Shortly after Mark Teixeira was traded to the Atlanta Braves, Tom Hicks let it leak that Teixeira had turned down an eight year, $140 million contract to remain a Ranger. Now Teixeira is under fire in Dallas, specifically from Gil LeBreton of the Fort Worth Star Telegram, for being less than honest when he said Texas ran its business like a small market club.
Why? How does the Rangers offer prove that they are not small market in the way the organization is run? Teixeira thinks he can get more elsewhere. Whether he eventually does is beside the point. In his mind, Hicks low-balled him.
But I don’t think that his specific contract is all he meant with the small market comment. I think he was really talking about expectations and excuses, as in the low expectations for success and the excuses make for it. Dallas is one of the largest metropolitan areas in the country, and yet the Rangers have a very modest payroll. Yeah, they bid for Matsuzaka, but they made a low offer that they knew didn’t have a chance. They have done the same with free agents. When you offer $100 for the Ferrari on the showroom floor, you aren’t really trying.
The player who has proven to be hypocritical has been Eric Gagné, who also turned down a contract, this time four years, $36 million. The difference? Gagné had said all season that he hoped to remain a Ranger. Given the chance to accept a very fair four year offer for a pitcher who still hasn’t answered all his injury concerns, however, he chose to go elsewhere. I don’t fault him for the choice—who wouldn’t rather play for the first place Boston Red Sox than the last place Rangers? I just wish he had been honest about his wishes all season, or at least kept quiet about it.
Also published at 110 Percent.