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Posts Tagged ‘Adam Vinatieri’

In response to yesterday’s post, Saul commented:

The thing about Teixeira, though, is that he’s not a great fielder, which is why he’s been stuck at first. He’s by no means bad, but he doesn’t have the range you need for a third baseman. I think your best bet, if you sign him, is to keep Youk at third while Lowell works his way back – although that doesn’t make sense for one reason: to do either what you suggest or what I suggest, you’re going to have bench either Youk or Teixeira with some regularity, unless you make Youk a shortstop or something, which i don’t see. And you can’t sit either of those guys, not even for Lowell’s D. So if you sign Tex, as I see it, you basically tell Lowell that you’re done with him, because he just doesn’t fit on a roster with Youk and Tex in front of him.

He’s right, and it presents an interesting dilemma.  I think it’s safe to say that Theo will be looking into the possibility of landing Teixeira.  Who wouldn’t? In 2008, he batted .308 with 33 home runs, 121 RBIs, a .410 OBP, and a .552 slugging percentage.  And as a first baseman, he’s a great fielder, posting a .997 fielding percentage for this past season.  Now, this is where we run into trouble.  Teixeira’s only Major League experience at third base was fifteen games in 2003, and for those fifteen games he posted a fielding percentage of .811.  Granted, that’s only fifteen games, and perhaps if he’d played more that statistic would’ve been able to rise, but you also have to consider that maybe there was a reason why he didn’t play more.  When Saul says that you need range to cover third base, he’s absolutely correct.  It’s a very demanding position, and it’s one that requires a lot of dexterity.  Which is what led me in the first place to thinking about what would happen if we signed Teixeira.  Mikey Lowell’s injury turned out to be more serious than anyone thought.  It was so serious that he was taken off the ALCS roster so that he could have surgery.  That’s all well and good until you consider that he’s 34 years old, so even after the surgery there’s no guarantee he’ll be comparable to what he was in 2007.  And if we intend to keep Varitek, we’ll need all the offense we can get.

So we’re going to need someone who can be counted on to start regularly at third and who has quality offense and defense.  For most of this past season that was Youk with Casey and then Kotsay at first.  So, if we consider Saul’s suggestion of signing Teixeira and putting him at first, we commit to putting Youk at third permanently.  But where does that leave Lowell? Contractually, we have him through 2010, but if we’re successful in signing Teixeira what will that mean for Lowell? It’s a question with no easy answer.  But here’s what I’m thinking.

We’re not the Yankees.  We don’t kick one of our own to the curb on a whim, we don’t consider players to be interchangeable, we don’t staff our team with new superstars every season, and we don’t do anything unless it’s for the long-term good of the club as a whole.  Lowell has already done more than he was ever expected to do; after all, the only reason why he ended up with us was Josh Beckett.  The Marlins refused to trade us Josh Beckett unless they could use that deal to unload Lowell.  Turns out they had no idea who they were parting with; Lowell, of course, turned out to be the 2007 World Series MVP.  But here’s the thing.  He’s aging, he’s injured, and he only has two years left in his contract.  It’s unlikely that we’ll re-sign him after those two years are up, but by that time Teixeira will already be in the middle of another contract.  However, if we sign Teixeira now, he can find a place for himself on the team, the new clubhouse chemistry will have a chance to form, and he’d be able to stay with us for many season to come.

Mikey Lowell is one of my favorite players on the team, no question.  His attitude is great, on and off the field.  He’s one hundred percent Boston dirt dog.  His offense is great, and his defense is outstanding.  But if I had to put myself in Theo’s shoes, if the opportunity to sign Teixeira arose I’d take it, and as difficult as it would be (and it would be extraordinarily difficult), I think ultimately I’d have to let Lowell find a home on a team where he’d be able to share playing time with an up-and-coming third baseman.  That would give him the extra rest he’d need while letting him remain in that primary starter role.

In other news, Sean Casey, Alex Cora, Bartolo Colon, and David Ross have filed.  Of those four, Sean Casey and Alex Cora are obviously the top priorities, and I’d say re-signing them would be a good idea.  The Pats couldn’t hold up against the Colts and lost last night, 18-15.  Adam Vinatieri kicked the winning field goal; oh, the irony.  On Saturday, the Bruins blew the Dallas Stars out of the water with a final score of 5-1.  They’ll play again at home against the Leafs on Thursday.

Moving Portrait

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