Saturday, February 6, 2016

Mark Teixeira & the History Behind a 37-Year Old Receiving a Qualifying Offer

The New York Yankees and their fans were chomping at the bits waiting for the likes of Alex Rodriguez, CC Sabathia, Carlos Beltran and Mark Teixeira’s contract to come off the books after the 2016 and 2017 seasons and watch the youth come rolling in. New York has a nice farm system now and can fill in those gaps with their own for once as Aaron Judge seems ready to take over in right field and Greg Bird seems ready to take over at first base, well he was ready before his shoulder surgery this week. Now the Yankees are faced with the option of either going out on the free agent market and signing a one-year deal with the devil they don’t know or re-signing and/or offering Mark Teixeira a qualifying offer to keep the devil that they do know.

How attractive could a 37-year old oft-injured first baseman be as he enters free agency for one of the last time presumably in his career? Well there have only been two cases of a 37-year old player being offered a qualifying offer and one player re-signed before accepting or declining it and the other went elsewhere at the expense of a draft pick. David Ortiz was offered a qualifying offer in 2012 at age 37 before eventually re-signing with the team avoiding the whole process while the other player was Carlos Beltran formerly of the St. Louis Cardinals. We all know how that story ended with Beltran signing a three-year deal with the club back before the 2014 season.

It’s quite possible in a weak free agent market that Teixeira could receive a few suitors for his services, at least for his defense in a worst case scenario, giving the Yankees a bit of competition for their first baseman since the 2009 season. The qualifying offer is expected to be worth around $17 million in 2017 if the new collective bargaining agreement is not in place before the qualifying offer process begins, it expires on December 1st of this year, so no one really knows what the future holds in that department. One thing is for certain though the Yankees face more uncertainty heading into the next season than they thought they would. 

The second question facing the Yankees is whether Teixeira would accept the qualifying offer or not. Teixeira has been here since the 2009 season and seems comfortable playing in the Big Apple. Teixeira has a business and charity contracts in New York so you would think he would accept it and stay where he has spent the last eight seasons rather than up and moving him and his family once again before he retires. These are all questions and not nearly enough answers though so I guess we'll all just have to stay tuned. 

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Sorry for the Capatcha... Blame the Russians :)