Over at the New York Times‘ Bats blog today, Justin Sablich has a round-table Q&A with myself, Steve Lombardi, and Benjamin Kabak concerning the Yankees’ outlook for the coming season. A quick sample:
Q: Cliff, there is little doubt that Teixeira will help this team in the short term and probably for many years to come. But how concerned are you about Teixeira, on an aging team, clogging up a position for eight years that is often considered a prime spot to move aging players?
Corcoran: A team concerned about how it can keep declining players in the lineup isn’t going to win. I’m thus not concerned in the slightest about having one of the best first basemen in baseball “clogging up” a position on the far left of the defensive spectrum just because the team might have declining players looking for a place to play. Hideki Matsui and Johnny Damon are free agents after this season and shouldn’t be re-signed. Neither Derek Jeter nor Jorge Posada should remain past 2011. Though Jeter likely will, he won’t hit enough to carry first base by then (he barely does now), and it will be Jeter’s contract, not Teixeira’s that was the mistake.
The real issue is Alex Rodriguez, who is signed through 2017, a year longer than Teixeira. Unlike Jeter, Rodriguez could carry a corner outfield spot, but also unlike Jeter, he’s awful at tracking fly balls. That would make first base the preferred destination for Rodriguez’s big bat should age and injury further erode his play at third base. Once again, the problem isn’t that Teixeira is signed through age 36, it’s that Rodriguez is signed through age 42.
Check it out.