Ask an Orioles fan. Ask them this: "Should the O's get Mark Teixeira." I know what they will say. They'll say something like, "Yeah, we need a power bat." I for one, disagree. You might know Mark Teixeira.
You might know him as the guy who hit 33 home runs and drove in 121 runs last season and the guy who has averaged 34 home runs and 113 RBI over his first six seasons in the big leagues. You also might know him as a Severna Park, Maryland native who happened to make it in baseball.
In his first six seasons in baseball, Mark Teixeira has been with three teams. He's played with the Texas Rangers, Atlanta Braves, and Los Angeles Angels. Based on history, he'll be on his fourth by the start of the 2009 season. Teixeira has been offered contracts by the Washington Nationals, Los Angeles Angels, and hometown Baltimore Orioles.
The Baltimore Orioles offered him a seven year/$150M contract. The Nationals offered him a slightly bigger contract, at seven years/$160M. The Red Sox have not offered yet, but being the Red Sox, are very much in the running for the slugger. Today, the Angels offered him an eight year/$160M contract. While Boras asked for a 10 year/$200M contract, no team has offered such a deal.
Orioles President of Baseball Operations Andy MacPhail acknowledged that the O's are unlikely to land the slugger, but are very much in the race.
"We are involved in the process," MacPhail said. "Where it takes us, we don't know." While money is always a factor, Teixeira's agent, Scott Boras said that money isn't the deciding factor.
"There's regional ties. Certainly family is going to be part of his consideration," Boras said. "The club's ability to win long-term, commitment by the owners, long-term, to the franchise being successful. Where they play, the city they're in. He's played in both leagues. He has an opportunity to make an analysis of what's best for he and his family. And, of course, the economics."
While I recognize Teixeira is one of the most consistent power hitters you will find in baseball, I am against signing him. That's right, I'm AGAINST signing one of the best hitters in baseball and one of the best fielders.
While it'd be nice to have Teixeira, a Severna Park native who grew up watching the O's, it'd be quite foolish to get him. First of all, he's not a pitcher. For years, the O's have needed a top of the line pitcher, and getting a first basemen won't help at all. The Orioles need to take away the offer before they completely sell out on their rebuilding plan.
MacPhail said last off season the team needs to rebuild. If he gets Teixeira, he's completely going against that. While I can't say I wouldn't like a guy who can put up 50 homers, 135 RBI and hit .315 in his prime, we need to look at the long run. Teixeira hasn't stuck anywhere he's gone so far.
He played with teams better then us such as Atlanta and Los Angeles and didn't stick with them. What makes you think he'll stick with us, one of the worst franchises in existence with attendance amongst the bottom?
If MacPhail is trying to prove that we can spend with the Angels, Yankees, Red Sox and Nationals of the world, he's doing it at the expence of the future of the franchise. The Orioles don't need a young offensive star. While we don't have a Mark Teixeira, we have Nick Markakis, Adam Jones, Brian Roberts, and Matt Wieters. And those are darn good young hitters. We NEED pitching!
We proved last year that we have the potential to win slug fests. Getting Teixeira won't improve anything. The last big name offensively we got was Sammy Sosa, and we all know where that ended up. While Teixeira would be a help offensively, he wouldn't help our pitching troubles the least.
My suggestion: rescind the offer and go after pitching! While Sabathia and Burnett are off the market (and now in our division to face us multiple times a year), it wasn't expected we'd land CC or AJ anyways.
We need to land a proven pitcher. We don't need a guy who can win 20 games. We need a guy who can carry some of the load that Jeremy Guthrie singlehandedly carried all year. Guys like Braden Looper, Oliver Perez and Jon Garland are all on the market. Looper, Perez and Garland are available.
Let the hate mail flood.