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NY Yankees Free Agency: Is Mark Teixeira Brian Cashman's Worst Signing Ever?

Bill FordCorrespondent IIIMay 29, 2012

NY Yankees Free Agency: Is Mark Teixeira Brian Cashman's Worst Signing Ever?

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    The 2012 season has not exactly been stellar for the New York Yankees, as we all are quite aware. With a few exceptions, the team has not played up to expectations.

    The Yankees certainly are not having a terrible season, but they have not lived up to the hype that was generated during the offseason and in spring training.

    Pitching has not been as strong as it should be, and again, with a few exceptions, hitting has not lived up to expectations.

    Many players were signed to play for the Yankees with highly lucrative, mega contracts. Those players are expected to exceed and excel, but that has not happened with some of them.

    Mark Teixeira had a phenomenal season with the Yankees in 2009, but he has struggled quite a bit since then. He hit an unfortunate slump early this season, but he showed the other day that he still has power and the skill to get the job done with two home runs and seven RBI.

    He had a great game, but we have to wonder if he will build on that and become more consistent, or if he will slip back into his slump.

    As fans become more disgruntled due to his inconsistent performance, questions arise regarding whether or not Teixeira still has what it takes to be a Yankee.

    With the lack of performance and getting into hitting slumps, is Teixeira Brian Cashman's worst signing ever?

    I don't believe so, and here are the reasons why.

History of Success

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    Even being stuck in a long-term slump, Mark Teixeira has a long history of MLB success.

    Over his 10-year career playing for the Rangers, the Braves, the Angels and the Yankees, he has put up strong and solid numbers that are impressive, even with a recent decrease in performance.

    He has 1,510 hits, 340 doubles, 17 triples, 322 home runs and 1,046 RBI with a career batting average of .281, an OBP of .371 and a slugging percentage of .530 in 5,382 at-bats.

    The 2012 season is still young, and he has 43 hits, 12 doubles, eight home runs and 29 RBI with a batting average of .254, an OBP of .312 and a slugging percentage of .467 in 169 at-bats.

    His 2012 numbers are disappointing compared to his career numbers, but it is important to recognize that the season is less than two months old. He has plenty of time to turn things around and make up for his deficiencies.

    We all remember last season when Derek Jeter started the first half of the 2011 season with miserable numbers. He bounced back and finished the season with awesome numbers.

    Have faith in Teixeira that he will do the same and bounce back.

Star Performer

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    Teixeira is not a run-of-the-mill type of player. He is a top-notch player. I wonder if people forgot that simply because he hit a slump.

    We all hit slumps in life. Working through the slump, managing it and learning from it are the keys to surviving it and being successful.

    Teixeira has the ability to do all of that.

    It is important to remember that he is a two-time All-Star, a four-time Gold Glove award winner, a three-time Silver Slugger award winner and a World Series champion.

    He is one of the few MLB players who has hit for the cycle, and he holds the record for the most games with a home run hit from both sides of the plate. He did it for the 13th time on April 21 against the Red Sox.

Elite Status

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    With all of the difficulty that he has had recently, I still view him as an elite player.

    Everyone hits a rough patch. The best and the most elite athletes in the world eventually hit a slump and slide downhill at some point in their careers.

    True elite athletes don't give up and push through the hard times. Teixeira has acknowledged that he has had difficulty and that he needs to make some changes. He demands more from himself.

    He is in the prime of his career; therefore, I believe that he has ample amounts of energy left in him, as well as plenty of talent to bounce back.

    Teixeira is a true professional who will make the necessary adjustments to retain his elite status.

    He has made some changes with his batting approach at the plate, which has led to some positive results. Teixeira said that he is happy with the recent results, and it appears to have re-energized and motivated him.

No Worries

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    There is no denying Teixeira's talents, skills and abilities. He is a seasoned professional with tremendous dedication.

    He plays with his heart, and he deeply wants to succeed for his team.

    No one had to approach him to tell him that he needed to make some changes to be more productive. He accepted and acknowledged his shortcomings on his own, and vowed to attempt to reverse his problems.

    Fans can be quick to judge players when they slip and fall, and they often demand sudden, drastic changes.

    Brian Cashman made a wise decision by signing Teixeira, and he would remain wise to keep him right where he is and work with him to get back on track with consistency.

    Losing Teixeira would be a giant mistake.

    He'll bounce back.

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