Monday, June 16, 2008

Mark Teixeira: He's Not Coming and We Don't Want Him

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:

2004 .279
2005 .274
2006 .232
2007 .257
2008 .175

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.


FrostKing said...

Thoughts on giving him more money for less years (say, 4 years, $90 million) to solidify the offense at first base until they can come up with a better option? The payroll in the near future should be lower than it could be given the younger players, and it might help with the team's past credibility issues a la Pudge in Detroit. He would be making more than he deserves, but as long as it doesn't keep the team from making other moves, it seems to not be as big a deal.

DempseysArmy said...

Wow. $22 mil a year to "solidify the offense at first base"? That's a lot of money and low expectations.

I think you can get similiar production from cheaper players. I really don't think Teixiera is head and shoulders above most major league first baseman. He just looks better given our woeful options.

Miguel Tejada was supposed to give the team credibility too. That didn't work. Only winning is going to make this team more attractive to free agents.

FrostKing said...

Fair enough. I hadn't given much thought to the notion since I figured the chances of him signing here are very slim.