How Teix’s Hold ‘Em Impacts The Phillies

Posted by Tim Malcolm, Sun, December 21, 2008 02:50 PM | Comments: 94

Mark Teixiera is trying to break the bank.

The Scott Boras client — or, Boras himself — is seeking an eight-year, $195 million deal. The players seeking Teixiera (Red Sox, Yankees, Angels, Orioles, Nationals) are willing to go deep for the heavy-slugging first baseman, with the Nats even thinking about a 10-year, $200M contract. Yes, that’s right, 10 years, $200 million.

Let’s look at Teixiera’s career:

904 G / 203 HR / 676 RBI / .290 AVG / .378 OBP / .541 SLG

He’s 28 years old and will be going into his seventh season in the majors, just about at his peak. Meanwhile, the Phillies’ 29-year-old first baseman, Ryan Howard, has a career line that’s not as wealthy as Teixiera’s, since he’s played one fewer season (and 350+ fewer games). But it’s still worthy:

572 G / 177 HR / 499 RBI / .279 AVG / .380 OBP / .590 SLG

I think we can argue pretty easily that Howard’s career has been more impressive. And with that, we all have to wonder: What will No. 6 look to earn once he becomes a free agent — or, heck, what does he look to earn right now?

Teixiera wants $25M per year in 2009; when Howard becomes a free agent in 2011, it’s not out of the question that he’d want maybe $35M per year. Seriously (and I’m fully aware of the economic disaster we’re experiencing in this country). But if the Phils wanted to sign Howard to a long-term deal today, it would have to be at least six years. And the total price would be at least $150M. In 2010, with another fine campaign under his belt, Howard might want six years and $180M.

The Red Sox, Yankees and Angels are annual dabblers in the high-priced contract sweepstakes. Just this offseason, the Yanks tied up CC Sabathia and AJ Burnett together for $40 million per year. Add in the Cubs, Dodgers and Mets, and you have a six-pack of big-paying franchises that seem to always contend.

And thus, lies the question: Where do the Phillies fit? Are they big spenders or givers? Will they think about handing Howard $25M per year starting now? Or $35 million per year in 2011? Or will they settle to hand Howard $14M this year, and close to $20M in 2010, before bidding him farewell?

Mark Teixiera provides a neat microscope into which the rest of us can look. His current wrangling of the market is predicting a long, arduous winter between the Phillies and Ryan Howard. A winter that will end with an answer to the question: Can the Phillies be big market?

Avatar of Tim Malcolm

About Tim Malcolm

Tim Malcolm has written 1947 articles on Phillies Nation.

  • Posts: 0 Phil

    F*ck Scott Boras, seriously. He is ruining the game of baseball. When players only care about making money and not playing the game it becomes ridiculous. He is one of the reasons players make so much. He overhypes them then shops them to the big market clubs, then the other big market clubs get in on the bidding so the other team doesn’t land him and the bidding war goes up. In Teixera’s case it’s odd. 2 small market teams are bidding on him, and I have no idea why, but they are driving up the price for big market teams. It is ridiculous and ruins the integrity of the game. Players don’t care about winning anymore, they just care about making the big bucks, ie Aaron Rowand.

  • Posts: 0 chris

    Offensivly they’re similar. Defensively speeking they are from different planets. Phillies won’t resign him they’ll make him a below market offer that they know will get outbid just to say they tried. I wouldn’t be suprised if the try trading him after this season. I think it all depends on Jason donalds progress and moving utley to first.

  • Posts: 0 psujoe

    Howard won’t be back after 2009 or 2010. He’s just going to be too expensive. Heck, I’d trade him for Youkilis and John Lester. Would the Red Sox even consider that?

  • Posts: 0 justin

    Boston would be stupid to make that trade but ill take in going into the 2010 season.

  • Posts: 0 David

    It is obvious that Howard has better power numbers on a per 162 game average. However, I still think Teixiera is the better first baseman. He gets on base at almost the same clip. He has been more consistent in his hitting. Howard has always, and probably will always get 40+ HR and 125+ RBI. However, his strikeout totals of 181, 199, 199 over the past three years and his declining BA from .313 to .268 to .251 over the same period, is alarming. Couple that with Teixiera’s superior defense, and I think he gets the slight nod over Howard. And although I hate what Boras means to baseball, I cant get mad at people for wanting to make more money. Who amongst us wouldnt take a different job if it paid us thousands more, let alone millions.

  • Posts: 0 Georgie

    You’re absolutely right Phil, I wonder who has the bigger ego, Boras or Teix? I’d like to think these athletes are just being led around by their noses by these greedy agents, but I don’t think they’re that stupid, so that makes guys like Teix and Manny just as self-absorbed and greedy as Boras. I wish they’d all get over themselves and realize how disgusting it is to most fans, and sign with someone already, man, I HATE this part of professional sports.

  • Posts: 0 Georgie

    David, not to start an argument, but there is a HUGE difference between someone making, say 50K/yr and changing jobs for an extra 10K, and someone making 15-20M/yr and going elsewhere for an extra couple mil! Holy cow, it’s like comparing apples and oranges.

  • Posts: 0 Justin

    I agree with Chris the two may have similar offensive numbers but if Teixeira gets a huge contract this offseason the Phillies will contend that Howard isn’t anywhere near the all around player Teixeira is so I can Howard getting around 6 and 160-180 but I don’t think anyone will offer Howard 8 years, unless they’re really starved for a 1st baseman/DH. I honestly would like to resign him to a 6 year deal right now to have him for 3 years after his arbitration rather than sign him for 6 years in 2011.

  • Posts: 0 Mark

    If Tex gets a huge deal, that automatically pushes Howards arbitration salary up. I still say we trade him before his contract is up.

  • Posts: 0 john of Albuquerque

    Ryan Howard is a great talent. But he and baseball itself, will be drastically and negatively affected by the upcoming economic disaster we are facing. People will resent these salaries like never before and simply spend their entertainment dollars on affordable products and events. Baseball, unfortunately, will run head first into a brick wall at high speed because of greed and a market that simply cannot keep up. It will get ugly. I hate to say this, but I do believe drastic changes are right around the corner. Boros and ARod will be the poster children of these hard times.

  • Posts: 0 Phillies Phan SC

    I have been critical of Howard, but I would pay him a similar contract to Tex. Boras is what is wrong with the game though. I watched the World Series in 1977 that I got cheap on Amazon, and the game was so different in the 1970s before Boras entered… I know he alone is not responsible, but he is one of the “greed” factors.

  • Posts: 0 chris

    boras is not the problem. The teams that are paying are the problems. Especially the ridiculous Yankees/red sox bidding wars when they bid on players they don’t want just to make the others pay.

  • Posts: 0 Jeff

    I like Ryan Howard, both as a hitter and as a personality. He has class. But it might be time to entertain offers for him. His defense is terrible and I’m not sure if he’ll have a long shelf life or break down early. His value is at it’s highest right now because he is under club control for two more years. That means the Phils would get close to what they would ask for him. The longer they wait, the less his value. Maybe they plan on signing him long term. That’s okay, but I think they have to decide that soon and then act accordingly.

  • Posts: 0 Justin

    Yea you cant really blame boras for knowing that teams will overpay for a player, all you need is one team with a need and another team to have interest and Boras will sit back and laugh because he knows he’s going to get a sweet commission. I hate boras as much as I hate drew rosenhaus but they both know how to work the market.

  • Posts: 0 chris

    I can’t hate boras. He’s good at his job. The point of a job is making money. If you can use something to your advantage to make more money then why wouldn’t you?

  • Posts: 0 NJ

    Boras is the George W Bush of baseball, you just wonder how he gets away with the sh*t he has…

  • Posts: 0 chris

    How is boras the same ad bush? Dumbest comment ever.

  • Posts: 0 Geoff

    Bush is a nobody who makes no decisions, the next fake president will be the same as this…they already are talking about how bad its going to be when they invade iran or pakistan and draft people again and raise new taxes to rob us blind while they pose as our saviours….

    anyways…boras needs to be blackballed like i said yesterday. manny lowe tex are all arrogantly refusing BIG offers that anyone would be crazy to turn down…i hope all three of those guys have to accept less money and then fire scott boras.

  • Posts: 0 Geoff

    the problem is that the yankees red sox and angels get desperate and overpay for these jerkoff players. heres a good way to solve this from the “overpaying for players” perspective that these three teams LOVE to take:

    angels – sign brian fuentes and adam dunn, sign randy johnson or trade for brett myers

    yankees: re-sign jason giambi or sign pat burrell

    red sox: DONT sign tex, they dont even need him!!! they have ortiz, youkilis, and lowell and they want more! sign kenshin kawakami or randy wolf or randy johnson

    that way you avoid boras clients lowe manny tex and oliver perez and force them to come crawling back to lesser spending teams after tehy fire scott boras

  • Posts: 0 chris

    Don’t blame the players either. The teams are the ones uping the ante on each other. The offseason is the same as regular season, teams are competitive on the field and owners are competitive off the field.

  • Posts: 0 Geoff

    so you cant blame the players or the agents, and its ALL the owners fault? i dont buy that…its ALL of their faults. nobody at either side of the table is exercising self control

  • Posts: 0 Justin

    And its almost impossible to disregard any of the clients of Boras because he has such a reputation with players coming into the draft he seems to sign at least half of the incoming 1st round amateur draft, then you get the players that change agents to be able to go to war and get the bigger contract. For everything we say about him he still get clients so he does everything his clients want. Don’t get me wrong i still hate him, but at the same time I’m happy we didn’t get JD Drew the year he came out we would have had 2 #1 picks that never reached full potential, Drew’s been on how many teams now?

  • Posts: 0 Geoff

    yeah its impossible to avoid him tahts for sure…but with his top 3 clients this year (lowe, manny, tex) these teams need to take him down a peg or else baseball will suffer. i dont blame the phillies for pulling away from lowe, they should focus on signable players and people who want to come play here, like raul ibanez.

    i wonder who we can get for chris coste?

  • Posts: 0 Evrybuddy Hits woohoo

    I’d like to see a salary cap or a legitimate revenue sharing plan. But it ain’t happening anytime soon. Escalating salaries and a long economic recession will bring it on eventually.

  • Posts: 0 Geoff

    yeah thats for sure…when people cant afford to go to your teams games then maybe the owners will realize that giving free agents too much money is a terrible ida…of course, theyll still be on the hook for all that money on those contracts.

    amaro gets credit for passing on lowe…

  • Posts: 0 Gavin

    Its the owners fault for the rising salaries. If they quit signing contracts, then it would stop at some point. I agree with the comments above that at some point the economy will naturally select some franchises that wont be able to pay their players what they owe them. Scott Boras is an absolute low-life, but all he does is ask for the $$ and then they give iot to him.

  • Posts: 0 NJ

    Looks like Boras has screwed himself and if the Angels are infact out he’ll have to go cap in hand to the Red Sox, surely he only likes the idea of Washington to drive the price up.

  • Posts: 0 chris

    The only way this problem will ever be solved is if the owners got together and made some kind of agreement but that will never happen because like I said before baseball is the most competitive sport on and off the field. All this will stop once we the fans stop buying tickets, buying merch, paying out the ass for beer and hotdogs. Thats the only way moneyball will end. So were to blame for believing that baseball is a sacred sport and players and agents are evil for taking money they know they’ll get. God bless them for taking advantage of people that take OUR hard earned money from billionairs to entertain us the fans.

  • Posts: 0 Matt Kwasiborski

    There is really nothing wrong with Boras doing his job. His job and his family’s livelihood is to get the best possible deal for his clients. And he devised a way to do it, he outworked his competition. He did it by creating those huge binders on statistics that no other agent had the vision or work ethic to create.

    And if the owners are willing to pay for that because they often don’t research the negative aspects of the player to counteract that binder, then what is wrong with that?

    And then there are two other factors that actually work in harmony with each other. They are the owners willing to pay and the players union who often and behind the scenes pressure their players to take the best money offer on the table. Both of these sides who are often opponents actually work together indirectly and agents take advantage of that. CC would have gotten a ton of crap from the union if he took a smaller offer to play on the West Coast, especially after the Yankees increased their offer by 20M. The out clause helped but the union would have been all over him if he took the lesser offer.

    Boras gets so much crap for what he does but honestly, if you were a budding baseball player which agent would you choose?

    And this is my take on the Phils. I really like the Ibanez deal but I do think we should have offered Manny 3 yr deal at market rate. I mean our core is in their prime and won’t be around forever. Why not go all in and sign Manny? And I don’t mean pay $100M for three years but be competitive. Did anyone see how he ranks with Ruth, Aaron, Mays, et al? That is sick.

  • Posts: 0 Geoff

    Boras actually told the nationals theyd have to pay EXTRA because they suck…i dont believe theyre a real contender either. basically, either they take less money and go to the orioles, or come crawling back to the red sox begging.

  • Posts: 0 psujoe

    I would love to see Boston reduce their offer now that the Angels are out of it, but they won’t. I think the Angels will bit the bullet and go after Manny now for a lot less years, but still huge dollars.

    I mentioned trading Howard to Boston for Youkilis and Lester. Would the Red Sox trade us Youkilis, Lester and some prospects for Howard and Myers? I really want to move Myers for something this year.

  • Posts: 0 Geoff

    I agree to an extent. Myers is so gone. And that makes his 12mm one year salary actually movable. The red sox are talking extension with youkilis, and i think its a bad idea to trade ryan howard before you have to.

    the problem is that howard/myers for lester/youkilis is the type of trade that will never even come close to happening. those players dont match up in value. if youre trading myers to the red sox youd be getting clay bucholz back, not lester. lester is untouchable basically.

    get the most out of him and then if youre not going to resign him then wait until his last year, at the trade deadline, and move him. yorue basically saying then that they have two more years to win another championship with ryan howard at the helm before going in a different direction.

    for now though, im ok with shopping myers. but its going to be hard to find someone who will give up a rotation piece for a more expensive rotation piece in myers. its doable but not easy by any stretch

  • Posts: 0 chris

    matt you basically made a more educated point of exactly what I was trying to say. Thank you, I went to frankford. I have terrible grammer and never learned to write but I do know how to formulate an opinion on my own aside from what’s the writers say and what these people believe like niave people believe as truth. Ps frankford never taught me spelling either!

  • Posts: 0 Matt Kwasiborski

    Chris- have a few beers before you post and you will be fine, at least, my best posts (can’t wait to see where Jeff Parret is ranked in the Top 100), came after some beers or wine.

    My post is a little anti-union, and being from Fishtown, that may mean ex-communication.

    Seriously though Boras is doing his job. If you were in his place, you would do the same thing. And even if you aren’t, you gotta do what is best for your customers and you, bottom line. And Boras simply outworked his competition or discoverd another strategy. He is a cold-hearted business person but hey, it is business, nothing personal.

  • Posts: 0 bigbobster

    What bothers me about the escalating salaries is this: how can any team other than Yanks, Mets and Sox keep a core group of all-stars for four years or more? It started to bother me 12 years ago when the Expos clearly had a talented team of young players, but couldn’t keep any of their stars…is that ownership being cheap or a business needing to overcharge its customers to pay for a better product? The Phils could be the exception, but I don’t see Howard getting 25 mil per year from this organization. A shame.

  • Posts: 0 clktwr

    Matt, you’re comments are only anti- Baseball union, cause a true union, you get paid the same no matter what you do, from hitting forty eight homeruns to guy who riding the bench then you have a true union, but that is the problem the Baseball Players Association, basicall yelled at CC for not taking the Yankees offer originally, and ever since A-Rod cried not to go Boston, the MLBPA as not been same.

    Now, the question is are the Phillies truly a “big-market” team, hmm let’s look at this, you sell out over half of your home games in one season, one of your owners sells his tobacco business and doesn’t reinvested into the club, the Phils are a “big-market” team with “small-market” owners, until these ownership is removed or bought out, the Phillies are the new Kansas City Athletics, meaning the teams that will spend will take are good players.

  • Posts: 0 clktwr

    Or the Major-League farm team

  • Posts: 0 psujoe

    Bigbobster, invest in younger prospects. the Phillies latin american scouting budget is terrible. baseball and Hockey teams have the good young players on the hook longer than football and basketball prior to FA. That’s the ticket. Take advantage of it!

    I don’t know the ins and outs of “signing out of your alloted slot”, but sounds like the big boys ignore this. Help me out here guys. Screw the big boys. Let’s do it also. Rules either govern everyone or no one.

    Geoff. Thanks for the post your logic makes sense.

  • Posts: 0 Jason B

    Tim.. Are you suggesting that any player could make 35 mil/yr?!? That’s absolutly ridiculous. I’m not one to cry over big money being given out to ball players or any pro athelete for that matter, but that is just crazy! Can you imagine what ticket prices would be if players start making those crazy amounts of money? For the sake of my season tickets, I hope the Phillies don’t go big market, if big market means spending 35 mill/yr for any player. Hell, I wouldn’t pay that for a cloned version of Babe Ruth!

  • Posts: 0 Bruce

    The Phillies ARE a big market city paying small market salaries. The right thing to do is to sign Howard and Hamels to long term contracts NOW while they are affordable.

  • Posts: 0 NJ

    Howard affordable, funny Bruce! The Phils are pretty competitive with the salary and are not paying small market salaries, the Phils are paying for mistakes which has put pressure on their ability to sign guys long-term.

    Howard is un-signable long-term, short of a deal around what Tex signs for he will test the market. Hamels is signable but this myth of guys being cheap because their young is completely wrong, their arbitration years may be relitavely cheap but a long-term deal means escolating salary in the later arb and FA years and a players agent will always want the high figure of a recent signing he projects his client at in those years. Hamels is signable long-term but it’s a tough deal to make.

  • Posts: 0 Chris L

    Based on market size, the Phils should be between the 6th and 10th highest salary.

    NYY, BOS, NYM, LAA, CHC and LAD biggest

    HOU, SF, CHW, PHI and TEX next

    STL, BAL, WAS, ATL and perhaps SD close behind

    Even with that being said, the last 15 of WS champs show that a majority of the roster needs to be made of of players brought up through your own system or at least traded for as prospects – even the Yankee teams that won in the 90s had a homegrown core (Jeter, Posada, Rivera, Williams, Pettite, etc) if the Phils invest in scouting and signing quality picks then get the right FA (sometimes big $ sometimes not) they will continue to thrive

  • Posts: 0 NJ

    nicely said Chris

  • Posts: 0 Don M

    I kinda disagree with the line “I think we can argue pretty easily that Howard’s career has been more impressive.” Howard has been a defensive nightmare in his career, while Tex is a 2 time Gold Glove winner..

    If they were both Free Agents right now, I strongly believe that Teixeira would be the one teams were going after, and Howard would be the consolation prize.

    Tex’s games break out to a 5.5 year career:
    He averages .290, 37 HRs, 123 RBIs
    Hits .309 vs LHP, .281 vs RHP

    Howard’s games break out to a 3.5 year career:
    He averages .279, 50 HR, 143 RBIs
    Hits .231 vs LHP, .304 vs RHP

  • Posts: 0 Chuck P

    I have been without a computer for three days and I’m going through withdrawal… I don’t know how I would make it through 8 hours on Christmas Monday without this website. These are all great posts… even drunken Frankford Chris makes great points. It’s great that this site is really about our opinions. Tim does a great job of creating the forum and I appreciate his efforts.

    I do think that the Union plays a huge part in all of this. Pressuring players to take bigger contracts to help their case for future contracts… it makes it very hard to blame the players. I don’t blame the owners because it’s their money at risk. I mean, if this downturn affects baseball and the Steinbrenners of the world are caught with a ridiculous mortgage on a new stadium and millions in luxury taxes (for going over the cap) then they could easily lose a fortune. There are no guarantees and they have a business plan. Like it or not, that’s their prerogative… baseball could do a better job of creating parity with a cap (like the NFL does) but I don’t know if that’s what we want. At the end of the season, you’ll likely always see the big market teams at the top of their divisions (over the course of a long season, purchased talent will win games) but there will always be playoff teams like Tampa and Philadelphia that have solid homegrown talent and hometown pride. Those David/Goliath battles are good for baseball… BOS/NY rivalries are also good for baseball. It stinks when we lose a player like Ryan Howard because we can’t afford the price tag… with talented agents (say what you want, Boras knows how to get his clients paid) and a union that discourages loyalty, it’s tough to imagine that will change. I wish that our owners were more aggressive sometimes but for this year we are the World Champions… living proof that even the sun shines on a dog’s ass occasionally.

  • Posts: 0 Ntech2k

    You don’t root for a baseball team anymore; you root for a patch and a payroll that may buy your brand some talent. We might just as well all play fantasy baseball … pick your guys and let the probabilities roll. There’s just as much excitement in that as trying to get behind a rotating band of highly-paid entertainers.

  • Posts: 0 Don M

    Just to get back on this one..

    Would anyone really rather have Ryan Howard than Mark Teixiera on the Phillies right now?

  • Posts: 0 Geoff

    not at the price that boras is asking…

  • Posts: 0 Chuck P

    Ryan Howard has finished in the top 2 in RBI, HR and HR/AB in the NL in his first full seasons… he is the best run producer in the NL… he strikes out and botches short hops… so what? We need a guy that can drive in runs and he does that. Tex is an all around great player but I would take rather see Howard’s name on the lineup card batting fourth. Three years from now, Howard may slow down (a la Cecil Fielder) but when he’s on, he’s capable of carrying a team… you can’t say that about a guy who hits for average, plays solid defense and hits 30 HR in a season.

  • Posts: 0 Ryan

    anybody who dumps that kind of money on Mark teixiera is a complete fool. that’ is just straight up insanity. that is definitely not the way to build a contender.

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