Friday, December 26, 2008

Ask not what you can do for Teixeria, but what Teixeria can do for you...

In the aftermath of Mark Teixeria signing one of the largest professional athlete contracts in the history of sports, with the N.Y. Yankees, people all across the country are standing up and crying foul. "The system is broken", "baseball needs a cap", "the Yankee's are evil", "baseball is ruined"! You name it, it's probably been said. But really, is the system detrimentally flawed? (thats going to be for another post) And more importantly, what does this signing mean to the Giants? Because really, thats what we care the most about...

So the Yankees just commited nearly half a BILLION dollars to three players over the next 6-8 years. The Giants couldn't do it. Most people wanted the Giants to go hard after Teixeria and Sabathia (myself included, although I wouldn't call it hard, but more off an attempt), now we know the price we would have had to pay. Sabathia could have probably been had for $140-150 mil because he reportedly wanted to play here. Teixeria wanted to be back there, so the Giants would have probably had to go in excess of $200 mil to lure him, and then, the Yankees still may have countered. So here we are, No CC, No Tex. What now?

Well, the Giants still have their money. They still have all their trading pieces. They just signed Randy Johnson to complete a very good starting 5 on paper. The bulpen has been significantly upgraded. The offense has been improved, however slightly. The young guys all have another season under their belt. The outfield is set barring a trade. Really, all the Giants need is just a little more hitting to get them through one more season and then they should be set up good. So how then, do you ask, can the Teixeria signing help? With the Yankee's?

Earlier this off season, the Yankees traded for Nick Swisher. Presumably, at the time, it was to play 1B. Thats not happening now. Now the Yankee's have 4 outfielders making a decent salary and they might be trying to add Manny Ramirez. That means that 1, or even 2 of them are available via trade. They have:

-Johnny Damon- OF only, getting old, 1/$13 mil left, the Giants aren't looking for a 1 year rental and already have Aaron Rowand. Also has a partial NTC.
-Hideki Matsui- Exact same as above, OF only, full NTC, 1/$13 left, Giants have Randy Winn already, not looking for a 1 year rental. And his power at AT&T wouldn't be any better than Molina, probably equal to what Lewis will provide next year.
-Xavier Nady- Another 1 year conract although for about $7 mil. He could potentially play 1B but is not proven their and is a renatl. He also has more value so the Giants would have to give up something they may not want to.
-Nick Swisher- Now here is the intruiging one. he just signed a deal last year and has 3/$21+ left on his current deal plus a club option for $10.25 mil a fourth year. He is coming off a bad year at the plate, Has proven he can play an effective 1B, and has shown a lot of power with 108 career homeruns. Swisher is still only 28, so he should have his best 5 years ahead of him. The Yankee's didn't have to give up much to get him and don't need much now to complete their roster.

This is not to say the Yankee's will just let him go easily but in the end, he may be the most valuable trade chip in other teams can find similar players still on the FA market.

The Yankee's few remaining needs are a bulpen upgrade, backup IF help, a starting pitcher, and restocking the minor leagues. Jack Taschner, Eugenio Velez, Noah Lowry (if healthy), Jose Martinez, Kevin Pucetas (not sure i'd be happy giving him up yet in this deal), and Billy Sadler fit this. I'm sure some lower level minor leaguers would be included but I think a deal could be made.

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