Re-signing Youkilis a Bargain.

     On today’s market, where a similiar, but maybe slightly better player in Mark Teixeira receives $22.5 million a year for eight seasons, the Red Sox have a bargain.  Teixeira may be the better player but it isn’t by much, and Youkilis will cost less than half annually of what Tex will receive, but will also not be under contract through his decline.  Youkilis is one of the better players in the game of baseball, and although I could see him declining from his great 2008, while a player like Tex might stay great, Youkilis should still be good even if he isn’t AS good.  One reason he is such a bargain is because if Lars Anderson comes up, Youkilis could shift over and play third, ultimately moving up the defensive spectrum.  First baseman do not move up the spectrum much, few players can, and do.  Tougher infield positions generally shift to first when the player no longer has the range to field whichever position they currently occupy.  Youkilis is flexible, he reaches base frequently and displays a great eye, something that should age nicely.  And his power should be above average throughout the contract, but I strongly suspect that his power numbers will not be as great as his .569 slugging percentage indicate.  I could very well see him as a .290/.380/.490 type of player over the duration of the contract.  But the slugging may be a little lower, although his OBP could actually exceed that some of the time.  But I think that is a fair line over the next four seasons.  Playing third will only increase his value if he continues to do it well. 

     In the beginning of this entry, I referred to Youkilis being a bargain on this market.  That is mostly in comparison to what a player like Teixeira was going to receive, even if he had gone somewhere besides New York, he still would have earned way more than what Youkilis did.  Some of the corner outfielders that are not getting big money, are atrocious defenders.  There is a large difference between the lumbering, offense first outfielders that are still searching for a contract, and Youkilis.  The two positions help his case, and the fact that he can play one of them very well, and the other well enough.  The market itself is terrible, but the market for a similiar player seemed to be pretty good. 

     There has even been talk that Youkilis could play a corner outfield spot for an extended period of time.  If that is not versatility then I don’t know the meaning of the word.  Odds are, Youkilis will not need to move to the outfield, but it is nice as an organization, and a fan, to know that he could do so if absolutely needed.

     A bargain, period.    

7 Comments

Maybe Cashman should take lessons from our man Theo!

Julia
http://werbiefitz.mlblogs.com/

That signing was great. He doesn’t have the power that Tex as but he can hit for a higher average, drive in just as many runs, and still play Gold Glove defense, and all for half the price. Boston basically traded 10 home runs a year for $10MM. He is coming at a huge bargain.
http://hardballblog.mlblogs.com/

Sincere congrats here.
Maybe Cash could learn a thing or two. It wouldn’t hurt to spend a little less, as long as we still get the big names :) lol
V – http://flairforthedramatic.mlblogs.com

You know, Youkilis is so versatile that he could probably pitch. Just kidding. Youkilis actually had a higher batting average than Tex, but overall I basically consider them players of equal caliber. And when Lowell either leaves or retires (although I’d like to keep him around for a while depending on this next season) Youk can move to third and Anderson can play first. That will be great!! Theo is always working his magic.
-Elizabeth
http://redsoxgirl46.mlblogs.com

Based upon Teix contract for the next several years, he is definately overrated. But putting Youkilis in the same room as him is ridiculous. Youkilis had a great 2008, but you people seem to forget, this is something the guy has NEVER come close to before. I think the 2006-2007 Youkilis is the real one. He’s a 15-20 .280 guy. He never was anything special in the minors, and having a season like this with no history of supporting those #’s will most certainly scream “fluke-season”. I understand he is a fan favorite, and you definately cannot put a price tag on that. But being such a fan favorite always puts blinders on fans in these types of debates. Teix has a proven track record of “superstar” stats, unmatched by almost everyone in MLB. Youkilis has one fluke season, and a career of mediocricy. Sox fans sure may hate this statement, but in the end, it’s true. He was a mediocre minor leaguer, is VERY old for just completeing his 3rd (full) season at 30, is a mediocre MLB player with one fluke season. I am sorry, but even mentioning him in the same blog as Teix is quite foolish.

Look, I don’t deny that Tex is better, and that is why I ranked him 5th, basically tied for 5th among first baseman. But Youkilis, even though he plays in Fenway, has put up almost identical numbers both on the road and at home, so we know he isn’t a product of Fenway. In two years, he will play third most likely which will increase his value, where as other player become less valuable as they age, typically. And both he and Tex are very good defensively. As you see, I projected his slugging to be around .490, which is 80 percentage points lower than his 2008, so I understand that he had a “career year” as you said. Youkilis can hit the ball to all fields, and he has become a better hitter than he was, regardless of if he had a career year. What would you rather have Youkilis for ten mill, or Tex for 22 million a year? Exactly. Tex is great, but Youkilis is a bargain, and I believe they ARE comparable, even though Tex is better. This isn’t Casey Kotchman vs. Tex we are talking about.

‘Joyner Fan': I actually think Youkilis is just getting into his prime.. so I think he will continue to do well. And it’s not like I haven’t done my research, I’m not blindsided just because he is a fan favorite. Trust me, I know my stuff.
In Youk’s first two years, he barely had any at bats, compared to Teixeira’s first two years. When he first started getting at bats equal to the amount that Teixeira was getting in 2006 (with 569), he actually put up better numbers than Teixeira. His second year with a substantial amount of at-bats he still yet again hit better than Teixeira.
And last year, they both had very comparable years. So I’d rather compare them when they have an equal number of at-bats because it’s unfair to compare Youkilis to Teixeira in Youk’s early years because he didn’t have a lot of at bats.
-Elizabeth
http://redsoxgirl46.mlblogs.com

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