Brian Cashman has a reputation for being a ninja when it comes to negotiations and when it came to Mark Teixeira that’s exactly how it worked out as the Yankees GM swooped in at the last second with a big money offer to land the slugger. Has he lived up to that reputation?
EXPECTATIONS: Teixeira had a monster year his first time around in Pinstripes, but took a slight step back in 2010 as his OPS dropped from .948 in ’09 to .846 in ’10. Considering he is playing on a $180 million contract it is safe to say that Yankees fans hoped he would go back to his pre-2010 form.
REGRESSION: Instead of getting better in 2011, Teixeira regressed. His OPS+ of 117 was the lowest it has been since his rookie year and his OBP reached a pedestrian .341. For the second year in a row, he had his worst offensive year since he was 23.
LEFTY/RIGHTY SPLITS: What good is a switch hitter if he can’t switch hit? Teixeira hit a healthy .967 OPS from the right side, but had a lowly .773 OPS as a lefty. That’s a bigger problem considering he twice as many at bats hitting lefty.
MR. APRIL: One thing Teixeira did well this year, for a chance, was hitting in April. This season he had a .388 OBP and a .907 OPS during the first month of the year.
TOO MUCH TOO SOON: Perhaps it was a bad omen that he had a strong April because he cooled off after that. After the All-Star break Tex had a .326 OBP and a .790 OPS. Not what you would expect from the Yankees no. 3 hitter.
POSTSEASON STRUGGLES CONTINUE: Once again he came up short in the playoffs. Having now appeared in 27 games, he has an overall .276 OBP and a .578 OPS in the playoffs.
VERDICT: Considering he earned $22.5 million in 2011 and hit primarily out of the no. 3 spot in the Yankees order it is hard to consider Teixeira’s 2011 season as anything but bad. Factor in his continued postseason failures and many fans could even label it a disaster.
GOING FORWARD: Teixeira still has five years and $112.5 million left on his contract. If he doesn’t re-learn his stroke from the left side of the plate, it’s going to be a long five years. This most recent postseason failure he going to sour some fans on him and if he doesn’t fix that trend he could lose a lot more. The 2012 theme for Teixeira will have to be – improve!