You know, I wasn’t going to write about this. I wasn’t going to give it any credibility – not, of course, that me writing about anything makes it credible. But it keeps popping up, it keeps bothering me, and even though I’m in the middle of writing about how awesome Chad Billingsley is, I have to put my two cents in here.
Via the always entertaining mlbtraderumors.com, we have this article by Dallas Morning News “columnist” Evan Grant detailing the possible trade destinations for Rangers 1B Mark Teixeira. Okay, so far, no problem – when your team is as lousy as the Rangers are, and Cowboys camp hasn’t gotten going yet, you’ve got to write about something. I get it. And I’m used to the Dodgers popping up in all of these fanciful rumors because of how stacked LA’s farm system is. But, this is just too much.
The Dodgers also remain interested in a Teixeira-centric package, the source said. The Dodgers would likely have to part with first baseman James Loney, an outfielder such as Andre Ethier and a minor league pitcher to pull of such a deal. The Rangers love Highland Park lefty Clayton Kershaw, but it’s not certain the Dodgers would include a prospect of his caliber as a third player.
Wow. Why stop there, Evan? Why not throw in Matt Kemp, too? Why not just go into the Hall of Fame and chisel the LA off Sandy Koufax’ bust and replace it with a T?
Look, I don’t want to come off like I don’t like Mark Teixeira or think he’s a bad player – though I’m already sick of trying to spell “Teixeira” correctly. Obviously, the man’s an offensive force. He only turned 27 in April, so he’s just entering his prime, yet he’s already put up some completely disgusting seasons. His average season to this point is 36 HR/117 RBI with a .903 OPS. Not to mention, he’s the two-time defending Gold Glove winner at 1B in the AL. His comparables at his age and position include Mark McGwire, Jeff Bagwell, and Willie McCovey. He’s good. He’s real good. You’d love to have a player like that on your team.
But see, there’s two really really big problems with this. Lindsay Lohan and blow-sized problems. (What. Too soon?)
#1 is, of course, the fact that Teixeira has signed a deal with the Devil. No, really. He’s part of Scott Boras’ stable. He’s literally signed a deal with Beezlebub. And if you know anything about baseball and Scott Boras’ role in it, you know that Boras will never, ever allow his players to sign with their team before hitting the open market. It just does not happen. So any team going after Teixeira has to know that they get him for the remainder of this year and then next, and he walks. Sure, you could resign him, but a player like that on the open market, and on the right side of 30, is pulling down $100 million easy. Not to mention, he’s a Maryland native and has made no secret of his dream to play in Baltimore.
#2 is, and everyone outside of LA seems to have missed this part, so I’m going to put it in big bold letters, THE DODGERS DON’T NEED A FIRST BASEMAN. Remember that kid they called up from AAA? Lone-something? Hitting .362 with a .966 OPS and the best glove this franchise has seen at 1B since the glory days of Wes Parker 35 years ago? Even better, just turned 23 and makes the minimum for the next few years? Has done absolutely nothing to indicate that he’s not going to be the real deal? Yeah. That guy’s good. I like him.
But outside of Dodgerland, the people who supposedly “know” say, “well, the Dodgers have no power! And some kid playing first! They need Teixeira!” Well, if you’ve paid any attention to the Dodgers at all over the last month, you’d have noticed that the offense has been raking (over roughly the same time since Loney and Kemp got increased playing time – but that’s just a coincidence, I’m sure) and the pitching has been in big, big trouble.
So back to Evan – let me get this straight. The Dodgers – who have been killing the ball but are rocking a pen that includes DJ Houlton, Eric Stults/Hull, Roberto Hernandez, and Rudy “uh-oh, the clock just struck midnight for Cindarella” simultaneously – should trade their killer young first baseman, a quality young starting outfielder, and one of the best pitching prospects in all of baseball, just to get a short-term upgrade at 1B and be completely screwed there for the future?
That’s like saying, “I have a 2005 Maserati and a beat-up 1987 Toyota Corolla. Obviously, my biggest concern is upgrading to a better Maserati – no matter that it’ll cost me a fortune to break the lease, and that the kids rely on the Toyota to get to school.”