His offense and defense were both tops among the non pitcher free agents and he was going to make whatever team was lucky enough to get him so much better. That’s right. Mark Teixeira. The golden boy that everyone wanted when he became a free agent after his contract with the Angels ran out. He was the top offensive free agent out there, possible the best overall. He was just that good and everyone wanted him. Since the Yankeeas have had an inconsistency at first base in the past (no one that could use a glove), they wanted to get a guy that could produce on offense and could use a glove. So who better to spend a big part of your enormous budget on than Mark Teixeira. One of the top free agents on the market. The Yanks signed him over the Red Sox, who were their top competition for Teixeira. They gave him a eight year, $180 million contract that would keep him in pinstripes for a long time. And hey, I’d like to keep him around for a while as well.
At the start of the season, Teixeira’s offense wasn’t as good as everyone had hoped it would be. A big hole in the Yankee offense that was one of the reasons they slipped as low as fourth place in the AL East. His defense was there, continuing his gold glove worthy work at the home plate corner of the diamond. So why was he having such a slow start. One of the reasons, now known, that Teixeira’s offense took a while to start up was the absence of another middle of the lineup guy, Alex Rodriguez. The projected lineup for the Yankees at the beginning of the season included Teixeira batting third and A-Rod batting fourth. The absence of the powerful A-Rod behind him may have caused him the slow start. But now, Teixeira’s performance at the plate could not be more the opposite of how it started.
Currently, he is batting .286, has 17 homers, has 50 RBI, has a .390 OBP, and has a .618 SLG. He is absolutely on fire. He has been so since A-Rod came back. Since his return, Teixeira has been on a tear and is one of the biggest parts of the Yankee offense. Now I’m starting to think that deal the Yankees signed him to is going to be worth it.
Last night, Teixeira had another big game. He went 2-5 with a solo homer and two additional RBI. He also played a solid game at first. Like he always has, he will be a solid first base defender and will have yet another shot at the first base gold glove. Someone he will have to compete with for that award will be Kevin Youkilis of the Red Sox. Youk is also a very good player on both the offensive and defensive sides of the ball. He is always in contention for the gold glove at first base. He is the defender of that award from last season but the battle will still be a good one.
So, the Yankees have gained so much since Tex has gone on his tear. He is the biggest part of their offense, a solid defender, and a great presence in the dugout. He was a huge aquisition for the team and that huge deal he signed may end up to be worth it. He is having a great season and, with the All Star weekend coming up, may earn a trip to St. Louis to play with the best of the best. He is my pick for the AL starting first baseman (sorry Youk). Hopefully he will continue to tear it up for the Yanks as the season is going on. I am expecting him to be in the running for AL MVP at the end of the season and I am also expecting him to lead this team to the playoffs and hopefully to a World Series victory. Who knows? That’s a while away. But hey… you can never be too ready.