Some additional numbers to fully convey to Yankees fans just who and what the Yanks acquired in Mark Teixeira:
.290 AVG/.378 OBP/.541 SLG
203 HR, 676 RBI, 566 Runs, 442 BB, 694 K’s.
In his six seasons, Teixeira has averaged about 24 homers, 113 RBI, and 74 BB. Only in his first year, 2003 (84), did he not drive in 100 runs. While on average he strikes out about 116 times a year, for a power hitter with a good average, that’s more than acceptable. Also, last year was the first year he didn’t fan 100 times (97). As a right-handed hitter, his average is .281, .371 OBP, and .541 SLG, with 151 homers. As a lefty, Teixeira has a higher career average, .309, and OBP, .393, with an identical SLG of .541 and 52 homers. Death Valley might cut down on his righty power a little, but the short porches in right and dead left field certainly loom promisingly for him. His patience is also good enough to replace Giambi and Abreu, who walked 76 and 73 times last year, respectively–historically low walk numbers for each, granted, but still good numbers. Teixeira, meanwhile, walked 97 times last season. This of course is not to mention Teixeira’s replacing their offensive productivity. He’ll be a mainstay in the three hole for years to come, and should thrive in that lineup. Damon, Jeter, Teixeira, and A-Rod at #1-4 sounds very, very good.
His defense is excellent, committing only 31 errors at first for a fielding percentage of .996. He’s won two Gold Glove awards, 2005 and 2006. As Tim the Wizard aptly pointed out in the comments on a previous post about Wang, his defense should ably assist the sinker specialist Wang, and Pettite should he re-sign, as well as help solidify the rest of the defense.
That he is turning 29 next April is also most welcome, making the team better and younger at once. He’s only a few months older than Tino when the Yankees acquired him before the 1996 World Series championship season.
Teixeira is a great signing by any estimation.
[Edit: Be sure to check out this excellent piece by Jane Heller (“Confessions of a She-Fan“) over at “Bats,” Tyler Kepner’s New York Times baseball blog, discussing the Yankees’ moves and fan reactions.]