The relative success of the 2008 season has some Oriole fans starting to talk about the possibility of the Orioles signing Mark Teixeira in the offseason again. I have detailed before why he's not coming but I don't think I've gone into why we Oriole fans shouldn't want him here.
First, you have to understand that he will be commanding a salary somewhere in the neighborhood of $20 million a year. If Andruw Jones can command $18 million per year, Teixeira can command more than that without blinking an eye.
So what are you buying for your money? Presumably, a team is going to pay a premium for Teixeira to get a bonafide slugging first baseman.
Fine. Texieira may be that man. But since the year he hit 43 home runs for Texas, his home run numbers have been in decline. Since 2005, he has hit 43, 33 and 30. He is on a pace to hit just 24 this year. And during his best years for Texas, his home/road splits were quite dramatic.
Home OPS Road OPS
2004 .967 .893
2005 1.109 .809
His Isolated Power (ISO) has been in steady decline too. Since 2004:
The ISO for 2007 would look even worse if not for the red-hot August and September Teixeira had once he got to Atlanta. He posted ISOs of .325 and .268 respectively.
That success has not carried into this year. .276 AVG, 10 HR, slugging .448. Not the numbers of premier major league slugger. But he will be expecting to be paid like a premier major league slugger.
I think Mark Texieira is a good hitter. He will probably be a good component for a team that is already good. If I thought the O's were one hitter away from contending, maybe my opinion would be different. But the Orioles are not just one hitter away. And he's not going to be the man. He's not going to be a dominant hitter. And he's certainly not a good bet to be that kind of hitter over the course of a 7-year/$140 million contract.