Giambi’s replacement

Jon Heyman has a story up on the future of current Braves first baseman Mark Teixeira and the bidding war that should commence for his services in the offseason.

The teams that will be bidding are rumored to be the Yankees, Mets, Mariners, Orioles, and Red Sox.

I’ll go on record now: I can’t imagine the Yankees NOT signing Teixeira. They’ve refused to fill the first base spot with anything but stopgaps for the past two seasons (we all know if they had the choice, Giambi would be DH), seemingly in anticipation of Tex’s ensuing free agency.

Boras has been throwing around the $200 million figure for Teixeira, but I figure he’ll probably get a contract in the 140-170 range. And for the Yankees, that’s a good investment. They’ve been paying Giambi over $20 million annually. With all the money coming off the books, Tex can be brought in with the Yankee payroll going down.

Teixeira is exactly what the Yankees need: he gets on base and has power from both sides of the plate and is an excellent fielder. It will probably take a seven year commitment, but he’s young and locking up Teixeira until he’s 35 probably isn’t that large of a risk.

Much less of a risk, in fact, that signing C.C. Sabathia to a long-term deal. Everyone assumes the Yankees will focus on pitching via free agency because of their struggles finding pitching in recent years. However, the Yankees are now loaded with young pitching talent which is cheap and versatile. They do not have much in the way of positional talent though, especially in the infield.

Pitchers are also more prone to injury and inconsistency. If Pettitte comes back for another season, the Yankees’ need for Sabathia will not be as great as most think. I expect them to be in the conversation and probably even make an offer. But much like the Damon negotiations a few years back, I think they’ll be aggressive only if it’s for the right price. I don’t think they’ll care that much if he goes elsewhere for more than they think he’s worth. After all, that just happened with Johan Santana.

With Teixeira though, I think the Yankees will do whatever it takes.

(Also of note- apparently Teixeira has ties to his hometown Baltimore and to New York. His NY ties are his sister who works in NYC, but lives in Hoboken, NJ, where I also reside. Perhaps I can start leaving Yankee merchandise on her front porch.)

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