Friday, October 16, 2015
MARK IT DOWN, TEIXEIRA WILL BE BACK!
It's early in the off season, and there is already so much talk about "OH....what do we do with Mark Teixeira next year?" and I scratch my head. Sure, there are some guys on the team that you can ask that question and have a serious debate. I don't think there is much of an argument here, but I will play along.
This year we also saw a future young superstar named Greg Bird. It's hard for me to not be biased here because I am a huge Teixeira fan, but I like this kid. He stepped up and had some clutch moments. I will feel better watching him take over first base and know that he can do the job. He was better than any other option we had, and I think better than anyone Brian Cashman could've gone out to get. He's 22 and he will only get better but we don't need to rush it.
Obviously, it would be crazy to think that anyone but Tex would be our everyday first basemen next season. He has one year left on his contract and he had a strong year. He still can play great defense and his new gluten free lifestyle brought him back to a heavy hitter this year. He has all of the tools and there is no reason to believe that he can't have another big year, even at 36 next year as long as no freak accidents happen again.
I can see Bird being a backup next year and continuing to get some at bats. In that case, I do agree that we could platoon Alex Rodriguez and Tex at DH to keep them both fresh without sacrificing their bats. When all of them are hitting, it could give the Yankees a deeper lineup so this would be a hard option to ignore. All three of these guys were leaders in OPS for the team so because of that I would favor this option.
Like Cashman, I am 100% opposed to teaching Bird a new position, like third or second base. I don't think this benefits his development and could potentially injure him if he is doing too much. The Yankees can get creative and add his bat into the lineup without trying to force a new skill on Bird. We need to protect him for when the time comes for him to take over.
As for dropping Teixeira....anyone who thinks that is a good idea I laugh. He is still the best option on the team AND his numbers this season proved everyone wrong. The Yankees have stuck by him this long, why would they dump him now after a good year that could have ended even better? He could've been an MVP, he could've been a lot of things if it weren't for bad luck. It makes no sense to drop him now, and trading him is just out of the question thanks to his no-trade clause.
Tex has one year left as a Yankee. Eventually, there will be someone else at first base full time but we aren't there yet. I will be sad to see that day come, but I will deal with it. Until then, I am a betting woman and will continue to pencil Tex into my lineup. What do you think? Tell us!
--Jeana Bellezza, BYB Senior Writer and Editor
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