Why Mark Teixeira Will Sign With the Angels
It's hard for me to picture Mark Teixeira signing with another team.
Teixeira has been rumored to have negotiated with the Angels, Orioles, Red Sox, Nationals and possibly the Yankees.
Teixeira was sent to the Angels this past July and hit .353 with them and drastically improved their lineup. He was also one of their best players in the postseason.
Here is why the Angels are by far the most likely to sign him.
Teixeira and the Red Sox aren't a great fit.
Everyone says the Red Sox need more offense. They don't.
The Red Sox finished third in run scored last year and this was without full years from Manny Ramirez, David Ortiz, JD Drew and Mike Lowell.
People say Ortiz needs lineup protection from a hitter of Manny's caliber. However, we received a very small sample as to whether Ortiz needed Manny or not because Ortiz was only without him for two months. This was also during Ortiz's worst year with the Red Sox.
Not to mention that Lowell is almost untradeable, being owed $25 million over two years as an aging third baseman whose healthy will be uncertain until spring training.
Teixeira would be a luxury to the Red Sox and that's why owner John Henry is uncertain about his offer.
The Yankees have shown hardly any interest.
If the Yankees had considerable interest in Teixeira, we'd know it.
If they had much interest, the Red Sox and Yankees would be in a bidding war and the media would be all over it like they were with Johan Santana last offseason.
The Yankees need a hitter to hit in front of Alex Rodriguez, but maybe signing CC Sabathia, AJ Burnett and Teixeira is out of the budget even for the Yankees.
While offense was a problem for the Yankees last season, they have cheaper options to fall back on in Manny, Adam Dunn and many others on the market.
The Angels had a worse offense than the Red Sox, Yankees and Orioles.
The Angels scored 765 runs in 2008.
The Orioles scored 782. The Yankees scored 789. The Red Sox scored 845. All of those teams had a higher OBP and slugging percentage than the Angels.
As a contender, the Angels need a much better offense.
Teixeira combined with Vladimir Guerrero to form one of the best 3-4 punches in any lineup and that's what the Angels will need to contend.
The Angels need him the most and should be the most desperate to sign Teixeira.
Scott Boras doesn't care where you're from.
Teixeira grew up in Maryland. For those of you who don't know, that is close to where the Orioles and Nationals play.
And Boras couldn't care less. Boras will make his clients follow the money.
Boras is an agent that doesn't give his players a lot of say in decisions, such as not letting Joe Crede sign an extension with the White Sox in 2006.
But he gets them the most money and that's why Teixeira signed him.
The Orioles should fray from big signings.
Orioles executive Andy MacPhail is smart when it comes to rebuilding teams. He developed talent with the Twins that resulted in two world championships.
Last offseason, MacPhail reduced the Orioles payroll from $94 million to $67 million. He traded Miguel Tejada and Erik Bedard, starting a rebuilding process that has been successful so far.
But they are not ready to contend. With 67 wins, the Orioles finished second to last in the American League, 27 games out of the playoffs.
The Orioles had no chance at the playoffs last year and their chances aren't much greater going into next year.
If they use next year to rebuild, in 2010 the Orioles have developed Adam Jones and Nick Markakis. Plus high upside prospects such as Matt Wieters and Chris Tillman will be major league ready.
Where are the Nats getting all this money from?
The Nats were dead last in TV ratings last year. And 19th in attendance.
Even though owner Ted Lerner is loaded (net worth of $3.5 billion), he has not been willing to spend very much in the past.
Lerner bought the franchise in July 2006. In the offseason of 2007, he reduced the payroll by $26 million, lowering it to $37 million. The 2008 payroll was only $54 million.
Signing Teixeira would be very reminiscent of when the team had Guerrero as the Expos. Guerrero took up over half the team's payroll in some years.
Before signing a big name, the Nats need to develop more talent.
The Angels' window of contention is closing.
The Angels have assembled an excellent core of players, but their stars might not be there much longer.
John Lackey, Guerrero and Chone Figgins are free agents after 2009.
It's far from a guarantee that all three will be retained. Lackey will be the top pitcher on the free agent market. Guerrero may have declined too much by then.
Guerrero is the best hitter in a lineup where offense is scarce. But he'll be 33 next season. His slugging percentage of .521 was his lowest since 1997. Same with his OBP.
There's a good chance that the Angels won't want to build their lineup around Guerrero after next year.
With the Angels needing him more than any team, I expect them to do whatever they can to-resign him.
Even if they say they won't raise their offer, their backs aren't truly against the wall yet and nothing is official.