When the New York Yankees signed Mark Teixeira, they expected him to be a superstar for years to come. After all, he was 28, in the prime of his career, and the team was paying him a lot of money — $180 million over eight years. In 2009, his first season with the Yankees, he led the American League in home runs and RBIs and finished second in the AL Most Valuable Player award to Joe Mauer of the Minnesota Twins. While he didn’t have a great postseason, with the exception of a walk off homer in the playoffs, the Yankees did win the World Series that year, and he was one of the reasons they got there.
Teixeira not as great as expected
However, after Teixeira had such a remarkable first season with the Yankees, his numbers have deteriorated each year; he no longer hits for average. Some have even derisively compared him to a better-fielding Jason Giambi, his predecessor at first base with the Yanks, whose batting average declined after becoming a Yankee.
One of the reasons Teixeira’s numbers have deteriorated is the so-called “Teixeira shift,” in which defensive players on the opposing team change their defense for him. As for the 2012 season, Teixeira, a notoriously slow starter, not only got off to a horrendous April and May, but he was battling a bronchial infection for most of the season. His not hitting well has contributed to the Yankees getting off to a slow start in 2012.
Should you dump Teixeira?
So, if you have Teixeira on your fantasy baseball team, you may be wondering whether to keep him or dump him. Don’t drop him just yet. Keep in mind that in the first half of MLB season, he has a .268 average for his career. However, as previously noted, his overall numbers have gone down since 2009. Since 2011, he has been hitting just .240 when the ball is in play, and he is now currently ranked among the middle of the pack of first baseman instead of being among the best.
Perhaps, after taking some time off to get healthy, he may be getting his groove back. That being said, it is understandable why people who have Teixeira on their fantasy baseball team may be getting frustrated at this point, the way Yankees fans are. Unfortunately, the thing that he has been most consistent on – his Gold Glove caliber defense – is not something that matters for most fantasy leagues.
His future is unclear
Whether he will recover his career is a bit of a mystery – he is still only 32 years old, but even professional sportswriters are wondering if his career is in permanent decline. We will know better by the All-Star Break if Teixeira has turned it around. At any rate, he is one of the players you should not cut from your fantasy team, but you may want to bench him now until he improves.