Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Would You Make This Deal?

Ken Rosenthal wrote an article offering a hypothetical trade idea where the Cardinals would trade Albert Pujols to the Yankees for Mark Teixeira. Its not a trade that's actually being talked about by the Yankees, just one that Rosenthal is suggesting. The basic situation is that Pujols wants a ton of money and the Cardinals are having a hard time working out an extension with him. The Yankees, who failed to do anything of real discernable value this off season, could look to make a big splash with this kind of deal. So would you trade Teixeira for Pujols?

I personally am not so sure. If I'm building a team there's no doubt I choose Pujols over Teixeira to play first. Especially considering Teixeira's three month warm up period before he remembers how to hit each year. But the truth is Pujols could realistically be looking for $30 million a season, which is crazy! Even for a player of his caliber. I wouldn't be upset if the Yankees made this deal, but I would be surprised that they pursued it. Teixeira can swing a bat, and he's certainly one of the best defensive first baseman in the game. Any thoughts?


Uncle Mike said...

I would not make the trade. Better to spend a lot of money on a great player you already have than an insane amount of money on a great player who doesn't know his prospective new teammates and doesn't know the system.

Albert Pujols might go on to challenge Hank Aaron for the title of greatest offensive force the National League has ever known (assuming he doesn't go to the AL in mid-career), and by all accounts he's a good guy and a good teammate. But he's not THAT much of an upgrade over Mark Teixeira, and he doesn't fill a need that the Yankees have. It would be like trading CC Sabathia for the pitcher some people THINK Cliff Lee -- or Johan Santana -- is. I wouldn't make that trade, either.

Fernando Alejandro said...

Yeah, I'm leaning in that direction too. I'm sure he'd be fine in the AL and would adjust and everything, but you have a guy in Teixeira who's already proven and established in the AL. I don't know that the benefits (12 extra homeruns, maybe 30 extra hits) would be a season changer.

Hunter said...

I agree with mike. I wouldnt make this trade. While he will continue to be an offensive force, it will only be for another 5-6 years. And why commit to the money and the years? I'd rather use some of that money to lock up Cano.

Rich Mahogany said...

I would make this trade in an instant.

Teixeira and Pujols are not comparable players. Teixeira is a good defender with good power numbers who always starts the season in a terrible slump. Pujols is a good defender (possibly better than Teixeira) who is one of the greatest hitters of all time. Just look at their B-Ref pages. Pujols blows Teixeira out of the water. So I disagree that Pujols is only a marginal upgrade.

$30 million a year is crazy - until you factor in the $135 million we owe Teixeira over the next six years. Then it doesn't seem so ridiculous. And even at a higher salary, Pujols is a far better chance to play up to the value of his contract than Teixeira.

If traded to the Yankees, I'm sure Pujols would quickly warm up to his teammates. It's not like the Cardinals have surrounded him with the exact same teammates over the years.

I think Rosenthal's article is pure fantasy. The Cardinals would never consider such a trade and the Yankees would never reject it if offered. Pujols is just that good, and Teixeira just isn't.

Rob B said...

I don't think I'd make the trade either. I was thinking more along these lines:

After the season, Posada retires.
Go after Pujols. If the Yankees are able to sign him, move either him or Teixeira to 3B.
Rodriguez becomes the full-time DH.


Fernando Alejandro said...

Rich I agree with parts of what you say. The truth is Pujols is a real upgrade, but the cost in money and in years could end up making it a real drain. I mean who doesn't think the Yankees wouldn't go way over board with his contract? But ultimately you're right. The Cardinals won't trade him, and if they did, the Yankees would snatch him up in a heartbeat!

Rob B, it'll be interesting to see what Pujols will get as a free agent. Your plan isn't bad, but I think he'll cost way too much. Its not just the 40 homeruns he'll give us that first year I'm looking at, but the multiple stints on the DL when he's 39 and making $30 million a season too. We may not think its worth it then.

Rich Mahogany said...

Having Pujols and Teixeira at the same time doesn't compute. They are both career first basemen. Since third base is the tougher position, the Yankees can't gamble that Teixeira (or Pujols) will be able to make the transition there when such huge contracts are on the line.

Moving ARod to DH doesn't make sense either. Take away ARod's fielding and he loses much of his value. The Yankees have to try to squeeze every drop of value out of ARod's insane contract, and moving ARod to DH does the opposite.

Teixeira is basically an unmovable contract (although I shouldn't really say that now that Vernon Wells has been traded). He's good, but he's not $22.5 million a season good. The Yankees overpaid for him so they could lock up a top first baseman for several years. If they want Pujols too, they need to use him to replace Teixeira and his contract. There's no sane way around it, which is why Rosenthal's proposal would be so great and also has no chance of actually happening.

Pujols will decline as he ages, of course, but so will Teixeira. And I'd rather have a mid-30s Pujols at $30 million a year than a mid-30s Teixeira at $22.5 million a year. Pujols may demand a deal so crazy that it throws off this analysis, but who knows. They had no problem meeting ARod's crazy demands.

Fernando Alejandro said...

"They had no problem meeting ARod's crazy demands."

And that's what worries me. Especially with our recent Rafael Soriano signing that smells of desperation. But you're right, it won't happen either way. And if it did, we would have to move Teixeira.