The New York Yankees find themselves in the enviable position of having so much money that they never truly find themselves in a bad deal. Not if you define a bad deal as one that limits the team from going out and spending more money.
There are some who argued this offseason that the Yankees have so much money committed to contracts that it kept the team from going out and signing another pitcher, C.J. Wilson comes to mind. But I don't buy it. What they Yankees truly pine for they always get.
Cleveland signing Travis Hafner for $55 million and then watching his production drop off the globe and not having the cash to sign a bat to replace his production, that's a bad deal.
But the Yankees, they never have those concerns So cash rich are the Yankees they use $100 bills to wipe up tobacco juice spills in the dugout.
That said, neither Mark Teixeira nor Alex Rodriguez have performed like players the Yankees thought they were getting when they inked them to mega contracts. But who has the worse of the two contracts for the Yankees? Common sense would dictate that would be A-Rod. He gets hurt more often and his offensive numbers are down trending.The Yankees are also paying him more ($27.5 million a year) by $5 million a year and they have to pay it for one more year. A-Rod's bloated deal doesn't end until after the 2017 season.
Teixeira has proven to be far more durable than A-Rod. Since 2008 Alex Rodriguez has found himself on on the disabled list a total of four times, including twice in 2011. Teixeira has not been placed on the DL while in pinstripes and not in any form since 2007. That's durability.
Who is the bigger waste of money for the Yankees?
Yankees General Manager Brian Cashman has probably already resigned himself to the fact that he would never be able to deal either player to get out from under a contract, not unless Yankees agreed to pay a large portion of either Rodriguez's or Teixeira's salary. So the Yankees are stuck with both of them.
So now let's look at production.
The numbers indicate that A-Rod's production is tailing off. Since his MVP year in 2007 when he hit 54 HRs, drove in 156 runs and hit .314, his HR numbers have gone from 35 in 2008 to 30 each in 2009 and 2010 to just 16 a year ago, when injuries limited him to 99 games.
Teixeira, on the other hand, has remained consistent from a power standpoint. Since signing with the Yankees he's sandwiched 39 HR years around a 33 HR year in 2010 and posted RBI totals of 122, 108 and 111.
Teixeira is also about five years younger than A-Rod, but Rodriguez on average posts a batting average about 20 points higher a year than Tex.
Last year in the playoff both players flopped. Teixeira hit .167 with an RBI. Rodriguez his .111 with three RBI.
You also have to factor in the "it' factor. The back pages of the tabloids love A-Rod and you would think he sells more tickets than Teixeira. But that still doesn't outweigh Teixeira's better offensive numbers and the fact he's still a Gold-Glove caliber defender. That all said you have to say at this point Hal Steinbrenner's pen likely flows a little bit easier when he signs Teixeira's massive paychecks twice monthly. It's also day to imagine Steinbrenner gritting his teeth when signing A-Rod's check and asking Cashman : "We pay Rodriguez how much?"