I have been rather quiet lately about the offseason, but with the Mark Teixeira signing today in New York, I think it is time for me to pipe up.
During the month of December, the New York Yankees and Brian Cashman have agressively been pushing their free agent dollars towards signing the top talent to fill the voids from their 2008 team. I have to admit that I am now very impressed that they have Teixeira. Starting over the summer, I saw the Yankees and also the Mets being big players for the slugger and when the Mets decided to stick with Carlos Delgado after a hot second half, the Yankees were the logical destination for Teixeira. When I heard that the Yankees were not all that interested in him up until today, I have been very critical of their signings of Sabathia and Burnett as it was their offense that really needed that extra bat to push it into a playoff picture again. They get that with Teixeira. The possibility for Manny Ramirez is probably closed now as well, which also makes sense for a franchise with 5 solid major league outfielders on its current 40-man roster.
Teixeira receives top-5 money with this deal, though I will argue that he will never be a top-5 player. Teixeira is a fantastic #3 hitter and his ability to get on base and get into scoring position will absolutely give Alex Rodriguez some incredible RBI opportunities. I love that 3-4 combo, it may be the best that Major League Baseball has to offer in the present, with respect to Braun/Fielder.
With the rest of the month, I expect that the Yankees are still not done. They should be looking for another starting pitcher and potentially be shopping around for a reliever and some assistance on the bench. Now that Teixeira has signed, the true market will determine itself and the bargains should start showing up. The market for Manny Ramirez should be back down to just the Dodgers, as the Angels and Yankees seem to be out. I expect the Mets to make a late run. If the Braves could put the personality aside, he makes a ton of sense in Atlanta. I expect January headlines to belong to the Braves, much like the December headlines went to the Yankees.