Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Teixeira signs with.... who the hell do you think he signed with???

Highly coveted 1B Mark Teixeira signed with the New York Yankees today to the tune of 8 years, $180 million. For those counting at home, it's $22.5 million a year.

Teixeira had O's fans drooling since he filed for free agency because Teixeira is from Severna Park and played high school baseball a Daniel-Cabrera-wild-pitch from Camden Yards. But the O's never upped their initial offer of 7 years, $140 million, and the "hometown discount" that many fans were talking about never came into fruition.

In all seriousness, aside from the Baltimore ties, Teixeira didn't fit in with the Orioles' plan. Andy MacPhail has stressed over the last 2 years that he wants to add as many cheap, young and talented players as he can get, whether that be through the draft or via trades. Teixeira is great, but is only getting older and now, very, very expensive.

Yeah, Teixeira in Baltimore would have been a huge draw on paper, but until the Orioles start winning games in July through September, fans will never come out like they did in the 90's. It's a cold hard fact.

And $22.5 million a year for 8 years is a lot of money for just one player. But not for the Yankees. In case you haven't noticed they now have the top 4 highest paid players on their roster (A-Rod and Jeter, and this year's top 2 free agents in Teixeira and Sabbathia) and also signed highly-coveted free agent pitcher A.J. Burnett earlier this offseason. So if they didn't represent everything that is wrong with baseball before, they definitely do now.

If the Yankees and Red Sox (with an emphasis on the Yankees) are the only 2 teams that can afford high-priced players like Sabbathia and Teixeira, and are in the same division no less, then the system is broken.

The Teixeira signing doesn't exactly surprise me, and it shouldn't surprise anyone. All along Teixeira looked headed for the Red Sox until the Yankees came in with the highest offer and stole him away from Boston. It was simply bound to happen. But in my opinion, it represents what is the beginning of the end for a no-salary-cap Major League Baseball. So if it took a Maryland native like Teixeira to sport pinstripes for the next 8 years to fix the system, then so be it.

Because when the next labor agreement contract expires, mark my words, there will be another strike and it won't end until the players accept a salary cap, because quite simply, baseball cannot exist under these conditions.

And with the O's becoming more and more of a mid-market team, and not winning anytime soon, a baseball-less summer won't make a bit of difference to me. And not many other O's fans.

Now back to the O's. They must've been crossing their fingers hoping that Teixeira would take a lot less money to play for a losing organization a few miles from his childhood home. But in the end, it simply wasn't going to happen. And to be honest, they probably knew it would play out like it did. They covered their asses with a fair offer and have an excuse locked and loaded for the angry fans who have to watch as another star free agent dons pinstripes only to crush their O's 18 times a year.

But at the same time, a lot was riding on the Tex-in-Baltimore pipe dream. Because unless the Orioles somehow significantly improve the roster between now and February 1st, Brian Roberts is unlikely to extend, meaning he will be a free agent at the end of 2009, along with Melvin Mora, Aubrey Huff and several other players.

And since the O's don't appear to be in the running for any other remaining big name free agents like Adam Dunn or Ben Sheets, the O's might as well jus trade Roberts for the best package of prospects available.

Maybe Teixeira would have fooled fans and the front office for a year or two, thinking that they were close to contention, but let's be real. The O's are going nowhere until at least 3 pitchers now in the minor leagues develop into reliable starters. And that is with or without a dozen Mark Teixeiras.

And other than Erik Bedard, when was the last time the O's developed one of those and didn't trade him before he became any good (John Maine)?

So BLOW IT UP!!! Get on with it! Tex is gone! There is no plan B. Hell, there never was a plan A! Let's get the ball rolling so we can have some winning baseball in Baltimore again while we're all still alive.


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