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Mark Teixeira Rumors
Yankees first baseman Mark Teixeira will not return this season after tests showed that he has a fracture in his right shin, GM Brian Cashman told reporters including Mark Feinsand of the New York Daily News (via Twitter). It’s expected that he’ll require three months to recover, Jack Curry of the YES Network adds on Twitter, meaning that he should be ready to go for the spring.
The loss of the 35-year-old puts a dent in New York’s efforts to keep pace with the Blue Jays in the AL East. He had rebounded from two straight marginal seasons with an excellent .255/.357/.548 batting line and 31 home runs in 462 plate appearances. The switch hitter has been out since fouling a ball off of his shin on August 17th, but it seems the significance of the injury was only just detected.
Replacing that level of production is nearly impossible, of course, but 22-year-old Greg Bird has been solid in his first 94 big league plate appearances. Bird, who hits from the left side, owns a .241/.319/.458 slash with five long balls. He has been relied upon heavily in Teixeira’s absence, appearing in every single game since the veteran went down.
While Bird figures to hold down the position in the long run, assuming he can build upon a promising start to his major league career, the Yanks will no doubt give Teixeira every opportunity to retake the position next spring. Next year will be the last of the eight-year, $180MM deal he signed before the 2009 season. New York owes him $22.5MM for the 2016 campaign. Both players could conceivably share time in the field, with the other taking swings from the DH slot, though veterans Carlos Beltran and (especially) Alex Rodriguez factor heavily in that role.
The Yankees are becoming increasingly concerned that Mark Teixeira may not return for the regular season or the playoffs, writes Roger Rubin of the New York Daily News. Asked if he’s beginning to wonder that Teixeira’s entire 2015 season is over, GM Brian Cashman replied, “I do wonder. It’s been a long time and he’s still having issues. I can’t predict what’s going to happen here. There is a lot of time left . . . between now and the end of the season. I just don’t know.” Meanwhile, the Daily News’ Andy Martino writes that the loss of Nathan Eovaldi is already hurting the Yanks, as it’s forced right-hander Adam Warren into the rotation, thereby taking a fairly established right-handed arm out of the bullpen against the right-heavy Blue Jays. Manager Joe Girardi has talked about the possibility of using Eovaldi as a reliever in the postseason, should the Yankees reach the ALDS, but there’s no guarantee that the 25-year-old will even be healthy enough for that.
A few more notes from the AL East…
- Red Sox president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski said after announcing three internal promotions that he’s not yet begun to interview GM candidates, writes WEEI.com’s John Tomase. However, Dombrowski did say he’s compiled a list of candidates to whom he’d like to speak. For now, Dombrowski wants to wait to interview external candidates, as some of his targets are with teams that are in pennant races.
- Dombrowski also spoke about the value of continuity, per Tomase, emphasizing that he’s been impressed by the employees with whom he’s met since joining the organization. “I think continuity is extremely important assuming you have good people,” said Dombrowski. “…I’ve met with a lot of good people and I’ve been very impressed with them. Doesn’t mean we’re not going to have some changes, but I can tell you right now when I’ve met with them, there’s not anybody I’ve said, ‘Oh that’s a full time employee we’re dismissing.”
- Dombrowski spoke with Tomase’s colleague, Rob Bradford, about the art of trading and how he came to earn such a strong reputation in that regard. One of the keys, Dombrowski explained, is not being afraid to give up talent. Many executives will shy away from giving up quality players, but Dombrowski says he recognizes that in order to acquire quality talent, he must as well be willing to part with such talent. Dombrowski’s also as honest and up-front as he can be with trade partners, Blue Jays GM Alex Anthopoulos tells Bradford. Asked what it’s like to deal with Dombrowski in trade talks, Anthopoulos replied, “The best. The absolute best. As honest as they come.” A recent example, Bradford notes, is the David Price trade; Dombrowski made it clear from the moment talks initiated that there was no deal if Daniel Norris and Matt Boyd weren’t in the trade, and Anthopoulos, respecting his honest nature, knew better than to waste precious time trying to talk him down from said demand.
- Orioles manager Buck Showalter isn’t expecting any changes to be made on his coaching staff this offseason, writes Roch Kubatko of MASNsports.com. Showalter has had some changes to his staff each season with the O’s, Kubatko notes, but there don’t appear to be plans for major shifts. Pitching coach Dave Wallace, bullpen coach Dom Chiti and first base coach Wayne Kirby are all up for new contracts this winter.
- Showalter also briefly discussed the potential for Christian Walker to play a role with the team in September and in 2016, though when asked if that may be due to a potential vacancy at first next year, Showalter would only joke that Walker’s not having as strong a season as current first baseman Chris Davis. A big season from Double-A first baseman Trey Mancini gives the team depth at the position, Showalter notes, adding how impressed he’s been by game footage of Mancini that he’s seen.
- From my vantage point, it’s tough to envision a scenario in which Davis is back in Baltimore. Adam Jones‘ $85.5MM contract stands as the biggest in franchise history at this juncture, and Davis’ second 40-homer season in three years has positioned him for a contract worth in excess of $100MM. While the O’s could always break the bank to retain him, they’ll also be facing huge arbitration raises for Manny Machado, Zach Britton and Chris Tillman, to say nothing of built-in raises for Jones, J.J. Hardy and Ubaldo Jimenez. Plus, given the potential holes they’ll face in the outfield and the need to bolster the rotation, a potentially exorbitant investment in the Scott-Boras-represented Davis seems like a luxury more than a priority.
The Red Sox are planning on having Will Middlebrooks play winter ball this offseason in an attempt to get him back on track, and they’re telling teams that they won’t simply give the soon-to-be 26-year-old away, tweets ESPN’s Buster Olney. Middlebrooks may seem a good buy-low candidate, as the former top prospect has followed a strong rookie campaign with a .213/.264/.375 line over a pair of injury-plagued seasons in 2013-14, but it sounds as if the Red Sox aren’t ready to give up on him.
Here’s more from the AL East…
- Red Sox GM Ben Cherington spoke with reporters before tonight’s game, and Sean McAdam of CSNNE.com has some highlights from the session. Cherington says that “barring something unforeseen,” Rusney Castillo will join the Major League club this month. He also said that the club will continue to have Mookie Betts focus on center field, noting that having three plus center fielders isn’t a bad thing if Castillo, Betts and Jackie Bradley all pan out. “We believe we’re better off having more than one major league center fielder,” said Cherington. “In the long run, in terms of long-term control, hopefully we have three at the upper levels.”
- While there’s been an unthinkable amount of ink dedicated to the Phillies’ Ryan Howard problem, Joel Sherman of the New York Post writes that the Yankees have a similar issue on their hands with Mark Teixeira. Sherman reports that while the Phillies have aggressively shopped Howard, the Yankees haven’t even tried to move Teixeira, knowing that he would be nearly impossible to jettison due to his injuries, his no-trade protection and the $45MM he’s owed in 2015-16. Teixeira, who turns 35 next April, has batted just .213/.316/.404 in 493 plate appearances over the past two seasons.
- Rays bench coach Dave Martinez is interested in the Astros’ managerial opening, writes MLB.com’s Adam Berry. Martinez, who was on a short list of candidates for the last Astros managerial search, called the opening a “great opportunity” but made it clear that his current focus is on helping the Rays. “I interviewed for them a couple years ago, and they had good baseball people, very creative minds over there, and I kind of like that whole situation over there,” said Martinez. “Right now, my concern is being the bench coach for the Tampa Bay Rays and hopefully we win as many games as possible this month.” As Berry points out, Martinez is a good fit with the Astros after watching the way in which longtime Rays manager has Joe Maddon has built a rapport with an analytically inclined front office. Martinez noted that he got along well with Astros owner Jim Crane and GM Jeff Luhnow in his previous interview, adding that he thinks Houston has a very bright future.
- Brandon Morrow wants to pitch in the rotation in 2015 and beyond, he tells MLB.com’s Gregor Chisolm. As Chisholm notes, Morrow may soon have the opportunity to dictate where that could happen, as his $10MM club option is likely to be declined by the Blue Jays after another injury-plagued season. Morrow doesn’t seem to fit into Toronto’s rotation moving forward, with R.A. Dickey, Mark Buehrle, Drew Hutchison, Marcus Stroman, Aaron Sanchez and Daniel Norris all at the Major League level.
The Yankees have designated right-hander Matt Daley, according to Mark Feinsand of the New York Daily News (on Twitter). In related moves, New York activated Mark Teixeira, recalled right-handers Preston Claiborne and Bryan Mitchell, placed right-hander Ivan Nova on the 15-day disabled list with a partial tear of the ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow, and sent infielder Scott Sizemore to Triple-A.
Daley, 31, pitched for the Bombers yesterday and allowed six runs (four earned) as a part of their 16-1 blowout loss to Tampa Bay. Daley has spent the bulk of his career at the Triple-A level, pitching to a 3.90 ERA with 11.1 K/9 and 3.1 BB/9 in 124 career appearances. For his big league career, Daley has a 4.72 ERA with 9.0 K/9 and 3.3 BB/9 across 100 outings.
Zach Links contributed to this post.
4:13pm Jon Heyman of CBS Sports tweets that the Yankees have insurance on Teixeira's contract which, when coupled with the initial WBC salary relief, should cover about 80 percent of Teixeira's $22.5MM salary.
3:06pm: At a press conference, Teixeira confirmed to reporters, including Andy McCullough of the Star Ledger, that he's done for the season (Twitter link). Bryan Hoch of MLB.com tweets that the surgery will require 4-5 months of rest and rehab. Teixeira is hoping to be 100 percent in six months.
2:54pm: The Yankees announced today that doctors have recommended surgery for the torn sheath tendon in Mark Teixeira's right wrist. Such a procedure would almost certainly mean that his season is over.
Teixeira, 33, initially injured his wrist while preparing for the World Baseball Classic and missed nearly two months before being activated from the DL on May 31. He received just 66 plate appearances this season and hit .151/.270/.340 with three homers.
Joel Sherman of the New York Post recently pointed out that the Yankees' decision to activate Teixeira could cost the team more than $15MM, as the WBC would've been on the hook for the injury. The Yankees are sorely lacking right-handed pop, and Teixeira's injury should impact the team's strategy as the trade deadline draws near.
The Blue Jays' 11-game win streak was snapped tonight at Tropicana Field in a 4-1 loss to the Rays. Jeremy Hellickson delivered seven shutout innings of one-hit ball while James Loney, Wil Myers (in his home debut) and Sam Fuld connected on three straight solo homers in the second inning. One more victory would've given Toronto a new franchise record for consecutive wins.
Here's the latest from around the AL East…
- "If it’s up to me, it’s very unrealistic," that the Rays would leave the Tampa area, Rays owner Stuart Sternberg tells FOX Sports' Jon Morosi, though Sternberg warns that "the decision can be taken out of my hands at some point" by Major League Baseball if the Rays' stadium situation isn't resolved. Sternberg discusses several topics in this wide-ranging chat, from his team's future in Tampa Bay to David Price and Evan Longoria's contracts to even the prospect of MLB returning to Montreal.
- An AL executive sums up the Yankees' decision about trading Phil Hughes as "If he’s good, why trade him? If he’s struggling, what will you get?", according to Andy McCullough of the Star-Ledger (Twitter link). Hughes hasn't pitched well this year (a 5.09 ERA in 14 starts) and will be a free agent this winter, though it has been speculated that the homer-prone Hughes could still be targeted by teams who play in pitcher-friendly stadiums.
- Mark Teixeira received a cortisone shot over a week ago but is "still experiencing soreness" in his right wrist, Yankees GM Brian Cashman told reporters (including Andy McCullough) in a conference call today. Teixeira's lack of progress renews speculation that he may have to undergo season-ending surgery, though Cashman didn't want to comment on the possibility or possible future moves at first base until more was known about the injury.
- The Orioles are known to be looking for pitching help but since they aren't willing to move any top prospects or core players, Eduardo A. Encina of the Baltimore Sun thinks the O's will have to wait until close to the trade deadline "to see if they can get a bargain" since they currently wouldn't be able to find a true upgrade at their price.
- Orioles manager Buck Showalter told reporters (including MASNsports.com's Roch Kubatko) that "we would have liked, in a perfect world, to have [Mark Reynolds] back" this season. "I know our guys liked Mark. He's a good teammate, a good guy, an easy guy to manage. We'd like to have had him, but it just didn't work out," Showalter said. Reynolds signed with the Indians last winter and took a .741 OPS and 14 homers into tonight's action, so while the O's could've used Reynolds at DH, they're very set at the corner infield spots thanks to Manny Machado and Chris Davis.
Manny Ramirez is batting .352 for the Taiwanese EDR Rhinos and ranks second in the league with eight home runs. While that might not be enough for MLB teams to show interest in the controversial slugger, he's drawing interest from Japan's Chiba Lotte Marines, according to a Sponichi report (Japanese link). Marines Manager Tsutomu Ito said he'd like to "make an acquisition when the team is strong, as MLB teams do," and that he's looking to give the DH spot to a power hitter. While it seems that Manny will continue to "be Manny" overseas for the time being, here's more from around Major League Baseball…
- Joel Hanrahan regrets how his brief Red Sox tenure played out and wishes he could've shown more to the fans, writes Rob Bradford of WEEI.com. Bradford notes that it's impossible to predict where Hanrahan will end up in free agency this winter, but the two-time All-Star isn't ruling out a return to Boston. Hanrahan told Bradford he "has a lot of things left to prove in Boston."
- ESPN's Keith Law examines the recent rash of top prospect promotions, offering his expectations for recent call-ups Wil Myers, Gerrit Cole, Mike Zunino and Zack Wheeler (ESPN Insider required).
- In light of Mark Teixeira re-injuring his wrist, Ken Davidoff of the New York Post questions the Yankees' decision to activate him from the disabled list in the first place. Davidoff points out that the World Baseball Classic paid for the $7.38MM that Teixeira earned while on the DL because he was injured preparing for the tournament. Now that he's been with the Yankees, the team will be on the hook for his remaining $15.12MM of salary even if he misses the remainder of the season.
Thanks to MLBTR contributor Aaron Steen for his assistance with the Japanese report.
The latest from ESPN's Buster Olney (Insider subscription required)…
- Cuban slugger Yasiel Puig is forcing the Dodgers' hand with his monster performance in Spring Training, Olney writes. While the team clearly has no place for him to play given the presence of Carl Crawford, Matt Kemp and Andre Ethier, the buzz he's generating and intrigue from scouts could force the team to consider him for a quick promotion to complement Ethier and/or Crawford against left-handed pitching.
- Olney wonders why the Yankees appear willing to take on $13MM of Vernon Wells' salary in the trade that has reportedly been agreed to, but wouldn't spend that money on Russell Martin earlier in the offseason: "Instead of having a good defender at a premium defensive position, they have now invested that money in a corner outfielder who has been in decline the last couple of seasons and wasn't even used as a regular player for much of 2012."
- One possible explanation, as Olney notes, is the salary relief the Yankees will get from Mark Teixeira's injury. The World Baseball Classic is paying the team $7-8MM to cover the injury sustained by Teixeira as he prepared for the event.
- Similarly, the WBC is picking up the tab for the Dodgers on the injury sustained by Hanley Ramirez in the Championship game.
Here's a look at some items on the Yankees and Red Sox..
- The Yankees' bullpen in 2012 featured only two left-handers, but that figure may change in 2013, says Chad Jennings of the Journal News. Look for Boone Logan to reprise his role as Joe Girardi's go-to left-handed reliever as the veteran made 80 appearances last season.
- With a lack of appealing first basemen left on the free agent market, the Red Sox figure to look internally for Mike Napoli insurance, writes Brian MacPherson of The Providence Journal. Boston recently inked Lyle Overbay to a minor league deal and the veteran can opt out of his contract if he isn't on the big league roster by the end of spring training.
- Yankees first baseman Mark Teixeira knows that fans see his eight-year, $180MM contract as an overpay, and he doesn't disagree, writes Daniel Barbarisi of the Wall Street Journal. "Agents are probably going to hate me for saying it," the 33-year-old said. "You're not very valuable when you're making $20MM. When you're Mike Trout, making the minimum, you are crazy valuable. My first six years, before I was a free agent, I was very valuable. But there's nothing you can do that can justify a $20MM contract."
- In an interview with Drew Voros of Index Universe, Yankees General Manager Brian Cashman explained that he tends to be conservative when pursuing pitching talent from Japan due to differences in pitching routines and the size of the mounds. The interview also covers Cashman's approach to statistical analysis and his affinity for low-risk, high-reward type acquisitions.
Daniel Seco contributed to this post.
The Dodgers called the Yankees to inquire about the possibility of trading for C.C. Sabathia and Mark Teixeira, Joel Sherman of the New York Post reports. The Yankees told the Dodgers they had no interest in moving either player despite their substantial contracts (four years and $99MM remain on Sabathia’s deal; four years and $90MM remain on Teixeira’s deal).
Los Angeles recently acquired Adrian Gonzalez, Josh Beckett, Carl Crawford and Nick Punto from Boston by agreeing to take on $260MM in future salaries. Dodgers officials weren’t inspired by the upcoming free agent class, so they explained to rival teams that they’re willing to take on substantial contracts. This gave the Dodgers the leverage to complete many deals — few clubs could add substantial payroll midseason.
There are no signs the Dodgers were interested in Alex Rodriguez, Sherman writes. Some executives question Rodriguez’s ability to play third base every day at this stage in his career, and he might be best-suited for the American League. Furthermore. the Dodgers view Hanley Ramirez and Dee Gordon as solutions on the left side of the infield.
The Yankees would love to move Rodriguez for payroll reasons, according to Sherman. Yankees executives aim to avoid the $189MM luxury tax threshold for 2014, and Rodriguez’s contract limits their flexibility (five years and $114MM remain on Rodriguez's deal). However, Rodriguez has a no-trade provision, as do Sabathia and Teixeira.