Missing Out On Mark Teixeira Is One Of The Best Things That Happened To The Orioles

Yankees swept in ALCS by Tigers

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Four years later, Baltimore fans still hold a grudge against Maryland native Mark Teixeira for using the Orioles as leverage for his deal with the New York Yankees. The O’s reportedly offered Teixeira $150 million over seven years and were expected to match whatever offer he received elsewhere. He signed with the Yankees for $180 million.

“In a perfect world, the Orioles would’ve won the World Series every year I was alive and I’d be an Oriole right now,” Teixeira told reporters in 2009 according to Anthony McCarron of the New York Daily News. “I have so much love for this city, this organization. But in the business world, in the baseball world, sometimes you have to make difficult decisions. When it came down to it, the Yankees were a better fit for me.”

It’s funny how time changes an opinion. Here’s Mark Teixeira’s thoughts on his contract from February 2, 2013.

“Agents are probably going to hate me for saying it. You’re not very valuable when you’re making $20 million. When you’re Mike Trout, making the minimum, you are crazy valuable. My first six years, before I was a free agent, I was very valuable. But there’s nothing you can do that can justify a $20 million contract.”


Grantland’s Jonah Keri listed Teixeira as an honorable mention in his 15 worst contracts in baseball, pointing out that his batting average, on base percentage and slugging percentage have been on a steady decline since signing in New York.

Keri asks if Teixeira has been provoked by Yankee Stadium’s short porch in right field and has fallen more into an uppercut swing as a lefty.

Or maybe age has slowed his bat, leaving the soon-to-be-33-year-old switch-hitter headed in the wrong direction with four years and $90 million left on his deal. There might be another guy on this team getting a lot more grief for his declining skills and terrifying contract. But the Yankees are stuck with Teixeira at this point, almost as much as they are with that other guy.

In the end, it’s great that the Orioles didn’t spend big on Mark Teixeira. He was never going to be the leader they needed in the locker room and they built a playoff team with guys that wanted to represent the city.

Can you imagine Teixeira traveling with the Ravens during the playoffs like Adam Jones did?

Baltimore isn’t a large market team and hasn’t spent big on free agents, but they’ve locked up their talent and avoided bad deals unlike their AL East neighbors to the north. If they would have splurged on Teixeira, they probably wouldn’t be where they are today.

Zach Wilt is the Founding Editor of BaltimoreSportsReport.com and host of the BSR Podcast. He's a loyal Orioles, Ravens and Capitals fan who is obsessed with baseball, loves traveling, In-N-Out Burger and Walt Disney World.

4 Comments

  1. The Intimidator

    February 12, 2013 at 7:53 pm

    It’s interesting you wrote that article Zach because looking back on it now, it was real good that the O’s lowballed Tex and didn’t sign him. And yes, I was one of those that wanted Tex to sign here. It seems like alot of ballplayers have, all of a sudden in the last few years, been injured alot, lost their power, etc… Meds? Very possibly… Take note of the big power hitters from 5-6 years ago and look how they broke down in the last 3-4 years… Not saying they did juice but something happened to them all….

  2. MGW

    February 12, 2013 at 9:39 pm

    If you look at most of these big contracts they all seem to look silly a few years down the road. Prince Fielder, Josh Hamilton, Puljols are all deals we’ll be shaking our heads at as early as this year. Bad, bad deals that will handicap their teams.

  3. spy

    February 13, 2013 at 9:35 am

    I agree with both you guys ;however, you still have to make moves that will impact you team , what moves did the O’s make to impact their team this year and motivate the fans to stay interested in them,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,I believe the O’s missed a golden oportunity to bring back those fans that were either still on the fence or waiting to see them do this a couple years in a row before giving their total support to them once again,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

  4. RuRoh

    February 17, 2013 at 12:50 pm

    I get the point of the article, but don’t understand why it’s “funny how time changes an opinion.” Teixeira, a B-more native, expressed in 09 that he would have loved to have played his career here. Then this month, he admits nothing could justify his contract. How did he change his opinion?

    And I’ll forever love the hate Baltimore has for Tex…kinda like the fat girl who gets overlooked by some guy she could never ever have who tries to make herself feel better by trying to find fault in him. It’s over. Let it go. Teixeira wanted a ring and regardless of whether you see him as a “leader in the locker room” or possesses that oh-so-essential sportsman characteristic of traveling around with a football team (pretty cool for a single guy in his 20s; not so reasonable for a married guy in his 30s with three kids), Baltimore was never going to be part of that equation. Not now. Not in his career. And maybe not in his lifetime.