Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Teixeira wants to play another five years, prefers to stay with Yankees

We all want what we cannot have, right? Mark Teixeira wants to play another five years and remain a member of the New York Yankees according to a tweet from YES Network’s Jack Curry. That notion might not be as cut and dry as it once seemed to be.

Mark Teixeira
Photo: Keith Allison
In the Yankees’ perfect world, future first baseman Greg Bird would not be injured and entertaining signing Teixeira to a short-term contract would not even be a question for the team. But, Bird is out for the season after shoulder surgery and considering the Yankees wanted the youngster to get more seasoning at Triple-A this year anyway, it’s not without question that they might want the same thing in 2017.

But, if Teixeira has a 2016 season which resembles that of 2015, it’s likely that he would find enough suitors to push his value high enough to garner a two-year deal to be someone’s first baseman and designated hitter. From there Teixeira might be able to sign one-year deals until he retires. All of this is predicated on his health of course.

Here’s the rub. If Teixeira drills another 30 home runs in say 500 plate appearances would the Yankees be willing to tag the 36-year-old with a qualifying offer which might be in the neighborhood of $17 million next season (it was $15.8 million for this offseason)?

In my view there’s a good chance he might take it considering what some players went through this offseason who had qualifying offers attached to their name. Maybe Teixeira wants to stick around another season and then go year to year with his contracts? It wouldn’t necessarily harm the Yankees. They could utilize the same plan they had coming into 2016, and remember I’m speaking from the premise that he is as good this season as last.

More likely however, if Teixeira has a fine season, he would check the free agent market because some team out there will want a good first baseman with some power, and someone who could transition to a DH if necessary. Or, a club could flat-out offer him a good sum of money to be their fulltime DH. I can see Teixeira thriving in such a role as it would eliminate the wear and tear from being on the field.

I believe that the market for Teixeira on a two-year deal could go over the $30 million mark if he is a 2.5 to 3.0 WAR player. If Teixeira and his agent Casey Close believe the same thing, he’ll forgo a qualifying offer and the Yankees simply transition to Bird at first base in 2017.

On the flip side, if Teixeira is injured most of the season, and/or performs like the player the Yanks saw in 2013-14, then the team doesn’t bother with a qualifying offer and he goes wherever he can find a deal. I would also suggest a lot needs to happen in order for the Yankees to consider signing Teixeira to a two-year deal.

First, Bird’s recovery has to go completely awry. Or, Alex Rodriguez would have to be somehow gone from the equation since he is owed $20 million in 2017 which pretty much inks him into the lineup card as the DH for most games. Finally, the Yankees might also want to use Brian McCann in the DH spot at least for part of 2018 if things work out with Gary Sanchez's development. There doesn't seem to be a need beyond 2017 (if even then), regardless of Teixeira's performance and desires.

As I said, it’s not a simple matter. Two things we can hang our hats on –– first, Teixeira’s 2016 performance and Bird's recuperation will dictate the next steps and two, the Yankees benefit from explosive production in Teixeira's walk year.

Christopher Carelli is a freelance baseball writer. Besides his work here, Christopher is a featured Yankees writer for His baseball commentary has also been published on The Cauldron via Sports Illustrated, Yahoo Sports and linked multiple times on MLB Trade Rumors’ Baseball Blogs Weigh In. He is a member of the Internet Baseball Writers Association of America, the Baseball Bloggers Alliance and the BYB Hub.