Mark Teixeira #25 of the New York Yankees celebrates with Alex Rodriguez #13 and Brett Gardner #11 after hitting a three run home run against the Houston Astros in the seventh inning during their game at Yankee Stadium on April 7, 2016 in New York City.
By Joe Giglio
David Ortiz has be a thorn in the Yankees‘ side for years. As the Red Sox prepare for his departure and filling the shoes of one of the best designated hitters in baseball history, Ortiz’s replacement may hurt New York in more than one way.
When the season ends, the Red Sox could look to the free-agent market to sign a DH-type. At the end of 2016, Yankees first baseman (and probable future DH) Mark Teixeira will be available.
Already, the dots are being connected in Boston. Per Nick Cafardo of The Boston Globe in this week’s Sunday Notes column:
Another potential replacement for Ortiz is Yankees first baseman Mark Teixeira, a free agent after this season. But scouts are concerned that Teixeira, who turns 36 on Monday, could break down and miss time with injuries.
Said one AL special adviser, “Don’t know if he can handle the DH role but he can still play first base. He’s a guy you have to look at and see how he responds this year. If he responds with the type of year he had in 2015, he’ll draw a good amount of interest [in free agency].”
The column centered on Toronto’s Jose Bautista and Edwin Encarnacion (also both pending free agents next winter) as likely Ortiz replacements, but Teixeira makes sense for the Red Sox—and might not be back with the Yankees, even if he doeswant to play five or six more years.
With Greg Bird in the system, a replacement could be ready in New York. Add in the team trying to lower payroll—likely for a big trip into free agency in a few years—and Teixeira could hit the market.
If he does, a team with a gaping hole for power (and one that was interested in him when the Yankees originally landed the first baseman after the 2008 season) could be lurking to impact baseball’s best rivalry.