Mark Teixeira is on record as saying he would like to have a new team and contract before Christmas, and many news outlets are reporting he's close to making a decision about where he'll play in 2009. That said, every Red Sox fan should be wishing for Mark Teixeira this Christmas.
Boston is definitely a passionate city when it comes to sports, however that passion rarely translates into intelligence. I've read and heard some incredibly stupid comments regarding the potential signing of Mark Teixeira, perhaps some people playing devils advocate, and for the devil's sake, I hope they are.
With that said lets debunk some of the reasons fans don't want to sign Teixeira:
"If we sign Teixeira we would have to trade Lowell, I like Lowell ." I also like Mike Lowell and he's still a good player. However Lowell is going to be 36 and his best days are behind him, not to mention he's coming off hip surgery. Bottom line here is the Sox sign Teixeira, put him at first, and move Youk to third, overall you're a better and younger ball club.
"It will cost too much to sign Teixeira!" This is my favorite one. Of course contracts in baseball are ridiculous, but that's not going to change if the Red Sox make a stand with Teixeira. If the Sox don't offer him 8 years $160 million there are at least 4 other teams that will. Lets not think that beer prices are going to decrease if we cut payroll, if that was true I might be on the other side of this, however it's not so neither am I. Besides, they print their own money down on Yawkee Way.
"I'm not convinced he's worth the money." If you think this you are stupid and should never watch baseball again. Ok that was harsh, I apologize. In the real world no one is worth $25 million/year, however in the world of baseball some people are. Last year Tex hit .308 with 33 home runs and 121 RBI. By the way he's a switch hitter, gold glove first baseman, and he walked 97 times while only striking out 93 times! Lastly I'll point out his on-base percentage was .410 (thats right he gets on base 41% of the time) and he played half of last year on the Atlanta Braves, not one of their best years. A full season in Boston and I can see his numbers going up, why wouldn't you want this guy?
One of the reasons, other then injuries, that the Sox lost to the Rays in the ALCS was their lineup went to the plate without their bats, figuratively speaking. With the exception of the game 5 comeback in Fenway the Sox never found their groove last October. Pedroia and Youk had good Octobers, that's about it. No one knows for sure what Oritz is going to do this year, but I think his 50 home run years are behind him, point is the Sox could use some pop in their lineup.
Of course there are some good reasons not to sign Teixeira, the Sox might not want to commit to a 10 year deal, thats reasonable. However, the goal is to win a World Series, and not signing Mark Teixeira if the Sox have the opportunity is just stupid. As always, comments are welcome whether you agree or disagree or are somewhere inbetween.
ITM News and Notes:
The Yankees are reportedly pushing hard for Manny Ramirez, could be looking at a 3 year $25 million per year deal. The Yanks need someone to hit behind Arod if they don't get Teixeira.
Buster Olney of ESPN reported that Scotty Boras is trying to convince the Sox to sign Varitek and Mark Teixeira as a package deal. Interesting move by Boras, as the market for Varitek hasn't really developed, perhaps this pushes the Sox to offer Tek a contract if they want Tex bad enough.
One of the smartest moves Theo Epstien ever made was offering Jason Varitek arbitration. Tek of course declined as we all know, so if another team signs him the Sox would get a sandwich pick between the first and second round of the 2009 draft.