2009 Offseason: Signing Teixeira means trading Youkilis

Another article out today, telling Red Sox Nation not to be surprised by a Mark Teixeira signing. As free agency is open for bidding today, it will be interesting to see what kind of offers are made to the top young hitter in this year’s free agent class. Would he provide an upgrade to this lineup? Most certainly. But at what cost?

Let’s get something straight: With Kevin Youkilis and Mike Lowell in the infield already, there is no room for Big Tex. Signing him means moving one of the other players. And since Lowell’s older, has a much bigger contract and is coming off hip surgery, HE IS NOT TRADEABLE! Epstein likes to say that he’ll do a move if he gets fair value back. No team will give him that for Lowell right now.

Youkilis, on the other hand, would draw a lot of interest from teams such as the Angels, Mariners and even the Yankees. He’s the guy who would be in demand, should we outbid several other teams to sign Tex.

I am aware that some have suggested a move of Youkilis to left field, shuffling Jason Bay to right and J.D. Drew into center field. Ain’t happening. If Drew was capable of playing a good center field, he would have been moved there long ago, whether by us or some other team; it’s just much harder to find someone who can cover all that ground AND hit. The Yankees have filled their outfield for years with good-hitting players who can’t defend their positions well, and it has cost them. Epstein will not make the same mistake. Look at how he has built the team to be built around athleticism, pitching and defense since he arrived.

No, taking on a long-term deal for $20M a year in order to upgrade from Youkilis at first to Teixeira, plus doing all that other stuff, is just not worth it. You’d improve the run production at first, but could hurt team defense by just as much. That means pretty close to a wash in terms of extra wins.


14 Responses to 2009 Offseason: Signing Teixeira means trading Youkilis

  1. Frank says:

    I’d have to disagree, I see no problem bringing in Teixeira to obviously play first, shift Youkilis over to 3rd, and give Lowell some at bats during Spring Training to up his trade value. Don’t get me wrong I absolutely love Lowell and everything he has done, on the other hand if you don’t move now, you run the risk of him not being able to go next year, moving Lowrie to 3rd and having to play Lugo, because all the free agents are gone, thats just not an option, not to mention Teixiera gives us probably 8-10 years of service whereas Lowell provides us with 2 more years, if his health obliges!!

  2. Randy says:

    I have to agree with the first response here.. your theory hinges on Lowell as being untradeable, which I am not so sure of. I agree with papi, we need another slugger if we are going to compete in the AL East next year. Can we wait 2 years for Lars Anderson?

    I imagine Theo would like to keep Tex out of the yanks hands, too. They are ready to break out the wallet and they are not gunning for 3rd place.

  3. Randy says:

    Great blog btw! I recently found it and I check every day.

  4. Pat says:

    I don’t think it makes sense to sign Teixeira. Although reading your post made me think that signing Mark could be big to free up a corner infielder for a trade. If we could get a good player in trading Youkilis, that would change how I view the whole ordeal. Still, I don’t want to do this.

    Is upgrading the offense really that important? Replacing Varitek’s bat in the lineup with even league average hitting would do wonders for us. I don’t think we need a drastic upgrade on the field otherwise.

    And I too question if Lowell is ‘Not tradeable’

  5. redsoxtalk says:

    Hey, thanks for reading and getting the discussion going here.. Here’s why I don’t think Mike Lowell can be traded this offseason.

    Lowell is estimated to be able to play at the beginning of Spring Training, but even that is not guaranteed. Teams just can not wait until then to plug their hole at third base, so they will pursue other options.

    Even if he can prove himself fully healthy by the end of March, teams would only be really interested if they suffer a major injury at third base.

    Lowell’s contract is $12M/year, which is burdensome for all but the large market clubs. That means the Sox might have to eat some of that salary. So add $5M to whatever Teixeira gets for the next two years of his 6-year deal (With the Yankees bidding, it could be over $20M/year). If you sign Tex first, Boston will be dealing from surplus and teams will lowball them. Lowell will be 34 years old, so the Sox will not get much for him beyond maybe a reliever or a second-tier prospect.

    Epstein absolutely loves Tex as a player, but the Sox are too conservative to pull this trigger, IMHO.

  6. redsoxtalk says:

    And even if Lowell isn’t ready for Opening Day, he will almost certainly be back by May. He shouldn’t miss a whole year recovering from this.

  7. Frank says:

    Even if Lowell comes back healthy, I still see the problem of not having that hitter to protect Ortiz. Pedroia, Youk, Drew, and Lowell, just don’t strike “power” fear into opposing pitchers, the way Manny did. Now Teixiera will be able to do that, I see it as unlikely that we’ll pull the trigger on this one, but it does make me salivate at the potential lineup of: Ellsbury, Pedroia, Ortiz, Teixiera, Youkilis, Drew, Bay, Varitek (or replacement), Lowrie!!

  8. JD says:

    I disagree with everything said here. Signing Texiera doesnt mean we move Youkilis at all. If you have to keep Lowell and deal him at the deadline theres nothing wrong with that, Theo loves depth. The fans want Texiera, and even Papi wants texiera you have to get him sox. Especially after the Yankees sign CC, Burnett, and Derek Lowe.

  9. redsoxtalk says:

    So you are advocating making a $12M third baseman ride the bench? Theo loves depth, but that would be ridiculous from ownership’s perspective, plus what makes you think Lowell would settle for a reserve role?

    It’s not simply a matter of what the fans want, if it screws up the payroll for the next 6 years. Signing Tex could mean not being able to re-sign other players like Beckett, Papelbon, or Pedroia when they become eligible for free agency.

    Let the Yankees spend their money; it will help them to be very good for a few years, then they’ll be back where they were two years ago, with aging players and albatross contracts.

  10. Randy says:

    Projo offers some interesting news and mentions an alternative to trading Youk:


  11. redsoxtalk says:

    Hi Randy, I saw that article, but my guess is that the Yankees are not out on Tex yet. Please see my article on the Swisher trade at:

    The Phillies could definitely use an upgrade at third, but they will want to see Lowell healthy before any deal can be made. My guess is that they’d like to cover their bases, so to speak, before then. If it happens, that’s fine with me. I’m not against getting Teixeira, I just think it’ll be too expensive and too hard to move Lowell.

  12. THEO says:

    After the disaster of not aquiring Teixeria this bit of news has come to light.

    Rumor per the globe is the extension talks between sox and Youk are off for the remainder of this off season……

    Let me guess Theo tried to get Youk to sign up for Pedrioa money and he pissed in Theo’s wheaties.

    I just hope the arbitratior grants Youk $10 million. That should make mgmt think about things.

    Not to mention I am tired of the way this organization goes about business. Offer a contract like that to Teixeira a player not on your team, and not get a worthy extension done for Kevin Youkilis ??

    What the hell is going on at Yawkey Way ??

  13. THEO says:

    BTW owner of this blog I finally found common ground with your posting(s) and agree with you on the Mike Lowell drama.

    Folks he has NO VALUE. ZERO at this point. Truth be told he will be 35 for opening day 2009 and coming off of hip surgery in which rehab is minimum 4 months.

    A “smart” General Manager would be mad or miffed at his owner over these past days after John Henry’s email to the AP.

    The sox should have aquired Mark Teixeira and traded Kevin Youkilis to the Padres for Jake Peavey.

    That would have been a win win for both organizations.

    But what do I know, I’m just a dub who blogs.

  14. redsoxtalk says:

    THEO, good to see you back here. We don’t always see eye to eye, but I do appreciate you bringing another viewpoint to the table. My name is Donald, BTW (so you don’t have to refer to me as “owner of this blog” anymore).

    It’d have been nice to get Youk signed long-term, but given his breakout year (and the fact that they just tried to replace him at first), it was probably hard to get him give much of a discount. The Sox brass are cheap and won’t pay more than they have to.

    They’ll get him for 2009 at about $7M, I’m guessing. I’m okay with the Sox letting him have another one-year deal (as long as he isn’t ticked off); either he regresses to the mean and they can get him cheaper next offseason, or he does great and they are more certain about any extension they sign him to.

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