Thursday, August 28, 2008

Stark on Teix, others

From ESPN's Jayson Stark:

• Bronx glue: The best thing that could happen to Mark Teixeira's checking account is the Yankees' missing the playoffs. Even though Jorge Posada's long-term future might well turn out to be at first base/DH, missing the playoffs -- because of an offense that will score nearly 200 fewer runs than last year -- likely would make the Steinbrenner family just desperate enough to put the team in the mix for Teixeira. And it's a good thing for him, because it now seems like virtually a lock that that other team in New York, the Mets, will pick up the $12 million option on Carlos Delgado (who actually leads Teixeira in homers, 30-27).

Boras' auction house: But how much is Teixeira worth? If Scott Boras is serious about establishing a 10-year, $230 million price tag on Teixeira, he won't have many bidders to play the Yankees against. Most teams view him as a five-year, $90 million kind of guy. "What really stands out, when you've got Vlad and Teixeira back-to-back in the same lineup, is what he isn't," an official of one club said. "Let's put it this way: I know which one I fear, and it isn't him. To me, when you see truly great players, they always have that extra edge, that killer instinct. Well, if this guy has it, he doesn't project it. Hey, he's a good player, obviously. But is he a guy who's going to legitimately carry a club for the money he's asking? I don't see that."

What's free about free agency: Whether Teixeira ends up in the Bronx or not, the Yankees' free-agent hyperactivity figures to make this an expensive market for any team to shop in. The Yankees have about $90 million in expiring contracts (most of it courtesy of
Jason Giambi, Bobby Abreu, Carl Pavano, Mike Mussina, Andy Pettitte and Pudge Rodriguez/Kyle Farnsworth). Even if they bring back a couple of those guys at reduced rates, that's way too much money for a team like this to have burning a hole in its pocket as it heads into a new ballpark. So other clubs already are hearing that the Yankees plan to put a full-court press on CC Sabathia, Ben Sheets (if Sabathia rejects them) and Teixeira. And that will drive up free-agent prices for everybody, as agents everywhere rejoice.


drunyon said...

If I was going to 'fear' someone, I might actually fear the guy with the better OPS. Teixeira is at .945, Vlad at .853. That's a pretty big difference. Vlad has been a good bit better over the course of his career, but Teixeira is younger and has been much, much better this year. Vlad's having his worst year since at least '97.

People like that official who 'fear' inferior hitters are just substituting their own biases in the place of actual facts.

Osmodious said...

Yes, but while Teixeira is a nice player and a good hitter, Vlad can hit a ball that is pitched into the home team's dugout. This guy can hit pitches that have already bounced in the dirt...I've seen him do it.

How do you pitch to a guy who has a 'strikezone' the size of Montana? Hope he doesn't recognize the pitch and therefore misses it? That ability to hit anything in the general vicinity of the batting area would make pitchers very nervous, I think, forcing them to make a perfect pitch and attempt mind games with the hitter...both tactics which can unbalance the pitcher himself as much as the hitter.

As a fan of an opposing team, I have never feared a Teixeira at-bat. But I fear EVERY Vlad Guerrero at-bat...