I wanted to clarify my comments from yesterday about recent Braves acquisition Mark Teixeira. What I said was that while it was still a great trade for Atlanta, Teixeira was somewhat overrated. Actually, a better word choice probably would have been overvalued. There are two main reasons why Braves fans’ enthusiasm should be slightly restrained.
The first issue is the ballpark that Teixeira has played in his entire career. Baseball Reference lists the Ballpark at Arlington as having a Park Factor of 104 for hitters (anything over 100 favors the hitter, under favors the pitcher). Turner Field, on the other hand, has a Park Factor of 97. The effect of the park can be seen in Teixeira’s career line. His career OPS is 107 points higher at home, and most of that difference comes from his home/away slugging split.
The other thing to consider is Teixeira’s future, since he will be a free agent after next year. The switch hitter is a Boras client, and Boras almost always has his clients hit free agency to get full value. Now I realize that the Braves will most likely be off the hook for Andruw Jones’ contract and their ownership is increasing payroll. However, the important thing to remember is that the Yankees will also be looking to fill a spot a first base with Jason Giambi’s massive contract coming off the books. The Orioles and the Red Sox could also potentially be interested. Boras almost always gets people to overpay for his clients (Barry Zito, J.D. Drew, Johnny Damon, Ivan Rodriguez, to name a few). My point is not that the Braves can’t or won’t sign him; it’s just that if they do they will pay a very steep price.
Like I said before, this is still a good trade for the Braves. I think Teixeira is still a very good player and he greatly improves their lineup and it doesn’t cost them anything that will hurt them in the long term.