Monday, January 14, 2013
Are you satisfied with Teixeira?
By Andrew Marchand
In the midst of spending nearly half-billion dollars prior to 2009, the Yankees changed the course of the AL East by keeping Mark Teixeira away from the Boston Red Sox, signing him for eight years and $180 million. In the four years that Teixeira has been a Yankee, he has averaged .263 with 34 homers and 106 RBIs in 148 games, while playing some of the best first base in the game. His OPS is .863 in that time.
Mark Teixeira hit .251 with 24 HRs and 84 RBIs in 123 games in 2012.
Still, with his penchant for not hitting in the first or last month of the season, Teixeira hasn't dominated. Even he has been unsatisfied with the results at times, which is why he tried to beat the shift by using more of the field early last season. That didn't work, so he went back to his old ways.
"He made a helluva run after that," Yankees GM Brian Cashman said. "He is not someone I'm worried about or focused on. He is going to be healthy, one of the best defensive first basemen in the game and obviously a threat in the middle of our lineup as a switch hitter."
But are you satisfied with Teixeira? Here are three things to consider.
1. HE HITS, BUT ... : Teixeira is a good hitter, but he is not dominant at his position. In 2012, his .807 OPS was 10th-best among MLB first basemen. It is not bad, but if he fades a little more, he could become middle of the pack or worse.
2. GLOVELY: Teixeira is a great defender. It is hard to find anyone in the game better at his position. It is not only spectacular plays that you notice, but also the times he prevents errors by other infielders with his fine scoops and stretches.
3. SHIELDS: The guy is making $22.5 million, but when things go wrong, he is not the first to be blamed. Usually, Alex Rodriguez is scorned. But with A-Rod a non-factor for the foreseeable future, the Yankees are going to need Teixeira to maintain what he has done and maybe even be a little better this season.