Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Free Agent at the End of the Season: Mark Teixeira

There is no doubt that Teixeira will be the most coveted hitter of this free agent class. I would assume that Teixeira is looking for a deal in the 8-10 year range worth about $160-$200 million dollars. To most, this would seem to be an absurd amount of money, but could Teixeira actually be worth it?

His agent Scott Boras, has a strong case to make for Tex.

-He is only 28 years old switch hitter and has hit 30+ HR 100+ RBI in each of his first five seasons.

-He plays gold glove defense (he won gold gloves in both 2005 and 2006)

-He is durable (played in 162 games in both 2005 and 2006)

-He gets on base ALOT (OBP around .400 every season)

-There are no other great Free Agents at 1B (sure Delgado and Giambi can hit and get on base, but they are both well past their max contract years. And really, do you want Sean Casey or Richie Sexson at 1B? Do you trust that either Hinske or Millar will be able to maintain their numbers from this season?)

-Simply put, Teixeira is the total package. Power hitter, great defense, and young enough to build around for the next 7-10 years. During contract negotiations, I assume that Boras will throw out the names:

-Carlos Beltran (similar age to Tex) and his 7 year/ $119 million dollar deal

-Manny Ramirez (similar stats to Tex) and his 8 year/ $160 million dollar deal

-Miguel Cabrera (similar stats to Tex/same time period) and his 8 year/ 152 million dollar deal

My prediction: 9 years/$162 million with a option for 10th year at $22 million (total package 10 year/$184 million dollars)

Remember everyone, Tex is a Boras client, which basically means he will seek out the most amount of money. And while I believe the Cabrera deal could be a good place to start negotiations, I think this deal will be bigger for a few reasons.

1. Both NY teams can be involved

2. He is by far the most coveted free agent on the market for hitters based on his age, performance, and durability

3. LA Angels should be involved in these discussions, which could drive up the pricetag because owner Arte Moreno does not want to lose the big hitter he coveted for so long.

4. Tex should be a very marketable player

5. Don't count out the Orioles-Tex is from

6. Boras has a way of achieving maximum value for his guy. Don't doubt him.

If Tex comes close to my projection, then I think he will certainly have a tough time living up to it (as do most free agents). However, if you put him in the middle of your lineup, a GM will be safe to assume that Tex will produce 30/100 every season. He has yet to show any sign of decline as of yet.
We will continue to evaluate the incoming free agent class with stud pitcher CC Sabathia

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