Teixeira in Perspective

Maury Brown has crunched the numbers in the wake of the Teixeira signing and has found all kinds of fun financial factoids. Among them:

The total base salaries of A-Rod ($32 million), Jeter ($20 million), Teixeira ($20 million), and Sabathia ($14 million) for 2009 will be $82.5 million, or more than the Opening Day payrolls of more than half the league last year (Brewers, Indians, Giants, Reds, Padres, Rockies, Rangers, Orioles, Diamondbacks, Royals, Twins, Nationals, Pirates, Athletics, Rays, and Marlins).

There are many other dizzying comparisons like that, so by all means, click through. As one of you said in the comments last night: say what you will about this signing, but at least it will be fun to root against the Yankees again next year.

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  1. Levi Stahl said...

    Am I insane for being surprised that Sabathia costs only 2/3 of Texiera? Am I missing something? Is Texiera really that good—like Manny/A-Rod/Pujols good?

  2. Craig Calcaterra said...

    I don’t think you’re insane, Levi.  I think you have to discount pitchers because they don’t play every day and are more susceptible to season-killing (or multiple season-killing) injuries, and maybe you have to discount Sabathia a tad because of his weight, and recent workload.

    That said, I don’t think the Sabathia-Teixeira ratio makes sense.  Mostly because I don’t think Teixeira is worth that kind of money for that many years.  He’s a very good first baseman, but first base is not a premium defensive position.  He’s a very good hitter, but he’s not otherworldly like Pujols, Bonds, A-Rod, or Manny at his best.  At any given time in baseball history, there has been a first basemen or two as good as Mark Teixeira.

    His contract was the result of a perfect storm consisting of the Rays winning the division while the Yankees’ missed the playoffs, the Red Sox and Yankees both needing a big bat at a corner position (the Yankees more so than the Red Sox), the Nats injecting themselves into the mix when, given where they are on the success cycle, they probably shouldn’t have, and the new stadium in the Bronx.

    Teixeira is a nice player who will be very good for the next few years.  He may even help the Yankees’ win the World Series this year.  But he is not sui generis nor will he be worth this contract long before it expires.

  3. Maury Brown said...

    Hey Craig,

    Thanks for linking to the numbers. They must have had me plenty dizzy because the total base payroll for the four mentioned in this passage is � million, not $82.5 million. Doesn’t change the number of teams that the four exceed in salary, but still… Nearly $90 million…

  4. Andy said...

    I think Teixeira is Eddie Murray.  He doesn’t blow you away, but he’s consistently very good to excellent at everything, every year.  If he puts up a 140-150 OPS+ every year and plays good defense, then I think he’s worth it (to the Yankees at least, given their budget).  Consistency and durability are worth a lot.

  5. markdash said...

    Au contraire! I am a long-time Yankee hater, but I think I will be rooting FOR them this year. Why? Yankee/Red Sox dominance is the only way that the MLB powers that be will even consider more revenue sharing and a harder salary cap or tax.

    As it stands, we keep getting the same BS “small market teams can be successful!” line, which is true on the surface, but is generally only true for one or two teams per year.

  6. Chipmaker said...

    Sabathia gets $14M in 2009 only, plus a $9M signing bonus paid in three installments, all in ‘09. Starting in 2010 his salary jumps to $23M per annum through 2015.

    Why it was done this way, I couldn’t say. Payroll tax purposes, perhaps.

  7. Craig Calcaterra said...

    Chip: probably.  Damon and Matsui come off the payroll after next year, saving the Yankees something like $27 million a year.  This structure may have been to account for that.

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