Mark Teixeira Wants to Return to the Bronx and the Yankees Should Oblige Him

So what we've been saying here at Bronx Bomber Blog is now official: Mark Teixeira wants to be a Yankee for life. Now I can already hear the mindless droning of irrational fans crying out "he's a walking DL trip" or "Greg Bird is the future!" 

If you think his shattered shin as the result of a freak foul tip is something preventable or chronic, I can't give you all the help you need in this article. And I certainly do hope Greg Bird can be a part of the future but, with his season ending injury, his already uncertain guarantee of sustained big league success just grew more unsure.

But even if Bird returns and has success like we all wish, both he and Teixeira can still coexist. That's the beauty of the DH.
Teixeira states he wishes to play another four or five years. Now I'm a pretty big Teixeira fan, but I'm not sure even I would hand him a four year deal. However, let's say the Yankees offer him a 3yr/$36mil extension (you can roll your own numbers out there as well, this one is hard to gauge). I'd say that's fairly reasonable and if Teixeira is sincere in his desire to return to the Bronx I think he would settle for a pay cut like this, but it is still a good chunk of change.

So how exactly would Mark Teixeira returning to the Yankees after this year work? As I previously alluded to, the DH is a big part of the answer.

Let's assume that Greg Bird recovers just fine and is one the big league roster come starting day next year. It makes a good bit of sense to let Bird and Teixeira split time between first base. For Bird, it makes sense to ease him into big league action, especially coming off a season ending injury, rather than just throwing him into the fire of a full major league season. And for Teixeira he gets some much needed rest to hopefully prevent any injuries and keep him fresh.

Now since I mentioned the DH earlier, you're probably wondering what about Arod? A fair question, but it's important to remember that come this time next year Alex Rodriguez will be 41. He had a great bounce back year this year, but I have a hard time imagining he will be anywhere near that effective two years from this past season. As a result, I also propose that Arod and Teixeira could also split duties at DH to keep both extra fresh. Theoretically on days where Greg Bird starts at first, you could also get Teixeira in the lineup by plugging him in at DH.

And this is the trend that would be the focus of the next two years a proposed three year extension for Teixeira. Once Arod's contract (finally) expires after the 2017 season, Teixeira can transition into the full time DH while Bird transitions into the full time first baseman. Each will have had some experience at these positions from the year before, so it shouldn't be too rough a change.

So you can have the bright, young future of Bird playing alongside the already impressive career or Teixeira.

Now this entire argument is predicated on the fact that Teixeira has done nothing but hit when healthy. In fact, every year he's played at least 111 games he's hit at least 22 home runs. Last year he hit an outstanding 31 round rippers in just 111 games. Had he played 150 or so games, he was on pace for 41 home runs. Not only that, but his batting average returned to respectability last season as he was hitting a .255 clip before ultimately being sidelined for the season after a fluke foul tip off the shin. Combined with the fact he averages 116 RBIs every 162 games, you'd be hard pressed to find a better DH candidate.



Home Runs
2015 Mark Teixeira (111 Games)
31
2015 Anthony Rizzo (160 Games)
31
2015 Jose Abreu (154 Games)
30
2015 Joey Votto (158 Games)
29
2015Adrian Gonzalez (156 Games)
28
2014 Miguel Cabrera (159 Games)
25
2015 Prince Fielder (158 Games)
23

Not having to play the field every day would help Teixeira stay fresh and he could be a legitimate threat to smack 30 homers a year from that slot. The Yankees haven't had a ton of stability at the DH position up until recently and Teixeira could change that. 

He's also one of the best fielding first basemen in the game and would make for a great back up when Greg Bird needs a day off from the field. He saved the Yankees countless errors this year and if not for the need to rest him and keep him fresh, you could argue that his defensive ability should keep him glued at first base.

The hard part of the equation is knowing whether the proposed 3yr/$36mil deal is realistic or not - for either side. Teixeira wants to return, so the assumption is that he would take a pay cut, but his healthy performance probably outweighs $12mil a year. And for the Yankees, they may gamble by going purely with Greg Bird and let Teixeira walk after the season.

But that would be a foolish risk on the part of the Yankees. Teixeira is simply too good of an insurance plan and as we've already outlined both he and Greg Bird can be a part of the franchise moving forward. I certainly would love to have the switch hitting slugger as my DH for future years. Time will tell though as spring training progresses and the regular season draws closer.

Article by: Nick Scott
I am currently not on twitter but you can follow us on twitter @BronxBomberBlog

Comments

  1. What about McCann when he will be the DH in a few years, when Gary Sanchez takes over behind the plate? Tex and McCann both DH?
    Ray

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  2. Cashman's plan is to sign Harper in 2018 and rebuild the starting pitching with the 86.5 MM saved from Arod, Tex, CC & Beltran. Bird, Judge & Sanchez being cheap are a big part of that plan. With Ellsbury, Gardner, Headley & McCann signed through 2020 Tex will be the odd man out unless he is willing to go one year at a time.

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  3. An entire article predicated on the possibility of a 2 man revolving DH, and zero mention of McCann?

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    Replies
    1. Essentially what my Anonymous friend below me said is why McCann isn't mentioned. He's having a hard enough hitting righties with the shift now, let alone lefties. The switch hitting Teixeira is far and away the better option. However, he and McCann could always alternate DH duties as Bird and Sanchez are ushered in.

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  4. McCann will be the odd man out. He can't hit lefties now, certainly not in another year or two. A switch hitting DH is a excellent idea.

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  5. why would the Yankees ever offer a 3 year deal? That makes 0 sense. Offer him the ~$16 Mil qualifying offer for 2017 and that's it as insurance in case Bird isn't the same ever or needs more time. In that scenario you can balance 3 players (especially since 1 will get probably around 30 games off and the other close to 20 games off) into 2 spots. A-Rod 130 games and 530 AB, Tex 142 games(32 DH, 110 1B) 600 AB, Bird 52 games 215 AB(assuming he starts the first month or two in the minors). If Bird doesn't start in the minors, barring injuries to the others I don't see how it works for 2017.

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  6. Tex might take a one year deal if the yanks agreed to not make a QO for 2018. This would give Tex FA with out the draft pick drag in 2018. It would give the team 2017 to size up Bird, Sanchez and Judge as well as try to sign Harper.

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  7. Since Birds injury, it foes make sense to give him a qualifying offer, but that's it.
    2018 must be under cap.

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    Replies
    1. Good luck on getting under the cap for 2018. Ellsbury, Tanaka, McCann, Gardner, Headley, Castro & Miller are signed for 104 MM. That's 7 players and only one SP who is unlikely to be healthy. They need 10 pitchers including 5 quality starters and a big contract for Bettances plus 2018 is Harper's FA year.

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