MLB Trade Rumors: Would Yankees Deal Mark Teixeira to Sign Prince Fielder?
The Yankees are out of the playoffs, so let the talks of trades and free agents begin.
Naturally, the first place to look in New York is from within, hoping to move pieces that succeed in their careers but failed in the playoffs. Near the top of that list is Mark Teixeira, a stellar first baseman who has declined in his overall hitting and delivered very little in the postseason while in New York.
To make his case worse, one of the only players of his position worth getting is leading his team through the playoffs and potentially into the World Series.
Prince Fielder may not physically look like a gifted athlete, but he has become one of the most devastating offensive forces in baseball. So is the swap of the two first baseman worth it, or even feasible?
Let's take a look. .
Why It's a Good Move for the Yanks
Though Teixeira has the better career numbers, it doesn't mean he's a better hitter.
Yes, he is a switch-hitter, always a valuable commodity in any lineup. He has, however, eliminated that value by slowly diminishing in his hitting ability, dropping to a career-low .248 in 2011.
He has become a dead-pull power hitter from the left side of the plate, and a line-drive doubles hitter from the right.
Fielder, four years younger at 27, is catching Teixeira's mark—when he hits 31, he will most likely have much better numbers. This year was similar for them in run production, but Fielder hit for a much higher .299 average.
Milwaukee's lefty slugger would thrive in Yankee Stadium like no other power hitter in baseball as well.
With a short porch in right and good power to left-center and center, Fielder would launch more home runs than Teixeira and would not fan out from the left side while doing so.
Offensively, this move is a lock.
Why This Move Will Never Happen
Though this may be a glamorous deal, it is not a practical one, for many reasons.
First, Teixeira has a no-trade clause in his contract that he would most likely never waive—and for good reason.
No team is going to pay him the money that the Yankees do, especially with his questionable offense in the postseason.
The Yankees would also lose a rock at first base. Teixeira is easily one of the best first baseman in the game, saving errors and runs from all over the infield nearly every game.
He wins Gold Glove awards on his own, and probably wins Derek Jeter his every year as well.
Also, Fielder is represented by sports super-agent Scott Boras, who cut relations with Teixeira in 2008, and after a good postseason run following many good seasons at $15.1 million a year, Fielder will be looking for tremendous, record-setting contract numbers this offseason.
It would be hard to imagine the Milwaukee Brewers paying this money, especially after locking up superstar Ryan Braun.
Even though Fielder would be a perfect player to fill Teixeira's void, the Yankees would have to make it known that they wanted him first. Then they would have to suggest to Teixeira that he waive the clause so they could trade him.
Finally, they would have to sign Fielder immediately. If Teixeira was traded and Fielder not signed, it would be a career-ending move for general manager Brian Cashman.
Wouldn't It Be Nice?
It seems like a good deal, and there are many positives to it, but the Yankees will not pursue Fielder in the end.
The Yankees have other needs much greater than a first baseman, like unveiling their young talent further and looking for starting pitchers.
Granted, a trade of Teixeira for an ace would make sense, but it is up to Teixeira to start, and it is unlikely he would waive the no-trade.
But for the Yankees, it is just another super-free-agent who will be pursued but not signed.