Tuesday, December 23, 2008


I didn't feel well today, and now I feel worse.

Mark Teixeira has agreed to an eight year $180 M contract with the New York Yankees. The Yanks have signed the top three free agents on the market (Tex, CC Sabathia, and AJ Burnet) for a grand total of $423.5 M. The now have the four highest paid players in the majors (Tex, CC, A-Rod, and Jeter). It's a fine deal - just about right on the money actually - though the Orioles apparently didn't budge from their first offer of 7/$140 M (even if they claimed that they were flexible). Teixeira is from Maryland, but his favorite player was Don Mattingley (he wears Donny Baseball's number) and so it's not a very surprising outcome. The Red Sox looked like the favorites for a while, but New York came in at the last minute with a higher offer (by $12 M).

My first reaction was "I'm done with baseball." The real test will be how long the Rays can stay competitive. They are very smart and have a lot of talent, but are extremely limited financially. If they can't keep up with Evil Empire and Evil Empire Jr. for more than a couple of years every decade then clearly the system is very broken (as opposed to just kind of broken, which it is right now at a minimum - the Yankees' payroll may be bigger than the four lowest teams combined). That the Orioles can't compete shouldn't really be blamed on money as much as being a very poorly run team.

Still, it's pretty depressing. The chances of Brian Roberts signing an extension now (for less than market value if not over) have gone down, and Nick Markakis' willingness to go through arbitration and then test the market has likely gone up. The O's were afraid to spend an extra million bucks on Daniel Cabrera and now he'll pitch 180 below potential-level innings for the Nat's for under $3 M. They're targeting Mark Hendrickson, Tim Redding, and maybe Brandon Looper if even he is willing to come here. Will there be any position players left other than Adam Jones and Matt Wieters by the time the Big Three (Chris Tillman, Brian Matusz, Jake Arrieta) are ready?

Also of note: it's entirely possible that the Yankees may spend more per player in 2009 (say, $230 M payroll divided by 25 players) than the Orioles will pay to any player at all. That's sick. And it's not good fro baseball, even if other teams still technically have a chance.

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