Mark Teixeira announces his retirement effective at season’s end

Photo Via Washington Post
The Yankees will hold a press conference at 3:00 PM ET today where they will announce that first baseman Mark Teixeira will be retiring at the age of 36. In the final year of an eight-year, $180 million contract, Teixeira had initially stated that he was seeking an extension and wanted to play baseball for five more years. However, in wake of his recent struggles, and likely observations that the team is making a point to get younger, Teixeira has announced that he will be retiring.

Teixeira stated that he wanted to finish his career in pinstripes, and this is also another likely factor into his sudden decision, as he may be questioning whether the Yankees would bring him back. Many had thought that the Yankees may consider cutting Teixeira and/or Alex Rodriguez, but at this point, there is no reason to not ride out his contract before his retirement this offseason. On the flipside, Rodriguez is still subject for a release, and it is curious to think that Tex’s announcement may put more pressure on the Yankees to cut Rodriguez either before the season’s end, or in the offseason.
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With Teixeira not returning next year, the first basemen situation next year is looking like Greg Bird, Dustin Ackley, and Rob Refsnyder. Bird was supposed to backup Teixeira this year as he is waiting in the wings to take the job full time, but after undergoing the knife for a season ending shoulder surgery before spring training, there was added pressure for Tex to stay healthy this year. He couldn’t do it, and this year has been one to forget for the Yankees aging star.

Teixeira will always be remembered for his all-time great defensive play at first base. In his career, Teixeira has won five gold gloves, and ranks fourth all-time in fielding percentage at first base (.9965), notably in front of the former Yankee beloved first baseman Don Mattingly (.9958). Teixeira’s most productive year of his career came in the Yankees 2009 World Series team where he made an all-star team, hit .292/.393/.565 for a .948 OPS, with a league leading 39 homers and 122 RBIs. That season, Teixeira won a gold glove, silver slugger, and he finished second in the MVP voting behind Joe Mauer.
Photo Via Lohud
Unfortunately, Teixeira’s career has been ravaged by injury as he has failed to play more than 123 games in one season since 2011. Teixeira was on his way to a renaissance year in 2015 with 31 homers and 79 RBI through 111 games before a leg fracture on a ball fouled off his leg ended his season far too early. Still, as a switch hitter with 404 home runs and 400 doubles, he is one of four switch hitters in the history of the game to accomplish that feat, joining Eddie Murray, Chipper Jones, and Carlos Beltran. Mickey Mantle is the all-time leader in home runs as a switch hitter with 536, but did not reach 400 doubles. Teixeira will likely always be known as a guy who had a very good career, and the debates on whether he gets into the Hall of Fame or not should be incredibly heated. His time with the Yankees brought us one championship, many big home runs, and lots of saved errors. Even in tough seasons like this one, we should be grateful for what Teixeira meant to the Yankees!
Photo Via The Sports Quotient
Article by: Chad Raines
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