on the market.  They are a better team with him, if not the best, as much as it pains me to say it. 

     Theo, your move. 

    

        

8 Comments

I think the Red Sox commitment to developing young players should be lauded and copied by other teams. What was done by the Yankees is in the past; we need to move on. I, for one, am looking forward to the 2009 season! Play Ball!

Julia
http://werbiefitz.mlblogs.com

I agree, the Red Sox approach to player development should be praised, and they have a definite advantage in that area over the Yankees. But Tex is a great player, and this move was a good one. I am not giving any particular credit to Cashman for dishing out someone else’s money (although surprising us all deserves a little credit I guess). But bringing in a great player makes this team better.

I’m not happy, Joe. That gaping hole in the cleanup spot that I wrote about a few days ago? It just got wider, in my opinion.

Steve T
http://soxblog.mlblogs.com

I too would have been much happier had Tex gone to the Nationals :)

you know i couldn’t be happier but i didn’t come to gloat-you’re always fair here joe and you know i appreciate that. i think maybe both our teams would have been OK if tex had gone to washington.

your move indeed theo–so what should he do?
it seems you have 2 problems to solve. i’m not sure how you feel about your captain and i know he does have tremendous value behind the plate, the intangibles etc, but the guy can’t hit anymore. does theo make a trade for salty or even better for teagarden? then you can keep lowrie at SS. what about those rumors for hardy?

I am fine with Lowrie at SS. I would like a catcher regardless of if they bring back Varitek. Whether it be Salty, Teagarden, etc. What was the second problem? 5th starter?

lugo was the 2nd problem, but i realized that lowrie is your guy–and a good one indeed

Naturally, I too am thrilled with the Teixeira signing. He’s an excellent two-way player, and the Yankees accomplished several things–upgrading first base, upgrading the offense (789 runs in 2008 was 179 fewer than the very productive 2007 team), improving the defense (not hard to do after the softball player Giambi), getting younger and better simultaneously, helping the ground ball pitchers such as Wang, getting a good guy in the clubhouse. It’s huge, but nor am I here to gloat, either. I know you look at such moves analytically, Joe. Whoever signed Teixeira would have made a very good move, no question.

On Varitek and the catcher’s spot, I agree with Mike. Varitek is great at handling pitchers and is clearly a well-respected leader on the Sox. But the guy’s bat has seriously declined. I wonder what his contract will be, should he return.
http://heartlandpinstripes.wordpress.com/

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