Mark Teixeira Rumors

Gammons On Millwood, Catchers, Posada

MLB Network's Peter Gammons appeared on WEEI's Mut & Merloni show today, and Jerry Spar has the transcript.  A few highlights:

  • The Red Sox called on Kevin Millwood to see if he will go to Triple-A Pawtucket and pitch, according to Gammons (on Twitter). With John Lackey and Daisuke Matsuzaka on the DL, the Red Sox are short on starting pitching.
  • Gammons does not consider Pedro Martinez a likely option.  In a May interview, Pedro seemed to be leaning toward retirement.  There's not much else on the free agent market – Jeremy Bonderman and Jarrod Washburn are unsigned, but it's not clear if they're looking to get back into the game or would consider the East Coast.
  • "Raise your son to be a catcher," advises Gammons, as many teams around baseball in addition to the Red Sox are getting no production at the position.  The average American League catcher is hitting .224/.294/.361 this year, a similar line to the one Ivan Rodriguez had in 2010.
  • If Jorge Posada doesn't start hitting, Gammons can see the Yankees releasing him and calling up Jesus Montero, who is hitting .331/.363/.433 at Triple-A.  In that case Gammons believes Posada would remain in the AL East, signing with the Orioles.  Buck Showalter's final season managing the Yankees coincided with Posada's rookie year. 
  • Speaking of the Orioles, Mark Teixeira spoke to the Baltimore Sun's Luke Broadwater about the team's interest back in '08: "Of the five offers I received, the Orioles were by far the lowest offer and I don't know if they were ever that serious about signing me. We had one meeting and that was it. I'm not sure if they were ever very interested."  Digging through the MLBTR archives, I think the Orioles topped out at seven years, $140MM.  Teixeira added that he expects to finish his career as a Yankee.

Mark Teixeira Drops Scott Boras

Mark Teixeira dropped agent Scott Boras, according to MLB.com's Bryan Hoch. The first baseman, who is under contract through 2016, says he wants to focus on helping the Yankees win, not signing his next mega-deal.

Teixeira says his relationship with Boras has run its course, according to Wallace Matthews of ESPNNewYork.com (on Twitter). Their relationship began over a decade ago when Boras advised Teixeira as a highly-touted high schooler. The Rangers drafted Teixeira fifth overall in 2001 and signed him to a $9.5MM deal out of college. After Teixeira hit free agency following the 2008 season, Boras negotiated his current eight-year, $180MM contract.

Boras' stable of Yankees clients has changed considerably since the end of last season. Like Teixeira, Alex Rodriguez said his relationship with Boras had run its course. Rafael Soriano and Robinson Cano, however, left other agents for Boras.

Though the Jonas Group will help Teixeira manage his off-field activities, he says he hopes to remain on good terms with Boras, his advisor for 12 years. Boras told Jon Heyman of SI.com that it was a "great honor" to work with Teixeira (Twitter link).

Our complete list of Scott Boras clients can be found here.


AL East Notes: Yankees, Red Sox, Fenway, Epstein

Here is the latest from two of baseball's biggest powerhouses…

  • Yankees GM Brian Cashman told Chad Jennings of The Journal News that there are no player moves on the horizon. "I have nothing I'm involved with right now," he said. "Zero."
  • Red Sox president and CEO Larry Lucchino told Nick Cafardo of The Boston Globe that his team will have the financial room to add players at the trade deadline, if needed (Twitter link).
  • Lucchino also told Gordon Edes of ESPN Boston and Peter Abraham of The Boston Globe that he was informed by engineers that Fenway Park will be structurally sound for another 40-50 years, so there are no plans for a new ballpark (Twitter links).
  • Red Sox owner John Henry told Alex Speier of WEEI.com that he doesn't even know how long GM Theo Epstein is under contract, and there are no real discussions about his future (Twitter link). Cot's Baseball Contracts doesn't know how long Epstein is under contract either.
  • Boston has paid upwards of $85MM in revenue sharing and approximately $1.5MM in luxury tax, tweets Speier.
  • Anyone dreaming of Mark Teixeira for Albert Pujols trade can stop now. The Yankees first baseman told Joel Sherman of The New York Post (on Twitter) that "I've got that no-trade [clause] for a reason. I'm not going anywhere. I'm going to be buried in these pinstripes."


Baseball Blogs Weigh In: Braves, Rangers, Rays, Haren

The Phillies won their second World Series in franchise history two years ago today, beating the Rays in the first suspended game in series history. Game Five started on October 27th, 2008, and the two clubs played to a 2-2 tie through the first five and a half innings before rain forced the suspension. The game didn't resume until October 29th due to the weather, but when it finallly did the Phillies outscored Tampa 2-1 the rest of the way for a 4-3 final score.

There's no weather-related delay for these links; here's the best from around the web this week…

If you have a suggestion for this feature, Mike can be reached here.


Odds & Ends: Lee, Alderson, Choo, Lowrie

As the ALCS gets underway, let's look at some news from around the majors…


Odds & Ends: Twins, Izturis, Rangers, Yankees

Seven years ago today, Luis Castillo popped a ball up into the stands at Wrigley Field and a fan caught it, even though Moises Alou was right there. The Cubs were five outs away from clinching a World Series berth, but they ended up losing the 'Steve Bartman game' and the 2003 NLCS. Here are your links for Thursday…


Odds & Ends: Penn, Veras, Beimel, Mientkiewicz

Links for Friday…


Largest Contracts By Position

We've already looked at the largest contracts by service time, so now let's break it down by position…

Catcher
Joe Mauer: Eight years, $184MM

First Base
Mark Teixeira: Eight years, $180MM

Second Base
Chase Utley: Seven years, $85MM

Shortstop
Alex Rodriguez: Ten years, $252MM

Third Base
Alex Rodriguez: Ten years, $275MM

Outfield
Alfonso Soriano: Eight years, $136MM
Vernon Wells: Seven years, $126MM
Matt Holliday: Seven years, $120MM

Starting Pitcher
CC Sabathia: Seven years, $161MM
Johan Santana: Six years, $137.5MM
Barry Zito: Seven years, $126MM
Mike Hampton: Eight years, $121MM
Kevin Brown: Seven years, $105MM

Relief Pitcher
Joe Nathan: Four years, $47MM
Mariano Rivera: Three years, $45MM

Some thoughts…

  • If you want to count DH as a position, which I guess it technically is, then Travis Hafner's four year, $57MM deal would top the list.
  • Joe Mauer's contract is more than three and a half times larger than Jorge Posada's four year, $52.4MM deal, the second largest among active catchers. Mike Piazza's seven year, $91MM deal is the second largest for a catcher all-time.
  • A-Rod only spent three years of his $252MM at the shortstop position before sliding over to third. The next largest contract ever given to a shortstop belongs to his teammate, Derek Jeter, who signed a ten year, $189MM deal in 2001.
  • The Twins are the only team besides the Yankees to employ two of the largest contracts at their respective positions.
  • The Soriano, Wells, Zito, and Hampton deals are all ones ownership wish they could take back. Brown spent a lot of time on the disabled list, but he did post a 3.23 ERA in close to 1,100 innings during the life of his deal.
  • The Utley and Rivera deals are ones the teams would happily do again, but the jury is still out on the rest.

Thanks to Cot's Baseball Contracts for the info.


Adrian Gonzalez Would Accept Deferred Money

According to a report by Dan Hayes of the North County Times, Adrian Gonzalez would accept deferred money in a contract offer from the Padres, as long as the offer was at market value.

However, that is a confusing bit of information. Market value is likely starting with Mark Teixeira and his eight-year, $180MM contract. So would San Diego merely have to reach this number, but some could be deferred? Or would the Padres need to exceed this to make up for the deferred money?

More to the point, it is far from clear that San Diego can afford Teixeira-type money, even if the money is deferred. But it is worth remembering, especially if talks start to heat up, the Padres might have a little extra cushion there.


Adrian Gonzalez Will Ask For A Massive Contract

The agent for Adrian Gonzalez told Tim Sullivan of the San Diego Union-Tribune that he sees Mark Teixeira as a fair comparable for his client. John Boggs, who represents Gonzalez, told Padres GM Jed Hoyer the same thing and that basically ended their conversation.

Teixeira signed a $180MM deal with the Yankees last offseason as a 28-year-old. Gonzalez won't be a free agent until after the 2011 season if the Padres pick up his $5.6MM option, but his agent is thinking big already.

“You always shoot high and adjust to the marketplace,” Boggs said of Gonzalez, who will presumably be 29 by the time he hits the market.

Jon Heyman of SI.com hears that while Gonzalez is seeking Teixeira money, the Padres believe a five-year $90MM deal would be more appropriate (Twitter link).

Padres CEO Jeff Moorad said last month that the Padres have doubts that they can keep their first baseman long-term. Gonzalez recently said he expects to be paid what he deserves on his next contract. That doesn't mean the Padres won't extend him, but a deal seems unlikely given that Gonzalez would be a tremendously attractive commodity on the trade market.

The Dodgers, Mariners, Mets, White Sox and Red Sox are among the teams that have been connected to Gonzalez in recent months.