Should The New York Yankees Re-Sign Mark Teixeira?


Mark Teixeira is set to become a free agent after the 2016 season, and with his heir apparent at first base, Greg Bird, set to miss the entire season, questions regarding Bird’s readiness to be the everyday first baseman in 2017 are naturally arising, bringing us to a bigger question:  Should the New York Yankees re-sign Teixeira?

Teixeira, arriving at Yankees camp Wednesday, told reporters that he would like to play five more seasons, according to Mark Feinsand of the New York Daily News:

"I’d love to play five more years.  If you had asked me that when I was coming off wrist surgery, I was pretty honest with you guys.  I felt like crap pretty much the entire year in 2014.  I didn’t know what the future held for me, but I’ve completely turned that around.  My body feels so good, why not play until I’m 40?  Being the kind of hitter I am, I can be a DH the last few years of my career, which could really prolong it.  I would love to play that long."

While Teixeira will hardly be the only big-money contract the Yankees shed in the next two years, (Carlos Beltran‘s contract expires after 2016, and Alex Rodriguez and CC Sabathia will see their deals end after 2017), he will likely present the organization with their hardest decision.

More from Yankees News

Before Bird’s injury, it seemed likely that Teixeira, like his veteran counterparts, was on his way out when his contract expired.  After all, Rodriguez will be the DH in 2017, and Bird was expected to take over at first base.  With Bird missing the entire 2016 season, it is hard to see the Yankees trusting him to come back and play in the Majors everyday without another first baseman on the roster, leading me to believe that Teixeira could be brought back, something that he made clear he’d love to do, when asked if he would like to finish his career in pinstripes:

"Absolutely; that’s probably the easiest question you could ask me.  I’d love to stay here, but we’ll see what happens at the end of the year.  It’s a little weird [being in a contract year], I mean, seven years have gone by in an instant; really, it’s amazing how quickly it’s gone by.  For me to be in a really productive position, and helping our team win in maybe my last year here, that’s all I can ask for."

Teixeira, who was having arguably his best year since 2009 before suffering a season-ending leg injury, hit 31 home runs and 79 RBI’s in just 111 games.  He also had an OPS of .906, his highest since 2009, his first year in pinstripes, which saw him finish second in MVP voting.  The switch-hitter, who hasn’t played more than 123 games since 2011, will reach the 400 home-run milestone before the calendar turns to the summer, and feels that he can continue to play well past 2016:

"I think I have a lot of good years left in me especially after last year.  The great thing about contract years is if you do your job on the field for your team, the contract works out for you.  That kind of stuff falls into place if you go out and have a good year and help your team."

Teixeira’s manager, Joe Girardi was happy to hear about Teixeira’s plans to prolong his career, adding that a healthy Teixeira will be a productive player:

"I think it’s great for players to play as long as they want to and they feel that they can be successful, and obviously he feels good about where he is physically or I don’t think he would say that.  The most important thing is for him to stay healthy, because if he is, he’ll be productive."

While staying healthy is easier said than done in professional sports, and has been something that Teixeira has struggled with recently, the first baseman added that he feels very positive entering 2016:

"Last year was a freak thing and hopefully those kind of freak things don’t happen anymore.  I’m in great shape, I feel strong, so it’s all signs are really positive going into this season."

If Teixeira is able to stay on the field, ultimately I believe that the organization should consider bringing him back, as he can split time with Rodriguez, who isn’t getting any younger, and Bird, who is currently a question mark, at first base and DH.  Following the 2017 season, Teixeira could then transition into being a full-time DH for a year or two before riding off into the sunset.

What do you think Yankees fans?  Would you like to see Teixeira back in pinstripes in 2017?  Let us know in the comments below.

Next: 10 Signs You Are a Die-Hard New York Yankees Fan

More from Yanks Go Yard