Reported by Buster Olney a couple hours ago, the Yankees have signed slugger Mark Teixeira. The deal is a reported 180 million dollars over eight years.
This is exactly what New York needed. First, it keeps Teixeira away from the Boston Red Sox. That is huge to keep such a powerful hitter and fielder away from the Red Sox and if David Ortiz continues to decline, Boston will lack serious power in their lineup. Also, as it turns out, the difference between the Yankee's offer and the Red Sox offer was 12 million dollars or 1.5 million dollars per season.
The Yankees also get an increase in offense, obviously, but they improve dramatically on defense. It is already well known that Jason Giambi was one of the worst defensive first basemen in baseball and Betemit was a liability at the plate. Mark Teixeira is a great hitter and one of, if not the, best defensive first baseman in baseball.
With a sinker ball pitcher like Wang and young pitchers coming up, it is imperative have people in the field who won't give up out and also take away hits. The will help the confidence of the pitchers and keep pitch counts lower. That is so valuable for the Yankees who do have question marks when it comes to the health and durability of their pitching staff.
Offensively he gives them a Silver Slugger caliber first baseman to bat behind Alex Rodriguez. His has averaged 30+ HRs and 100+ RBIs throughout his career and hits around .300. Most important are his averages with RISP. He bats .303, his OBP is .419, and his SLG is .524 (last season). That is crucial because that was the problem last year for the Yankees. They could put men in scoring position, but could not get them home.
I don't want to hear anything about how Yankees should not be spending this kind of money on the players. The Yankees have two obligations, and both go hand in hand. They are obligated to win and obligated to their fans. For the prices Yankees fans pay for tickets, it is imperative that the Yankees go deep in the postseason and make the World Series.
They need to achieve this through any means necessary. Also the Yankees payroll (if they don't sign any more players) is 25 million dollars less than last season's.
The Yankees have gotten a rock for eight years at first base, have greatly improved their offense and defense, they are frontrunners to go to the World Series, they are putting out the best product for their fans to watch, and they are going to spend 25 million dollars less. Can't argue with that.
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