Teixeira or not Teixeira, that is the question.
Last night, Red Sox owner John Henry said his team was out of the running for the privilege of paying Mark Teixeira obscene amounts of money to play first base at Fenway Park. I don’t really believe this, but I do believe the Red Sox were announcing to agent Scott Boras and his client that there was a limit to how much the Sox were willing to spend for one player. And thank goodness. Yes, this is a business and it is a free market, sort of. But is there really any excuse for paying Teixeira so MUCH MORE money than, say, Dustin Pedroia? If the reports are true that the Sox have offered Teixeira an eight-year deal worth, on average, $23 million per year, that would give him a salary roughly three times that of Pedroia, and four or five times what the Sox are paying Kevin Youkilis. To me that is not the way to build a team — not with that much disparity between one player and the others.
By all accounts, Teixeira is a good team mate and a hard nosed player, but right now he looks mostly like a money grubber. If he does sign with the Sox, he better put up big numbers, because he will become despised all along Yawkey Way.
No, I say the Sox should take a pass on this guy and do some work to find the undiscovered gem — as they did with David Ortiz. Heck, they had one right under their own noses two years ago. Carlos Pena was briefly a Red Sox in 2006, and he has hit 77 home runs and knocked in 223 runs in the past two seasons for Tampa Bay. He’s no Teixeira average-wise, but he would have been a cheap and productive alternative at first base — my point being, there are other guys who play this game pretty well, and you don’t have to pay them Scott Boras’ extortionist figures.
Which isn’t to say, I won’t be rooting for Teixeira if the Sox DO land him.