Former Major League All-Star Mark Teixeira joined Golic and Wingo Wednesday morning to discuss the MLB offseason and the slow free agent market. Teixeira gave his thoughts on the market for Bryce Harper and Manny Machado and took a stance other players have taken as of late.
Teixeira believes that baseball analytics is playing a role in the issues free agents are facing this winter.
“When Alex Rodriguez signed his $252 million contract back in 2000, salaries got crazy, and they were favoring the players,” Teixeira said. “For a fifteen year span, the salaries favored the players. Analytics has flipped that narrative a little bit.”
Baseball analytics are used to further evaluate players’ worth and have been on the rise as they are being implemented into all areas of today’s game. With the recent market slowdowns, players have been looking to analytics as possible blame for the late-developing activity.
“If you look at an average major leaguer and you look at a superstar making $25 million a year, you take their analytics, and they’re not that much different of a player. You take Bryce Harper and Manny Machado, take their names out of it and just put their numbers, it’ll spit out a number that says ‘you know what, they’re not worth $30-40 million a year.’”
Blaming sabermetrics and analytics is a stance that can be highly debated amongst the baseball community, but one thing we know for sure is that teams have indeed become smarter with the contracts they hand out. In Machado and Harper’s case, teams are not concerned over their current level of play, instead, they are hesitant because of what analytics tell us about how they may perform in their 30’s.
“So I think the dynamic has shifted. Owners are in a better position, and they also have the excuse of saying ‘hey we’re up against the salary cap, we’re not going to spend any more money’”, Teixeira said.
Teixeira’s comments are important because of the way he comes at it from both points of views. Some players, such as Evan Longoria, may put most of the blame on the over-use of analytics, but in reality its a mix of multiple factors.