Mark Teixeira Rumors
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.
The Blue Jays traded two outfielders for two relievers in a pair of late-night trades Monday, while the Orioles continued engaging the Phillies on Joe Blanton. Here’s the latest from the AL East as today’s 3pm CDT trade deadline draws closer...
- Though some fans and analysts insist it's time for the Red Sox to trade Josh Beckett, he's not the negative clubhouse presence Manny Ramirez was, Alex Speier of WEEI.com writes. The Red Sox don't feel compelled to move Beckett, who's still well-respected by many teammates and club officials. Speier breaks down the reasons for and against a Beckett trade in detail at WEEI.com. It doesn't sound as though the Red Sox will move him today.
- The Red Sox are on the lookout for an outfielder who bats from the right side, Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe reports (on Twitter). Scott Hairston and Alfonso Soriano are among the potentially available outfielders who bat right-handed.
- The Red Sox aren't involved on Matt Garza, Nick Cafardo reports (on Twitter).
- Mark Teixeira's left wrist injury shouldn't affect the Yankees' trade plans, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports (on Twitter). The Yankees continue looking for a third baseman who plays strong defense.
- Brad Lincoln probably can't start for the Blue Jays, but he can be a strong setup man and won't be worse than a right-handed specialist, ESPN.com's Keith Law writes. Travis Snider, the player Toronto gave up to acquire Lincoln, still has flaws, but could become an everyday outfielder with power. Law doesn't anticipate either Eric Thames or Steve Delabar will have a major impact on his new team. Within the Insider-only piece, Law also breaks down the Chris Johnson and Francisco Liriano trades.
Mark Teixeira has hired agent Casey Close of Excel Sports Management to represent him, Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com tweets. The first baseman, who is under contract through 2016, parted ways with former agent Scott Boras a year ago this time.
Teixeira, 31, will earn $22.5MM in each of the next five seasons before hitting free agency. As MLBTR's Agency Database shows, Close represents a number of MLB players, including Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter.
- 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 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.
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."
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...
- Capitol Avenue Club provides a primer for the Braves' offseason.
- Pine Tar And Pocket Protectors explains how Mark Teixeira built the AL Champion Rangers.
- The Baseball Opinion re-lives Sandy Alderson's biggest trade.
- DRays Bay compiles Andrew Friedman's offseason to-do list.
- Meanwhile, The Process Report thinks about Nick Johnson as a cheap option for the Rays.
- Drunk Jays Fans reacts to the John Farrell hiring and more.
- Baseball Analytics breaks down Pat Burrell's resurgence.
- Mike Scioscia's Tragic Illness wonders if Ivan DeJesus should get a crack at the Dodgers second base job next year.
- Disciples of Uecker says it's time for Josh Butler to put up or shut up. The Brewers acquired Butler for Gabe Gross in 2008.
- Yankeeist wonders what would have happened if the Yankees managed to acquire Dan Haren this summer.
- SPANdemonium compares the Rangers, Rays and Royals.
If you have a suggestion for this feature, Mike can be reached here.
As the ALCS gets underway, let's look at some news from around the majors...
- Jason A. Churchill of ESPN.com (Insider subscription needed) proposes that if the Phillies can unload some big contracts, they could make a run at signing Cliff Lee this winter. Adding Lee to the current Roy Halladay/Roy Oswalt/Cole Hamels mix would create one of the all-time great rotations in baseball history, but this seems like a major longshot. If the Phils can really move Joe Blanton or Raul Ibanez like they can in Churchill's scenario, one would think they'd spend that freed-up money on more pressing needs than pitching.
- Writing for MLB.com, former Dodgers general manager Fred Claire strongly endorses Sandy Alderson for the vacant Mets GM job. MLBTR's Ben Nicholson-Smith profiled Alderson earlier today.
- Yoon Chul, the reporter who wrote that Shin-Soo Choo wanted a "transfer" to a winning team, has apologized to the Indians for "editing problems" that altered the meaning of the Cleveland outfielder's words according to Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer. Another Korean journalist, Jeeho Yoo, told the Tribe that Choo said "he wants to stay with one club for a long time and Cleveland would be his first choice."
- Jed Lowrie's strong second half has made him a candidate to either take over the starting shortstop's job from Marco Scutaro or to become trade bait for a club looking for a young infielder, writes Gordon Edes of ESPNBoston.com.
- Some conflicted early reaction to Seattle's pending hire of Eric Wedge: CBSSports.com's Scott Miller thinks "the Mariners could not have made a more uninspiring hire," while 710ESPN Seattle's Shannon Drayer gets great reviews of Wedge from former players and Indians broadcaster Tom Hamilton.
- Richard Durrett of ESPNDallas.com looks back at the Rangers' 2007 trade of Mark Teixeira and how it was the starting point for the club's current success. Texas acquired Elvis Andrus, Neftali Feliz, Matt Harrison, Jarrod Saltalamacchia and Beau Jones from Atlanta for the slugging first baseman --- safe to say the Rangers won that deal.
- Speaking of Teixeira, he cited teammate C.C. Sabathia as "arguably...the best free agent signing in Yankees history." The story from Marc Carig of The Star-Ledger cites Reggie Jackson, Catfish Hunter, Teixeira himself and others as candidates for that title, plus Yankees GM Brian Cashman posits that Orlando Hernandez might've been the best signing from a pure dollars-to-performance standpoint.
- Richard Justice of the Houston Chronicle writes that the Astros can take some lessons from how the Rangers rebuild their franchise, and that the Astros have finally belatedly gotten started on their own youth movement.
- Austin Kearns tells MLB.com's Bill Ladson that he "would love to stay" in New York next season.