With spring training underway, the big story for the Atlanta Braves is whether or not the team can sign its star slugger Mark Teixeira to a long-term deal. Teixeira will be a free agent after the 2008 season, and he will play this season for $12.5 million. The word is that the Braves would like to sign Teixeira to an extension soon. Neither Teixeira nor is agent Scott Boras are stupid, and they will only agree to a contract that will approximate his price on the free agent market. Tex might be willing to take a little less now to insure against and injury or simply because he likes playing for the Braves, but his estimated open-market value is a good place to start.
So, what will it take to keep him? Texeira isn’t going to be cheap. According to David O’Brien:
Some believe agent Scott Boras could land Teixeira a six- or seven-year deal worth $25 million or more annually, considering the other contracts that have been handed out in recent years and Teixeira’s age and all-around skills.
Using his past three years of performance, aging, and the growth of MLB salaries (based on the method in my book—paperback out on Tuesday!), I estimate that he will garner a contract of approximately $26.82 million for a six-year deal following the 2008 season. This estimate appears to be in line with the rumors.
I think that the Braves may be able to get him in the low-twenties if they can reach a deal before the season starts. I’m not sure if the Braves are going to be willing to go that high.