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Mark Teixeira is the top target for many teams this off-season. So far, those rumored to be interested include the Washington Nationals, Los Angeles Angels, New York Yankees, Baltimore Orioles (Check out links for insider rumor) and of course the Red Sox.
There’s one key issue for the Red Sox signing the slugging first baseman. Is Mark Teixeira worth it? If you’ve followed this organization, you know if they want to make a deal happen they can make everything else work around it. So the question of ‘Where would Tex fit in?,’ shouldn’t apply, as any fan should fully trust GM Theo Epstein and co. to make it work in the end.
So…should the Red Sox sign Mark Teixeira?
If you can find a way to trade Lowell, then Teixeira would be perfect here. Hell, sign Teixeira now and worry about Lowell later. Tex is entering the prime of his career and probably has five more strong seasons left and is a certifiable cleanup hitter. I really like Lowell and I think he can contribute again, but the Sox have to convince another team of that in order to cut him loose. As far as a position swap, you could toss Kevin Youkilis to third and Tex to first, but I think Tex is also a capable third baseman so Terry Francona would have his options.
As far as the Lars Anderson logjam…he’s projected to be ML-ready by the 2010 season. By 2010, David Ortiz may be just too beat up (he’ll be 34 going on 35) to keep up his incredible run. I think Ortiz is due for a big year if healthy in 2009, so that may change my mind. Either way, Tex helps you a lot more than he hurts you.
Mark Teixeira is an absolute stud first baseman in the prime of his career. He is coming off a stellar offensive season which saw him post a .962 OPS in 2008, a figure higher than any Red Sox player. This move allows Kevin Youkilis to move to 3rd, a position he proved he is more than capable of playing throughout the minors and in this past season’s playoffs.
Mike Lowell is entering the twilight of his career, and having his bat off the bench or in a platoon situation would provide the Sox much needed depth. Further, Teixeira is a Gold Glove-caliber 1st baseman, so there is no drop-off defensively between Youkilis and Teixeira. The Sox need to make this deal, as it provides the Red Sox with an all-star player in his prime and shows the rest of the baseball world they aren’t going away any time soon.
We won’t find anybody willing to take Mike Lowell so this discussion is over. I’d rather ride Lowell out until Lars Anderson arrives anyway. An infield with Anderson, Jed Lowrie, Dustin Pedroia, and Kevin Youkilis would be amazing.
I havn’t discussed the point much but the Red Sox have reached a point where they have more talent then they know what to do with. It may not be too obvious now but it will be soon. This creates the problem of maximizing on each and every position. The 1B, 3B, and DH positions are where your best power bats usually go. Lowell going forward will be an average 3rd baseman, Ortiz will have questions, and Youkilis will be FA eligible next year. Lars Anderson can’t be the only hope for a power bat in the future. Teixeira is as elite as first basemen come.
The Red Sox should reach an agreement with Teixeira of around seven years and $150 million and then find a taker for Lowell at a dicount to his two years/$24 million remaining contract. Lowell should still be considered a possible team MVP but Teixeira and Youkilis at the corners is just plain better. If the Red Sox want to be the best, they need to sign the best. Sign Tex.
The overall opinion at Sports of Boston leans towards signing Teixeira and this goes with the most recent news stories coming out of Boston. It’s certain the Red Sox have made a first offer to Teixeira and agent Scott Boras, so this is just the beginning of the story.
For now, I don’t think Boras will let his biggest FA sign so quickly. Tex will definitely be off the market by the New Year, but before that there will be a lot of Hot Stove talk. For Boras, the signing will come just in time for him to shop his second biggest free agent…Manny Ramirez.
Should the Red Sox sign Mark Teixeira?
Total Voters: 84