If you haven’t checked out this interview with Mark Teixeira by Dan Barbarisi of the Wall Street Journal, you should. After all, how often is it that you see a $200 million dollar ballplayer who is on the decline say something like this…
“I have no problem with anybody in New York, any fan, saying you’re overpaid. Because I am,” Teixeira said. “We all are.”
“Agents are probably going to hate me for saying it,” he continued. “You’re not very valuable when you’re making $20 million. When you’re Mike Trout, making the minimum, you are crazy valuable. My first six years, before I was a free agent, I was very valuable. But there’s nothing you can do that can justify a $20 million contract.”
Aside from the 2009 season when he delivered an MVP season (.292/.383/.565, 39 HR, 122 RBI) during his first season in New York, Teixeira, hasn’t come close to justifying the eight-year, $180 million contract he agreed to with Yankees.
“Maybe I’m slowing down a tick. Look, I’m not going to play forever. Eventually you start, I don’t want to say declining, but it gets harder and harder to put up 30 and 100. I’d love to get back to the player that I’ve always been, but if I hit .250, .260, instead of .280, so be it.”
Teixeira is still owed $90 million through 2016, $22.5M annually, and lets face it, he’s been steadily declining for three straight seasons. In 2012, Tex connected for just 27 home runs, the lowest season total in his career, and the aches and pains are becoming more and more frequent.
Check out the full article and interview by Barbarisi, because it’s not everyday you’ll see a high-priced ballplayer come to grips with himself and be open enough to admit he is in decline and grossly overpaid.
I’m almost certain that the Players Association and agents everywhere were none to pleased after reading some of these comments. There must be a lot of grimacing and squirming going on this morning.
That said, kudos to Tex for pretty much telling it like it is. Regardless of everything else, I give him extra points for his integrity on this. He was brutally honest and it was refreshing to say the least.