Teixeira admits to being overpaid.


Mark Teixeira says he is “overpaid.”


Usually when athletes talk about their contracts, they are complaining about how small it is, but, apparently, Mark Teixeira is not one of those athletes. In an interview with The Wall Street Journal, he stated that he is overpaid and “on the backside of [his] career.” Talk about honesty.

A week following a Yankee player who has a hard time with the truth, it is nice to hear the brutal honesty from Teixeira. It is this type of honesty about big contracts that is refreshing to hear. Players decline as they get older, and Teixeira, who turns 33 in April, is clearly aware of that and wants to address it on his own terms. He understands his abilities and limitations are different from his earlier days, the days that gave him the big pay-day. So, coming to grips with reality will only help an aging star, such as Teixeira, deal with not putting up the numbers he is accustomed to.

However, by no means is Teixeira a bum. Although he had a down year at the plate (only 24 home-runs and slugged a career low .475), he was the fourth best fielding first-baseman, according to the Baseball Prospectus metric FRAA (Fielding Runs Above Average), with an 8.1. Compare him to every defensive player in the league, and that 8.1 ranked twenty-eighth in all of baseball. So, even though his hitting was inconsistent, it did not affect his defense, which was stellar all season. Also, his WAR (Wins Above Replacement) was 3.6, which ranked sixth amongst all first-baseman. Not too shabby, either.

With that said, is Teixeira worth the $90 million the Yankees owe him through 2016? No, but he understands that:

“I looked at the first six or seven years of my career, I was in my 20s, it was easy. I wasn’t searching for the right formula. To think that I’m going to get remarkably better, as I get older and breaking down a little bit more, it’s not going to happen.”

I applaud Teixiera for saying what he said. Few athletes would have the same courage to admit they are aging and are not worth their contract anymore.

In the words of Pepper Brooks, “It’s a bold strategy, Cotton. Let’s see if it pays for ‘em.” I have a hunch that it will.

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  • bcapozzi

    While I respect the hell out of Teixeira, the onus is on him as a ballplayer. He has resources available to adjust his swing so that teams aren’t shifting on him as much. Of course skills slowly deteriorate over time, but Tex is a smart man… he can easily make adjustments that could make him worth the money he is being paid.

  • Squints Palledorous

    To me the most interesting part of his interview wasn’t the admission of being overpaid, but rather just how firm a grasp of baseball economics he has.

    For the life of me I do NOT understand why people try to view what they make in the context of what your average person makes.

    This is a multi-billion dollar industry and the players are the driving force behind that kind of economic firepower.

    If anyone thinks for one minute that if they suddenly declared that they would play for minimum wage and ticket prices would suddenly plummet then they are delusional.

    The only difference between now and the “golden years” is that the revenue is split more equitably.

    Furthermore, because of the way the system is set up the first six years a player is in the league (3 initial years at set salary then three arbitration years) your typical player, let alone an All-Star like Mike Trout is grossly underpaid (in the context of baseball).

    Once a player hits free agency everyone on Earth knows they are going to be overpaid, but this does little more than offset how the team got over by paying bottom dollar for top shelf services the first half of someone’s career.

    Teix’s statements show he is well aware of that fact.

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